Don’t know about you, but I am an absolute controlfreak. I LOVE my planner, I am addicted to To-Do lists, and I constantly gaze at my Iphone to check the time. In many ways, these habits are positive for busy peeps like myself. They allow me to juggle different work-and life projects, help me to be productive, and catch writing deadlines.

But there’s a downside to planning everything. Firstly, consistent planning tends to leave little time and space in your agenda (!) for spontaneous actions. Secondly, it allows little time to rest from all the things you need to get done.

Below are 3 tips to invite some more spontaneity and relaxation into your tight schedule.

1 – Reflect on your personal rules. Which underlying life rules and beliefs motivate you to stuff your agenda with strict deadlines? Are these beliefs realistic, or perhaps too strict?

For example, many people subconsciously believe that to be busy, means to work hard, or to be a ‘good’ employee. That is nonsense, of course. There’s a difference between being productive, and just being active. Other people believe, some where deep down, that they are ‘bad’ colleagues, if they ever miss a deadline. Again, that’s just not true. Every human being makes mistakes, misses deadlines, or miscalculates the amount of time that is needed to finish a task. That doesn’t make you ‘bad’ at your job; it probably just means that you underestimated a task, or overestimated your own work tempo. That happens.

Try to see whether you can think of a more realistic and useful life rule, such as: “It is okay to rest in between work”, and “If I hand in a task later at work than I planned, but I did my best, I am still a good colleague.”

This alternative liferule will help you to take a more relaxed approach towards life- and your agenda.

2 Want-to’s. Make a list of fifty things that give you energy. These ‘want-to’s’ may be short activities (staring out of the windown for 15 minutes) or activities that take up more time (enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant). Schedule room in your agenda on EACH DAY for 1-3 want-to’s. Doing things that give you energy will help you to recharge your mental battery.

3 – Practice flexible living, for example in your weekends and on holidays. On those days, only plan what you really need to plan beforehand (maybe there is a hotel that you need to book in advance), but leave plenty of space for spontaneous activities and detours.

For more free inspiration on stressfree productivity, join Roanne’s free Facebook group the Focus Collective!