Do you easily stick to a daily schedule, or are you like me and go willy nilly throughout the day?
There are supposed to be many benefits of a schedule, and although I have attempted to stick to a schedule in days, months, and years past…and even though I really, really want to do it, I have had a hard time doing it.
I work from home, and sometimes there is nothing for me to do in a certain areas. For instance, freelance writing is not constant, and I have to wait until a request or appropriate articles comes up. If there is not one, then I usually write on my blogs, HubPages, or on an eBook that I am working on. However, I have to wonder how many writing opportunities I’m missing because I’m out surfing the web.
Because writing opportunities are my main source of income, they should be a priority to me, but writing here or on other places can take up hours of my day and cause me to miss out – I’m sure.
Other benefits of having a routine, besides making more money are said to be:
Limiting procrastination – If you do a task everyday it is said to be easier to do it than if you do it occasionally. I can see this. It’s like when I walk my dogs on a daily basis I just get up and do it; however, when I take a few days off because it is cold out or messy out, then I no longer feel like doing it and I put it off.
Gaining pleasure in tasks – There are certain things to look forward to in a daily routine. At an offline job, I used to look forward to certain points in my routine and what they brought about. In addition, I now look forward to Dr. Phil every afternoon, and I have definitely made that a part of my daily schedule. 🙂
Tasks gain importance – There is a belief that scheduling something into your days on a daily basis causes you to see the task as more important.
Goals get achieved – Well, this absolutely fits in with my quest to make more money. If my goals on freelance writing and eBook writing get achieved, then I definitely can make more money!
So my goal for the week is to determine whether or not a daily schedule makes my life happier. Unfortunately, I am so disorganized (lack of schedule?) that I didn’t get around to deciding what I wanted to do for the week until late Monday, so I will be starting on Tuesday and still going until Sunday.
Stick around to find out what I uncover!
Day 1 – Not Very Organized
I had already put day 1 off to Tuesday, and that went over horribly!
The first thing was that my Internet wouldn’t work. That didn’t help me get to my schedule very quickly.
Then I was delivered some bad news about a big money client of mine…basically, I’m not going to be making as much money in the same avenue I was. Once I heard that, I couldn’t focus because my mind was trying to come up with ways to make more money without that client.
So, my day was spent taking bubble baths and aimlessly wandering around the Internet trying to figure out what to do. No schedule was followed for anything, I even ate more than I normally do.
The one thing I did do was manage to ask other people if they stuck to a daily schedule or just went willy nilly throughout their day, so following are some of the answers of interest that I received.
Note: All of these answers are from Hubapges. If you are interested in writing and participating in the community, the sign up here.
I think that the last two answers show why most people choose to work from home or work online. They don’t have to do the schedule that an offline job brings.
This is something I am going to look into. I want to know if there really are people who are such creatures of habit that they cannot function without a daily schedule.
Children! I never thought of that because I don’t have any, but I can see how that would play a part in a daily schedule.
This sounds like me, except I am looking to try having a schedule to see if it help me reach goal and achieve satisfaction!
I loved the tip of putting a ‘fake due date’ into the schedule…this could alleviate a lot of frustration. It is kind of like setting your clock to display the wrong time…you trick your mind into believing something you want it to believe.
Day 2 – Still Not Very Organized
I am starting to think I am incapable of sticking to a daily schedule. Today, I went out with my husband for coffee and then went to the library to ‘get to the schedule’. However, at the library I found a magazine for writers (which I have never seen in the three years I have been going there) and got lost in the world of writing.
I think I did one or two things on my schedule, and I had mixed feelings at the end of the day. I was happy that I found the magazine and learned a few things about writing, but I was disappointed that I didn’t stick to my schedule.
One thing I know for sure is that I didn’t get much done!
Everyone Follows Some Sort Of Daily Routine
First, I should say that I found that almost everyone enjoys some sort of routine. It provides a comfort. If we were to wake up at different times everyday, eat supper at different times, go to a different place every day, and even have a different coffee every day, it could cause us to become uncomfortable and overwhelmed.
There are likely many things you do according to a daily schedule, even if it doesn’t feel like it. For example, today was not ‘on track’ for me work wise, but I did watch my TV shows, engage in a normal supper and bedtime routine, walk the same route home from the library that I normally do, and look at some of the same sites I do every day.
Everyone follows a daily routine to some extent.
In this week, I wanted to focus on a work routine mostly…a daily routine that helped me achieve my career goals. But now that I think about it, I guess making that work routine consistent would make my days mostly consistent as well because I tend to do the same things at night – eat, watch TV, read, go to bed – and I have a very hard time adding extra things into that schedule like walks, games, or going out of the home.
Do I really want life to be that rigid? Kind of because I feel as sense of assurance and accountability when I think of it.
People Who Do Not Enjoy Change
Most of us are flexible in our routines. While we may like to eat at the same time or take the same routes, but we can also change it up and do some different things at work or eat different foods, or go out to different places on our lunch hour or spend our weekends experiencing new things.
Although realistically how much do you do that? It’s interesting to reflect on how much we enjoy doing the same thing every day.
I decided to look into the comment from above about people who are a creature of habit and don’t enjoy change at all. I wanted to know if there was any condition or personality that really had to live by a daily schedule in order to feel sane and grounded.
People With Autism – My best friend has an autistic child, but she lives very far away from me and I have never experienced her parenting first hand with him. But, now that I think about it she has told me that her son needs a very strict daily schedule and can get very upset if changes are made – even slight changes.
