I’m all about productivity and figuring out how to make the most out of my time, working towards ambitious goals, and all that jazz. So today I invested a good few hours of my time on this lovely Sunday afternoon/evening to set up a definite, specific plan for the upcoming week, which also happens to be the first week of my new job (starting Tuesday).
I know I’ve referenced Sam Brown multiple times in the past but it’s because I feel like I can relate to her the most out of all the blogs I’ve come across. And no she did not tell me to promote her blog or anything.. I just have been helped so much by her…
Sam recently put out a new online course that helps with scheduling and beating procrastination. I have not purchased this course since I feel the need to start working so that I can save up some more money first (gotta pay off those student loans, ya know), but there is a free workshop video (I hope the link works) that she made on how to create a balanced study schedule (or just a schedule, if you’re not a student).
I spent wayyy too long being super OCD about following her step-by-step schedule planning video, but I have to say I am very happy with the results. I don’t think it’s normal though to spend more than two hours creating a weekly schedule… then again I had major indecisiveness issues choosing what colors to use on my Google Calendar (I think iCal has way prettier colors but I don’t have a MacBook). Welcome to the life of a perfectionist.
I strongly recommend creating a schedule electronically so that you have instant access to your calendar at any time. I have been a lover of physical Moleskine planners for the longest time, but this year, even before watching Sam Brown’s video, I started to just use my phone or laptop to access my planner/calendar because it’s so simple and convenient.
Then again I also just didn’t buy a physical 2018 planner in time for the new year, so that may have been part of the motivation for me to make the switch from paper to digital. Whatever the motivation was, I like what I am now using.
It’s convenient because you can set up notifications that remind you about important tasks that you may have forgotten, for example, say.. the need to give your little sister a ride to her chamber music rehearsal when you’ve completely forgotten about it. Or when you promised someone you’d call them at such and such time to discuss something.
Maybe making a detailed schedule sounds a bit crazy, but it’s not until you fill up a blank weekly calendar spread with mandatory things that you realize how little time you actually have left to do everything else that is not mandatory but perhaps necessary for sanity purposes (e.g. entertainment, meeting up with friends, etc). And that was a very long sentence.
I don’t feel the need to go into detail about how I planned out my entire week, but I will say I pretty much know what I will be doing from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, every day. But of course, life also happens, so if something unplanned comes up I will not be in shock and I will not cry because my schedule that I spent so much time on is “ruined.”
Honestly my view of a schedule is not that you have to follow it to the very last second, but that it gives a solid structure to your whole life, and you will have a better general idea of when you can “squeeze in” time for friends and family.
It’s kind of like the habit idea I was talking about in one of my recent posts (and also what I learned from Sam, again). When forming a long-term habit it’s not about doing it perfectly 100% of the time, but about doing it most of the time so that overall, you can really say that it is a part of your regular day to day life.
A schedule is similar in that you have a regular routine that you follow for the most part, allowing a little bit of wiggle room for the “life happens” moments. What matters is you can see clearly what your responsibilities are for the week, and at what times, so you will better know how many extra activities you can allow into your schedule.
That’s my take on scheduling and planning, though I surely have not been the best at keeping a good schedule most of the time, probably because I’ve just been on an extended two month long vacation. A much needed one. We’ll see how I survive “real life” again starting Tuesday.