Planned Spontaneity – A Trick You Need to Start Using

Planned Spontaneity? Nothing more, but an oxymoron… You ask yourself ‘What the heck is meant by that?’ I will explain everything step by step… so let’s start from the beginning:

Plans, schedules, slots – we are used to them in our professional lives. They govern our time at work. We diligently fill our calendars with appointments. We prioritize them and mark them in different colours to make ourselves look even more organised. Do you recognise yourself here?

Planned SpontaneityWe usually maintain just one calendar exclusively for all our work activities. We have the impression that our office time is so structured, full of calls and meetings that we do not feel a need to schedule time after hours. That’s something you should consider changing if you want to be more efficient and relaxed, in other words if you want to achieve work-life balance.


Two birds with one stone

Cali Williams Yost, founder and CEO of the Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit, Inc., reveals that keeping one combined calendar for your work and life activities can lead to greater satisfaction in your personal life, at the same time it improves significantly your performance at work.

Yost’s studies group has studied for more than a decade the secrets of a group of unique individuals who seem to intuitively understand how to combine work and life together in a way that allows them to be their best on and off the job. Almost all of them maintain one combined calendar/priority list that clearly shows what they are trying to achieve, daily and weekly, both at work and in their personal life.

You can flag and prioritize your personal appointments as you do it with your work activities. However, unlike your professional life, not all your schedules for your personal life need to be thought through and organised in details. Sometimes planned spontaneity is enough.

Planned Spontaneity

Planned Spontaneity – A Trick You Need to Start Using

Planned spontaneity is not a setting of opposite words. Planned spontaneity means blocking a slot on your calendar without planning exactly what you are going to do in that time. Anything can happen then. When your scheduled block of free time arrives… you can spontaneously decide how you will spend it.

And it works! After a though week at work, full of sensitive deadlines, I marked the whole weekend in my calendar as time for recharging my batteries, but I haven’t planned anything in particular. I left my options open. On Saturday morning our friends called with a proposition to make a weekend trip to Czech Republic. It was totally unplanned but so refreshing and blissful. Btw. the pictures that you can see in this post were taken during this escapade in the spirit of planned spontaneity.

How to Get Started with Planned Spontaneity?

  1. Start small
    Start planning your personal activities and appointments as you do for your professional life. You can include there things such dates with your partner or friends, shopping, time for reading, your sports, etc.
  2. Plan it
    When you have your personal meetings added to your calendar look for free slots on your calendar. Schedule them as busy and don’t write an activity in that time slot. Leave it blank for your planned spontaneity. These could be short slots as one hour where you can decide whether you want to have a cup of coffee and read a magazine, have a nap, meditate, take a walk or make online shopping.
  3. Don’t overthink it
    Planned spontaneity is not about knowing in advance what you will do in that time, so don’t stress yourself, you can decide as you go. Important is to notice your mood and needs in that particular moment and to go with the flow.

Have you made any experience with planned spontaneity so far? Is that something you might consider practicing? Share your thoughts with us! 🙂


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