Can Spontaneity Be Scheduled?

“Hold your head up, you silly girl, look what you’ve done. When you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, silly girl.” ~ Lennon/McCartney

Lately I’ve been working a lot. I mean a lot…writing, editing, conferencing, list-making, traveling and scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. I’ve been through this cycle of life before. It spins around and folds me into this work web. A part of me thrives and soars – another part wilts and withers.

This time, in the midst of all the amped up excitement and the thrill of engagement, instead of becoming totally engulfed, I stop to think: “I know better. Without scheduling, it’s hard to get stuff done. But, do I really need to make a routine out of scheduling?

Recently, I opened my laptop and Jonathan Fields popped up. Well, not him, his blog post called, Scheduling Spontaneity. I laugh, thinking to myself, “He’s got to be kidding, scheduling spontaneity is an oxymoron. It totally contradicts the impulsivity of the act.”

Scheduling Spontaneity

I read Jonathan Fields’ blog every few days because he seems to unravel complex problems simply, and creatively. His strategies are less advice, as they are thoughts and ideas that allow the reader to find some sorely needed brain space. Sometimes his ideas are quite mind-blowing. This one has me thinking that maybe it’s…the not doing, that feeds the doing.

Jonathan says, “…the more you’ve got going on, the more you need to schedule time to not have anything scheduled.”

Well, that makes total sense. Go on…

Ritual is important. So is routine. They help create certainty anchors in your day, moments where you know what’s coming next and you can get into a rhythm that allows creativity and productivity to flow.

But, without fail, the biggest ideas, the most endearing connections, the world-changing insights come not when you’re engaged in the process of trying to make them happen, but when you step away and give your mind a bit of space. When you let your brain breathe.”

What happens in that space? My favorite take-away from his pearl of a post: “Conversations blossom into love. And the playful side of life swirls through you…The busier you get, the more important it is for you to exalt and even schedule time to be unscheduled. To pause.

Jonathan Fields reminds us of another Beatle quote that sums it up:

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon

Can “schedule” and “spontaneous” coexist? How do you make spontaneity the spice of your busy life?

23 comments

Victor M.
Victor M.4 years ago

Totally absurd...

Brian M.
Past Member 4 years ago

Many people have exceptionally busy lives that are far too structured. They have to make time for "down-time," "brainstorming," "playtime," and/or "spontaneity." That doesn't guarantee anything spontaneous will actually happen even more than a planned brainstorming session will lead to great ideas. All it means is that you are making time to see if the lightning will strike. The more regularly that you make time for unstructured experience, the greater the probability that something wonderful will happen.

angela whatley
angela whatley4 years ago

i would say no it cant but my ex husband would say yes it can he was a list maker

Treii W.
Treii H.4 years ago

thanks. interesting article.

Roxana C.
Roxana Cortijo4 years ago

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Debbie W.
Past Member 4 years ago

Unless set up by another for a desired reaction ... "scheduled spontaneity" is a contradition of terms (in my world).

Anne Brabson
Anne B.4 years ago

I meditate...it frees my mind to be open to new thoughts and to take time away from my otherwise externally driven consciousness.

Claudette Colbert

While I don not believe spontaneity can be schedualed, I do believe time can be schdualed to make space for God's inspiration to come and for each and every one of us to enjoy the spontaneity of creation in those times.

Alicia N.
Alicia N.4 years ago

"if you don't have a schedule you won't die ".....
have fun now, do not worry, enjoy your life, be happy.

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine4 years ago

Planning free time right now - so, "yes".