Creating the Space to Keep Calm

Want to lower your stress?

Want to enjoy the beauty of spontaneity?

Want to keep calm?

Want peace?

The Answer: Work two weeks out. In other words, complete all that you know is due two weeks prior to it’s actual due date.

Space for spontaneity is the added benefit of living two weeks out.

If it’s a gorgeous evening, you can go for a run or play in the park …
… if you don’t have to pay the bills or complete some other procrastinated chore.

If you get an invitation to get away for the weekend, you can go carefree …
… if your Monday project is complete. No deadlines nor details loom over you.

If your friend is in crisis, you can lend an ear and a hand more easily (and willingly) …
… if your routine home and work duties are caught up.

Planning vs. Impulses

Does planning thwart spontaneity and the movement of God’s Spirit? Not at all! Working two weeks out actually creates space for Him amidst our responsibilities. It’s the final hour procrastination that shuts out spontaneity. Stress heightened like a dam on the brink of rupture may be an adrenaline rush for some, but it is a calendar clogger for all!

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective PeopleStephen Covey brilliantly sorts our daily actions and distractions into four quadrants.

Our goal is to live more in the Important & Not Urgent quadrant. Mental and physical health improve as we dwell in this space. We become more available for the important and urgent matters of family emergencies, urgent deadlines, and spontaneous opportunities!

Integrating the 2-Week Plan into Your Life

The 2-week plan for parents looks like: When school starts in the fall and you purchase supplies for your child, also pick up poster board, construction paper, markers, magic markers, glue and other fun things (pipe cleaners) for the inevitable projects soon to follow. Save a couple shoe boxes, too. Note: you do need to teach your child to prepare but it’s good to have these things on hand as they learn this lesson!

The 2-week plan for the office looks like: When a project is assigned, begin thinking through it and working on it immediately. Research, analyze, network, proof, final draft. If it needs to be printed, print the day before it’s due. So if the ink runs out or the paper tray is empty, you have time to make alternative plans. Your office manager will appreciate your forethought and you won’t be disturbing co-workers with your self-created emergency.

The 2-week plan for the kitchen looks like: Plan your meals two weeks at a time. Decide all the dinner plans for the next two weeks. Make the grocery list for the two weeks. Do one shopping trip. You can switch the meals around within the weeks, but all of the ingredients are in the house. You won’t even have to use valuable thinking-time to create daily menus. Bonus: hours and hours saved by condensing repeat grocery store runs into one shopping bonanza (ok…you’ll still need to visit for milk and fresh produce but don’t let the aisles draw you in!)

Your Turn

  • Choose one area in your life … work, family, community, church involvement, or hobby.
  • Answer these questions:

What is due in two weeks?

What is needed to complete the activity/project/event?

Make a list of purchases/needs from outside your home or office.

  • Do the work. Research, buy the poster board, schedule the doctor’s appointment, get the prescription refilled, compose the email. May take a few days but keep working.
  • Repeat for next project that area in your life.
  • Add the next area of your life
  • Share your experience below so we can all learn from you!

It’s simply transformational!

Posted by Sharon R. Hoover

About Sharon R Hoover

Serving the church for over twenty years in discipleship and mission ministries, I've walked alongside many people travelling and exploring the journey of faith. Add in my own crazy path and I hope my writing will offer glimpses of life worth sharing.
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One Response to Creating the Space to Keep Calm

  1. Pingback: Life: Bordered or Integrated? | a Journal of Missional Living

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