One of my clients was recently struggling to gain control of his schedule. He was constantly handling home tasks during work and work stuff during his nights and weekends. He was trying to make it all fit into the appropriate segment of time but couldn’t make it happen and was feeling frustrated.

It suddenly hit me; some of us are not wired to work within the confines of pre-categorized windows of time. We aren’t meant to do a 9 to 5 job Monday through Friday. We, instead, seek to utilize a 24/7 schedule for all of life’s categories in an effort to use our available time most effectively.

I told him he was “blending” his activities across all available hours. If he could maneuver the time well that way and his employer was fine with it, it was okay.

The revelation was so freeing for him! He had the kind of job that allows for working any time anywhere and was wired to do more of a blend between work and life. He stopped fighting how he was wired and embraced it. It has worked great since!

If you are wired for blending and have the opportunity to schedule this way it can be a wonderful way to go. With each chunk of unscheduled time you can determine what should be done next from your entire list of tasks rather than choosing from one specific category.

If you are a morning person and have a creative flash of energy, get that article for work written whether it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday.  If it’s Thursday at 2:00 PM and Costco is right there and your chunk of time will permit you to pop in to pick up a few things and then unload at home, go for it!

I tend to use the following criteria to determine the best use of my unscheduled time:

  • Which tasks have the highest priority?
  • What size is my window of time?
  • How much travel time is required for a task?
  • How much energy do I have right now?
  • What resources do I have available to me?
  • Am I in a quiet place or a noisy one?

The answers to these questions can then dictate my next move. Beautiful!

If you follow the blend strategy be very intentional with your prioritizations. You must practice good self-discipline as you navigate available time. Otherwise you could end up wasting time. You also run the risk of allowing one area of your life to overtake another. I refer to this phenomenon as a bleed. If, for instance, the work area of your life is overtaking what is generally allotted for family time, resulting in friction, this would be a bleed. Work is bleeding into family time creating chaos.  Each area of your life needs time allotted for good balance and health.

The goal instead is to blend. Blend the pieces of your life into one harmonious, time-efficient flow so that the minutes of each day find you moving towards your goals in all areas of your life.