I‘m a fairly organized guy, but for many years I hated having a written schedule. From an early age my parents tried to get me to adhere to schedules, but for some reason they all fell apart soon after. On one hand I wanted to be organized, but I also wanted things to flow naturally. For a long time I believed that by allowing things to flow freely without any time barriers, I’d naturally do the things I needed to do.
It wasn’t until I had my very first job that I began to realize just how important schedules were. I was assigned to various tasks, and I quickly realized how my own personality conflicted with productivity. Delays or procrastination was a frequent occurrence if left on my own. Deadlines would quickly approach and I’d quickly cram all the work together, hoping I didn’t forget anything. Clearly if I left all my work up to my own memory, I’d be at risk of forgetting important information! It could also result in spending too long on one aspect of a project; an unproductive habit. This would leave me exhausted and destroy my sleep cycle in the process.
Addressing the Problem
It was at this point that I began to make myself a reasonable schedule, one that wouldn’t be too drastic of a shift, but one that I could actually work with. I gave myself generous time limits on projects, facilitating greater flexibility on projects. It also allowed me to work with a greater sense of direction and purpose. On lengthier projects, I’d divide my workload into shorter bursts to minimize burnout.
So what was my schedule like?
- I’d wake up between 6 and 6:30 AM
- Between my wake-up time and 8 AM I’d have breakfast and do a little stretching to get the blood flowing.
- From 8-11 AM I’d finish a large portion of the work at hand, sometimes stopping at 10 if it’s not too lengthy.
- At 11 – 1 PM I’d be getting lunch, and catching up on news and other important things.
- From 1 – 4 PM I’d continue my work or start a new project.
- After dinner at 4, I’d begin wrapping up my work for the day. However, if a project is urgent I’d continue working on it until around 8.
- I allow myself some flexibility regarding bedtime, as my workload does vary daily. I found that going to bed by 8 gave me the best quality sleep.
You’re free to take what you wish from that schedule, though there are a few key things to note.
- I take breaks freely, but only after at least one hour of work.
- Eating between meals is something I frequently do to maintain high energy levels.
- I do most of my work during the morning hours, which are generally quiet.
- Getting 8+ hours of sleep each night is incredibly important for your brain to recover and produce quality content each day.
While schedules may have seemed a bit restricting, I’ve realized that they are crucial to productivity. Schedules allow you to make the most out of each day, granting you peace of mind afterwards. Now I can say that schedules aren’t half bad after all.
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