Posts Tagged ‘Rule #5: Create a Back-Up Slot’

The rule focused on for Week 5 of the Tranquility by Tuesday challenge was create a back-up slot. The purpose of this rule is to allot some open time in your schedule in case you have to reschedule an activity or work assignment. Laura Vanderkam states in a blog post about this rule, “Whenever something matters to you, designate more times in your schedule than you plan to use.” I really like this rule a great deal because it provides a safety net to ensure important tasks get done, planned personal activities can happen, and it allows for some flexibility if something fun unexpectedly crops up.

Before the week started, I pondered the planning questions for Rule #5 that Laura sent us on Friday, 17 February and made a plan for the week.

  • Think back over the past week. Have you had to skip something fun or important because something else came up? What was the priority and what came up? Yes. I had to skip breakfast with two of my friends, so my Daddy and I could take care of getting our passports. I had to apply for my first passport, and he had to renew his passport. We are traveling to Sicily in September. With the amount of time it currently takes to process passports and the amount of time you have to have a passport before traveling to Sicily, we had a short window of opportunity to get this done. In addition, because of the following week’s commitments for both of us and the Mardi Gras holidays, Friday was the only day we could go together to complete this task.
  • Look to the upcoming week. When could you build at least two hours of open space into your life? Identify a primary spot. Identify a secondary spot. primary spot – Thursday in between dentist appointment and improv class; secondary spot – Friday
  • What challenges might keep you from building open space into your life? Right now, none. I’m in a unique postion since I’m not working and can adjust my schedule as needed.
  • How can you address these challenges? n/a
  • If life went perfectly, what would you use your open time for? I’d like to say I would do something fun; however, I would more than likely use the time to complete unfinished chores/tasks or create more content for my YouTube channel or blog. I’d like to read more since I sometimes have trouble finding big chunks of time to read.


Honestly, this rule was easy, and I completed it with no issues. Additionally, I successfully completed the other four rules. I really like the flexibility of this rule. If I do not need my back-up slot because life goes perfectly, I like the idea of using the open slots to make progress on tasks that have been simmering on the back burner for awhile. The only drawback I can see with creating a back-up slot is that it could potentially lead to procrastination which I like to do from time to time. HA! However, I have been pretty busy lately that I have not had the opportunity to procrastinate which is a good thing.


  • When were the back-up slots that you built into your schedule? I actually had fours back-up slots. Tuesday evening (2 hours); Thursday afternoon (4 1/2 hours); Friday (pretty much all day/evening); Saturday evening (4 hours)
  • What effects did you see in your life from building open space into your schedule? First of all, I felt less pressure on Wednesday to edit when I had to end up taking care of some financial stuff and run a few errands. I knew I had a back-up slot to edit (Friday). I was able to help my friend’s daughter Claire with a school assignment on Tuesday evening for one of the two hours which left the other hour for me. Since I did not need to make anything up on Thursday afternoon, I used the time to read Tranquility by Tuesday and work on content for my channel/blog. And, Friday night my open slot was spent with my hubby watching tv; Saturday night I used the open slot to spend with my hubby and friends to celebrate our friend Helen getting a new job. So, I did end up having some fun with the extra time after all.
  • What challenges did you face while implementing this week’s strategy? None!
  • How did you address these challenges? n/a
  • If you needed to modify this rule, how did you do so? n/a
  • How likely are you to continue creating back-up slots in your life? Very likely
  • Did you observe a bedtime this week? YES! I went to sleep five nights by 10:30 p.m. or earlier; the other two nights, I climbed into bed at 10:35 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.; I continue to improve with getting to bed on time most nights. I did NO scrolling before going to sleep any night during this week. I worked on book reviews (Goodreads/Instagram) one night, read five nights, and hung out with friends another night (late night). Winding down routine is improving!
  • Plan on Friday? YES, but again on Sunday morning. At least I am planning before Monday morning.
  • Move by 3 p.m.? YES! My goal was to move by 3 p.m. at least three days during the week, and I moved 4 times this week. Monday-Walked 10 minutes; Tuesday-Walked & talked to my hubby for 15 minutes (threw toy to Luna periodically); Wednesday-Walked and talked with Simon for 25 minutes (threw toy to Luna periodically); Thursday-Walked Tooty for 15 minutes
  • Do your chosen activity three times? YES for both activities! I read Choose Joy (3-minute devotions) 5 mornings. I got outside for at least 23 minutes 4 times this week for the #Outside23in23 Challenge. Some of the time was when I walked outside to move before 3 p.m. On Tuesday, I actually edited outside from 9:20 a.m. until 12:05 p.m. and did my walk and talk for 15 minutes when my hubby called me. It was a beautiful day, so I took advantage of the change in scenery.

Participating in this challenge almost feels like it is becoming a habit, dear reader. I am thoroughly enjoying reading Tranquility by Tuesday and having a terrific time trying out these rules a second time around. There are only four rules left to implement. Next week’s rule is all about adventures. You know me, I love adventures. Happiness!

“Anyone can make a perfect schedule. Time-management masters make resilient schedules.” ~ Laura Vanderkam

Note: Photo at the top is by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com.

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