Getting on a Schedule

Ever since my first days in college, I have sporadically made daily and weekly schedules for myself. (I make no claim to have followed them perfectly!) Still, a daily schedule is at least as useful as any other kind of plan:

  • When you plan your day, hour by hour, you discover a lot more free time than you thought you had.
  • You realize that much of your time is wasted on distractions.
  • You can allocate larger (or fixed) amounts of time to the things that are important to you. Remember Stephen R. Covey's story about the jar, the stones, the pebbles, and the sand?
  • You feel more in control of your life

The last points seem particularly important since I have been laid off. I have found myself neglecting exercise, obsessing over a promising lead, feeling depressed when a contact blew me off, and occasionally getting distracted from important activities. Acquaintances have recommended keeping a daily routine. Yesterday, I made a daily schedule for myself, and it made me feel less at the mercy of circumstances.

I don’t suggest that you run your life like clockwork. Without an office to meet people in, you are even more at the mercy of traffic, weather, and restaurant service. And sometimes, unexpected opportunities are what throw you off your groove. To accommodate these, it may be useful to treat weekends as your “slush fund” of time, when you catch up on missed exercise, reading or research (and not just sleep).

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Created at: 28 January 2009 6:01 PM