Schedules have always been part of our life, since the day we started school.
And over the years things have only become more serious. If school wasn’t enough, we took up dance lessons and basketball practice sessions over weekends and felt occupied and busy and we were all okay with it because thats how everyone’s schedule look liked. Full….gasping for air.
In college we just kept on adding more- more hours dedicated to studies, projects, internships and then job…. and now you are just rushing from one meeting to another, meeting friends over weekend, trying to slip in a yoga class and spend evenings at the gym and things never stop. Your phone is constantly beeping with notifications.
So, schedules or rather management of schedules have always been an integral part of our life.
Schedules primarily do 3 things:
- Ensures we remember to do things- define objectives
- Help us move things around based on the prioritization- scheduling software of some form
- We end up actually doing it- if its on calendar it must be important.
If the only calendar you manage is yours, you can use your phone calendar for reminders, google calendar for your online scheduling, sticky notes and a whiteboard for tracking your own projects. Depending on what works for you, scheduling shouldn’t be complicated.
So, there are benefits ofcourse around scheduling even if you are simply doing it for yourself:
1. Cal Newport, MIT grad and professor at Georgetown University is one of the leading supporters of something called the “fixed schedule discipline”. Cal showcases how he manages to only work from 9-5 (plus a little on Sunday morning) to manage all (don't underestimate what all means here, till you have read the article) of the things he has on his plate. If you are want to read more, click here . So, obviously you can do insane amount of work without showing off your busy-ness with a well managed schedule.
2. Scheduling teaches you to prioritise. So to make the most out of the mornings of ultra-successful people , most of them automate as much and cut out as many non-essential decisions as possible. That way, their mental muscles and willpower are reserved for making wise choices that matter.“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” – Obama Read more about link of decision making and handling your schedules here .
3. Redefining your habits will happen automatically. When you work on a schedule or are working around the schedule of many, you might have to relook at your own habits. Because Cal (from point 1) didn’t work after 5pm he had to make sure he was productive during the time he worked. He couldn’t have spent his time on social media and still end his work day at 5pm. In an attempt to redefine your habits; you are defining yourself and your purpose. Once you know your purpose , its easy to work around it or pick your priorities.
4. Discipline/structure always helps, well at least in most cases. The power of habit is powerful enough to change your life in a good way. When you have created the structure around your work, you will be disciplined enough to know when to say No or when you take a up a project, speaking assignment or new client.
A schedule only works when you have a pre defined timeline (like Monday to Friday 10am-6pm) and you structure or schedule your day accordingly. Any software can help you work with schedules at any scale, however, the work can be only be done by you.
(Pics Courtesy: Burst)