Over the last three months I decided to experiment with a different productivity system as I am now accountable only to myself: a free for all system.
No longer did I set time to work on certain things, schedule calls more than a week in advance, or even plan for specific goals. My intention was to wake up and roughly let my intuition guide the coming day / week. I got rid of mostly using my favorite task tool. Outside of one project that I am collaborating on with one person - there's been no structure.
Outcome: The experienced has been mixed (as with almost anything). Though I'd like to think that the experiment would have had a better chance if I hadn't gone in thinking it'd be the utopian way of existence.
Positives: The lack of structure gave way to flexibility and newfound serendipity. Some highlights include going on impromptu roadtrips, more phone calls with friends and family, getting started on a new project when it felt right and also making a new investment. Some days, I finished a book / tv show end to end in a single sitting (which I've probably not done since college). All things that I feel so happy about.
Challenges: However, it also made me feel directionless personally. I felt like a buoy floating in the ocean: enjoying the sunny days, but also getting beaten up by the storms as they came by. Many days flew by without anything getting done, gaps altogether. I also felt more FOMO, funnily enough, because I could now second guess how you spent any time, all-the-time. This lead to some internal strife.
I am glad I tried this. I now know more about what works and doesn't work for me as I think about organizing my time and life.
I need some structure where I know how I am spending time doing what bucket of things towards which goals, However, I want to enable more of that serendipity as well. To accommodate this, my rough plan is to go back towards the my rigorous approach I had to my calendar but to have one weekday and and one weekend day unplanned and free, always.
Have you experimented with anything new in your own productivity system recently?