In my post from a few days ago entitled NEW DIRECTIONS, NEXT STEPS, I used the phrase, “I have shifted from a life schedule to a life rhythm.”
I want to camp there for a few moments and explain what I think is the difference between a schedule and a rhythm
I was taught the importance of writing and keeping a schedule almost twenty years ago. Since that time I have always kept a day planner and I set aside time weekly to create my schedule, to plan my calendar.
This has been an important aspect of becoming effective in my roles as a human being. I will continue to plan a weekly agenda going forward. I need to do that so I don’t miss meetings because I was busy watching television!
In spite of its importance I have learned that rhythm trumps schedule every time. I have learned I can make and keep a schedule and still lose my effectiveness if I do not consider and surrender to my created rhythm…hmmm. I think that’s a term that will need some explaining….I sense another post coming on this subject.
If I do not plan and practice my life rhythm, schedule takes over. Much of our world has fallen victim to this issue. As a result we have become a culture of racing activity junkies tied to calendars that other people have made for us.
Three years ago I was there. I was living by my schedule, made for me by other people, without my life rhythm. I had lost my individuality, my divine spark and sadly much of my usefulness to the community I served. The sad thing was I was so busy, so tired, I didn’t realize it.
The last three years have been painful as God stripped away all my schedule (all the things I and others previously thought were important). The last year has been my full acceptance of my life rhythm and its practice.
Today I still keep a planner. It still holds all my meetings (though fewer they be and of a far different nature). But now my day planner intentionally displays my life rhythm. I follow that rhythm now as doggedly as I ever followed the schedule. The schedule serves the rhythm now…and that has made all the difference.
I like this shift in thinking – so much more room to breathe.
I am finding that to be so and somehow my stress level has come down a bit and my weariness is less. Of course that could be because I have also learned the art of napping without guilt and going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Lol. All important lessons.
Yes they are.
This reminds me of staying in step with the Holy Spirit. I can and should plan and schedule my time wisely, however it’s proven again and again that the Spirit is far ahead of me, and that catching the ‘rhythm’ of the Spirit inevitably improves on my own scheduling. 🤩
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I’m very curious to see how you explain the difference. Post on!
I will. To me life rhythm is fluid like music. Schedule is more like math. Its rules are fixed and decided by others.
Interesting train of thought…
Thanks. I think I will follow it to see where it goes. I have to admit I am not entirely sure just yet.
I’m not quite sure I understand your definition of Rhythm. What I did notice that when you mention schedule you also refer to other people i.e. “calendars that other people have made for us”, “my schedule, made for me by other people”. If people spend their time doing those things that are important for others, they certainly will lose their effectiveness and be tired all the time because they are not doing those things that God has called them to do. What I have found is that the most effective people say no to more things than they say yes to. If you do not have a burning yes inside of you it’s almost impossible to say no. Too many people tried to schedule their lives without first having spent time with God and received His vision for their life and then begin to walk it out. They look at what feels important for others and do those things and wonder why they feel empty. A schedule should be based on the priorities and vision that God has given you. When this happens and someone comes and asks you to do XXX which is their priority and not yours you have the integrity to say no I can not help with that because it is not a priority for me at this time. The people that will be upset at this statement are those that are not fulfilling their God-given purpose and are looking to others to fulfill that.
As Neil Kennedy said, Jesus is not nice but he was loving and didn’t waste His time doing those things that His Father had not given him to do.
Looking forward to more on this.
Yes Paul. I agree with you. You tried to teach me this in Seven Habits. I thought I had learned it. You surely remember the “strong discussion” we had when you first broached the subject of scheduling all those years ago. But you were right I had to plan if I was going to be effective.
You also tried to teach me to schedule according to my roles not according to the calendar. I did this..or thought I did. The problem came as I allowed others to tell me what my roles were. You have always been stronger than me in the area of responding to your passionate “yes” and being able to say “no”. Rhythm is the way I have come to understand how to live with a passionate yes and say no more effectively….There is more to come on that note.
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