Clarifying Flow Time

Clarifying Flow Time

The following question was submitted by someone who attended the Just Whelmed Calendar class and is answered below her question.


Question

Here’s my understanding of Flow Time and I’m wondering if I’m on the right track so let me know:

Flow Time

Flow time is working on stuff that either doesn’t have a deadline or the deadline is far away (e.g., this summer, or next year). Tasks are less well-defined and I am unlikely to finish the task during this Flow Session.

Examples of Flow Time tasks:

  • writing tentative outline for workshop in November
  • noodling about conference ideas
  • free-writing for grant proposal (would be due this summer, the RFP isn’t even published yet)
  • writing on chunks of grant proposal without pre-specifying the chunk
  • work on CV (no particular job opening in mind)
  • dividing a project into hunks/chunks/bites
  • write ideas for journal article
  • projects in their infancy.

Answer

All of the ideas you have listed above could be done on a Flow day (or could be done on a Focus day).  The idea behind Focus days is that you go with your energy and with where the muses take you (within reason).  Some Flow days I make fairly small progress on a boatload of different projects and tasks and some days, something that I thought I might spend a moment on grows into something that just goes rolling along and all of a sudden, I realize I’ve spent 3 hours of intense focus on this Flow day and got something finished that I didn’t even know I’d be starting.

Flow days tend to be less structured/scheduled for me, although I usually have a general intention of making progress in a particular area.  Sometimes my project management system is running amok (often, in fact) and I decide that my Flow day is going to entail some movement on a number of items that are in Wrike (www.ProjectPockets.com and is what I use for project management).  I don’t know for sure if things are going to take 10 minutes or 5 hours but I am just going with it.  Whatever gets done gets done and I believe that I will feel good about it because hey, it’s a Flow day.  [Note:  You’re probably seeing far more deeply into my psyche than anyone should, but there you go.]


meggin_just_whelmed_calendar_v3If this answer helped you, or you have more questions, feel free to check out the webinar Creating Grace, Space, & Pace with Your Own ‘Just Whelmed’ Calendar. This friendly and focused 90-minute webinar is for those who are ready to gain a sense of control over their schedules and to-do lists.

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