Are You Guilty Of Micro-Scheduling Your Life?
As a mum of four, setting goals for the week and ‘to do’ lists really help with our busy lives. I think most mums would agree it takes some planning to get through the week with multiple children relatively smoothly.
But, as a nation, have we taken managing our days too far? With social media a huge part of our lives now, are we watching all the things other people are getting done and putting unrealistic and harmful pressure on ourselves to do it all?
It is tempting, I know, to look at a person’s Instagram feed or Facebook profile and think they are on top of things. That their lives are stress-free and everything always goes to plan.
This is not the reality, remember, most only show the positives aspects of their day. Nobody feels the urge to take their phone out and Insta story a tantrum or a forgotten school bag at 9am!!
But some mums have taken the organising and planning to a whole other level. Two mums from the UK explained to the Mail Online how micro-scheduling their days has changed their lives.
Social media manager Fiona Brennan, 35, who lives in Worcestershire with her husband John and two children, felt like she was 'constantly failing'.
She says she follows an ultra-strict approach to planning her work/life balance - ensuring the dishwasher goes on at exactly the same time every day and she only checks emails in the three minutes it takes for the kettle to boil.
Meanwhile, Rhian Westbury, 29, who lives in Watford, accounts for every minute that she can, following a detailed plan to ensure her work and home-life runs like clockwork.
She creates a to-do list for her lunch break to maximise the time, and sets a time to get up at the weekend with no lie-ins allowed.
The trend for micro-scheduling - which sees people planning and sticking to a strict, pre-set schedule, often accounting for every minute - is becoming increasingly popular.
Some hyper-organised souls are even plotting an exact time allocation for getting intimate with their partner.
However, a top psychologist has warned that adhering to a plan that maps out days too strictly is 'dangerous' and describes it as a form of 'self-bullying'.
Psychologist Annette Byford issues a stark word of warning to those thinking of trying to account for every minute of their time.
She says: "People are already struggling - with the demands of work, long commute times and feeling like they need to be present online - and micro-scheduling is, I think, bordering on the dangerous.
"What micro-scheduling does is essentially say that if you keep lifting the bar, you have to keep jumping higher and higher. They're peddling the idea that it is possible to stay perfectly on top of things.
"Yes, be organised, set priorities, set time boundaries but that involves saying sometimes that can't be done. We can't plan every second of the day and we need time to amble.
"If someone else was managing you that way, you'd think it was bullying. This advice sets people to self-bully.'
While I do believe, due to our hectic lifestyles, it is important to be organised, micro-managing yourself is not the healthy way of doing it.
I agree with Annette Byford when she says that micro-scheduling is just forcing us to constantly keep jumping higher and higher. To me, you're creating more stress for yourself by setting time frames, that may even be unrealistic when you consider the unpredictably of life.
Do you think there is any harm in micro-managing your days? Do you think it leads to unrealistic goals and in turn puts extra pressure on our days?
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.