Hmmm . . . another real life time management dilemma from one of my clients.  “I find I’m really productive when I’m at work, but before I leave and once I get home in the late afternoon, I’m kind of all over the place.  I feel like I’m wasting 3 – 4 hours each day.”

Does this sound familiar?

Normally, my first suggestion is to schedule activities.  If you arrive home at 2 pm, then schedule “vacuum the house” for 230 pm, walk dogs for 3 pm, work on products for Etsy store at 4 pm, etc.


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However, after trying this for two weeks, my very aware client exclaimed, “I’m so discouraged.  I schedule activities for different blocks of time each day, but I’m not following my scheduled.  Now I’m even more frustrated!”

After a short discussion – we realized that the schedule was just to confining.

So we created a new strategy – structured flexibility.  (Does the term structured flexibility seem like an oxymoron?! Keep reading!)

Some of us (like me!) excel with a schedule where activities are scheduled throughout the day. Others prefer to focus on completing 3 activities a week – and the “how” just kind of happens.

Many of my clients are somewhere in the middle  . . . a calendar with tasks scheduled hourly throughout the day is too confining, yet nothing scheduled is not productive either.

New Strategy – Structured Flexibility!  

  1. My client identifies the open blocks of time in her week.
  2. Then creates a short list of activities she’d like to complete during the week.
  3. Then assigns one activity per each block of time.

The Structured Part:  Wednesday she has a block of time open in the morning and early afternoon.  The morning she has decided she wants to straighten the hall closet.  The early afternoon block she is going to finish organizing the filing cabinets in her office.

The Flexibility Part:  She will not need the full block of time to complete either of these activities.  This is where she’s now free to follow her “muse”.  Picking and choosing anything she wants to spend her time on for the remainder of the open block.

image provided by cochrane /

image provided by cochrane /

For this client, structured flexibility is the best of both worlds.

Only having one activity scheduled per block of time allows her the flexibility of working on other projects that catch her attention.  Choosing one project to complete during each open block of time ensures she accomplishes her priorities each week.

Your thoughts!  What strategies do you use when you have open blocks of time?  What tips do you have for my AWESOME client?  Please post below.

If you are looking for some additional support creating structure, flexibility, or structured flexibility,  I invite you to join the 30 Day AWE Inspired Challenge. Learn how to build AWARENESS, create a plan that WORKS, and EVALUATE and celebrate your success! The benefits of joining this COMPLIMENTARY challenge are:SystemSavvy Consulting join awe challenge

  • A little extra motivation to help you stay on track
  • The opportunity to cheer on your fellow participants
  • A sounding board to help you push through obstacles
  • Guidance from Lisa Crilley Mallis, your time strategy visionary, on how to live a life of A.W.E.

Join Today!  

main photo courtesy of Stuart Miles /