Common traits of autism include inflexibility and the love of sameness. Autistic people don’t seem to like surprises and sudden change of routine.
Upon further reading, I found that while little changes in the day can be unpleasant for people with autism, some people with autism may need to be hospitalized in the case of huge changes – and if not hospitalized they can suffer from disturbances in their sleep and eating habits.
Asperger Syndrome – This is an autism spectrum disorder, so it makes sense that people with Aspergers would display the same kind of need for routine.
Other than those two conditions, I didn’t find much in the way of conditions that require a strict schedule.
However, the more I read, the more I realized that most people need varying levels of a daily routine in order to feel comfortable and happy. Some people need more routine than others, and that’s just the way it is.
It’s funny because I have had many examples of people who hate breaking routine in my family, and I only just thought about it.
I talked about my dad’s inability to come over and visit me or do things with me in my ‘be compassionate‘ week on here. Now that I think about it, he probably feels a lot of discomfort when he breaks his routine. Since he has been doing the same thing for over twenty years every day, going out of his comfort zone must feel pretty frickin scary!
I get that now.
His days of sitting in his chair and watching TV (and the neighborhood) is what makes him happy, and ironically this insight helps me to be more compassionate towards him and happier with the way I feel about him.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love him to be able to mix up his routine and take some time to hang out with me, but I understand that his comfort zone is not something he enjoys pushing, and he needs more routine in his life than I do in order to feel good.
Wow, what an insight for me…I hope it may be an insight for you as well.
In any case, I’m going to end on that note and get ready to do my daily schedule for tomorrow. This time no excuses.
- Will it feel rigid?
- Will it feel unnatural or uncomfortable?
- Will sticking to a daily schedule push my comfort zone?
That’s what I want to answer tomorrow.
Day 3 – Finally Sticking To My Schedule
I was able to stick to my schedule! It took all my brain power, but I did it.
So, to answer the questions I asked yesterday.
Did it feel rigid? – Yes, but in a good way. It allowed me to focus on one task at a time and avoid surfing the Internet or trying to multi-task. This attitude is kind of the principle applied from Simpleology, which is what I use to plan out my day.
In simpleology, I learned that you can get a lot done during your day if you eliminate the crap that crowds your day and focus on the things that makes your day more productive. In addition, having focus on one task allows you to get it done quicker and more efficiently, instead of spreading your focus all over the place.
Does it feel unnatural or uncomfortable? – Kind of, only because I am so used to checking out my Facebook or taking a break whenever I want. It has not become a habit yet, so it is going to feel a bit uncomfortable.
The only way you can grow is to push outside of your comfort zone, so anything like this that makes me a bit uncomfortable is a good thing.
Will sticking to a daily schedule push my comfort zone – Ummm, yeah? I just answered that. It totally did.
I also noticed that a schedule didn’t allow me to multi-task when there was not much I could do in a certain scheduled area. For instance, there were no articles for me to write for customers, so I sat here trying to make use of the time the best I could, but it stopped me from moving on to other projects that were scheduled later.
This can also be a good thing because I often move on and then miss out on opportunities in my article writing. So keeping my focus on it ensured that I was able to grab any opportunities that came my way.
In any case, it’s just one day, so we will see how the next day goes. I have a feeling it will be either easier or harder to stick to the daily schedule.
Day 4 – No Daily Schedule – THANK GOD
So today I could not stay on schedule to save my life. I blame my dogs.
My oldest dog (about 100) has incontinence and to add to that she has ripped off a piece of her leg pad. It won’t heal because she keeps licking it so we bought her a cone.
She is a doberman/rottweiler, and if you know the rottweiler then you know they are clumsy. She can barely walk without falling without a cone, so now all you can hear is CRASH, BANG, and DRAGGGGGG as she maneuvers her way around.
Add to that her latest need to be over-the-top anxious and whine and bark, and you have a loud, annoying, messy fiasco.
I think her energy affected the other dogs in the house because my schnauzer would not stop barking and my miniature pincher NEEDED to be loved and cuddled.
Finally, after hours of doing nothing, I had to leave the house.
I went to a coffee shop and found replicas of my dogs in human form there – minus the incontinence.
So I spent another few hours listening to people whine, complain, and talk way to loud about personal things.
This is something that I am actively doing right now, so this was a very cool find for me, and I think it will benefit from future in self publishing.
SO, today NOT sticking to my daily schedule was beneficial because I would never have checked out her site and maybe have missed the post and my chance to learn more about self publishing from these guys.
I am happy.
Day 5 and Day 6 – Done and Done
I tried to stick to a daily schedule…I really did. But the more I tried, the more I failed!
Trying to stick to a daily schedule actually made me less productive, and consequently, less happy.
I’m sure there are some people that thrive on a daily schedule – and I think that if I worked in a regular 9-5 job, then I would to. But because I work from home, have 10 different things going on at once, and only have so much time during my day to get as much as possible done, sticking to a schedule does not help me.
Being able to do what I want, when I want, is what helps me get my stuff done for the day. Restrictions on what I can and can’t do are not helpful.
I’m not saying that having goals in a bad thing. For instance, I have a goal to write 2000 words on an eBook today…but I don’t have a schedule as when I have to do it.
So I guess a flexible to-do list is important for me, and ensuring that I do the most important things is even more important. I don’t need a daily schedule to help me do that.
I was going to extend this one to another week – but I really don’t like it…so bye bye strict daily schedule!