February 25, 2023
I am a planner. I enjoy planning and setting goals and simply knowing what I will be doing for the day, the week, etc. My calendar notifications are a constant reminder of appointments, meetings, training times, dinners, and even my fun time!
So, the idea of having an “unscripted day” is a bit scary and curious at the same time. I bought this tee shirt while on a work trip and it made me think of how to put it into practice. Then one morning, it just happened! I was drinking my cup of coffee with my journal and pen, ready to start my day with some journaling my thoughts, goals, and planning my day.
Ironically, I couldn’t think of anything to write. I sat there and drank in silence waiting for “inspiration” to hit me. Nothing. I couldn’t come up with a plan for the day either. It wasn’t that I was “unmotivated” to do anything. I honestly couldn’t think of anything worth writing about or worth scheduling to get done. An hour later, I took a photo of my still blank journal page and decided to leave the day unscripted.
Embracing the blank page, I went about the rest of the day. Honestly, I cannot remember what I did and in looking at my blank calendar cannot jog my memory either. Funny, how I remember that morning and this idea of an unscripted life has made me change how I structure my days since then but cannot recall anything else I did that day. But in essence, wasn’t that the purpose?
In fact, I’ve thought more about how important it has been for me to structure what I am calling “unscripted days” in my daily life. Yes, I know it’s a bit counterintuitive, I’ll get to this in a bit. But unscripted days is simply letting go of the need to plan and control the day’s events. It’ll allow for greater spontaneity and creativity.
I know that when I’m not following a set plan or schedule, I am more open to unexpected opportunities and experiences, letting my intuition guide me, trusting that and being more present in the moment.
Living an unscripted life is not always easy. And I don’t mean to do this every day. I honestly couldn’t live a life unscripted every day. But I am trying to apply the concept more generally to my daily workday such as leaving more blank spaces on work calendar during the workday to allow for spontaneity and creativity. Research shows how this can actually optimize one’s ability to be more productive. I also think it’s good for one’s mental health.
Living unscripted does not mean abandoning all structure and routine. It’s about finding a balance between structure and spontaneity and recognizing that sometimes the best opportunities and experiences come from unexpected places. During the workday, I’m getting more comfortable with blocking off more blank space on my calendar just for this purpose. And I’ve designated one day a week (usually a weekend day) to live fully unscripted.
I just booked a vacation that has the shell of planned experiences. I also made sure to plan a couple extra unscripted days. Planning a vacation and planning unscripted days generally, is liberating; whether at home or away, some days will be mundane, and some filled with new adventures! Either way, the point is to practice being fully present, and making it a fulfilling experience simply because it was unscripted.
We all need more blank pages to insert in our lives, to allow ourselves the freedom to explore, experiment, and take risks. And in so doing, live a more authentic, creative, and meaningful life.
Take the leap with me and let’s make the rewards of an unscripted life be transformative.