My experiment on using scheduling to make me make intentional use of my time was a rousing success. Yeah, it was just one day, but things that bring a sense of reward tend to get repeated, so maybe the one day will become more. I managed to get all the things I needed to do done, along with some things that have lingered on the “I really should do this” list for ages. I also managed to have a lot of extra time for things I wanted to do, like reading, some of it for work, some for pleasure. And I didn’t feel deprived. I still did a lot of the fun goofing off stuff that I usually do. I just didn’t get caught up in the doom loop of spending lots of time mindlessly.
After spending the day doing things that I wanted to do and that contribute toward my goals, I even had a “is this how I want to be spending my time?” epiphany about something I always do — a TV show that’s been sitting on my DVR for a week, one I always watch that I used to enjoy, and I realized I didn’t really enjoy it and I wasn’t paying much attention to it. I’m allowed to stop watching and use that time for other things.
So far today, I’m sticking to the schedule and feeling good about it, so maybe this can become a habit.
One of my big accomplishments yesterday was finding desk surface. My office is a mess. My desk is a disaster area. I tend to not like working in there. But I was taking a break from reading aloud to proofread, and my schedule said to clean the desk, so I spent half an hour cleaning the desk, and it made a huge difference. Another half hour today, and it might even resemble a place where a human being might work. Then I can move on to the rest of the office.
I’ve tried scheduling before, but it was more treated as something I had to do. In this case, I’m putting down things I want to do (or say I want to do) and scheduling time for them. I don’t have to have the willpower to make the right choice when I’m facing a block of time because I’ve already made the choice. It also helps to put hard stops on potentially time-wasting behavior.
So, let’s see how the rest of this week goes and then how it goes next week when I’m back in writing mode.