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Timetables and My Futile Attempts to Organize my Life

·5 mins

Timetables are really cool things, ones that really change the way we work, providing an element of structure to the chaos that is the aspect of Being. As a person that enjoyed attempts to set my life in order, I’ve had attempts in the past where I’ve set myself timetables to work upon, and timings to adhere to. They work for a bit, and eventually collapse due to my affinity for the Sloth in my life.

There are definitely times where I feel really unproductive throughout the day, and that also means that I will end up browsing through YouTube in the hopes that I can get a background score playing in the background while I work on stuff that I need to get done.

That’s a running joke, because 9 out of 10 times, this venture into music tends to last for hours of browsing through YouTube shorts content, before I come to a relatively sad conclusion that the only way to provide any benefit for the world is to simply asphyxiate myself.

However, I do make notes, and like to organize despite this, which led to a search for a way to get better at it only to find a great take on organization by Elizabeth Filips on managing my calendar.

There were six rules in the video, out of which I found that three of them were eye-opening, and I’ve listed them down.

3 Split Rule #

A good way to ensure that you allocate the correct tasks to the correct sections is to identify your limits for working on stuff that you don’t wish to do.

You wake up with more energy and self-control in the morning, when compared to the tired individual who seeks comfort in the evening. As such, it’s a good idea to separate your work shifts into the following hours.

High Energy + High Temptation [0900h - 1200h]

This is the morning section, where you have the most energy and the most ability to say no to distractions and work on boring stuff that you don’t quite wish to do, but have to get done regardless.

High Energy + Low Temptation [1230h - 1500h]

This is the afternoon section where you can work on things that are slightly more fun rather than things that I can say no entirely to.

Low Energy + Low Temptation [1530h - 1800h]

This is where I do fun things that I enjoy and don’t require too much energy.

The PR Rule #

A great saying from an anonymous source which makes sense if you really think about it is,

Works expands to fit the time you allocate to it.

Give yourself a ridiculous deadline to get stuff done, rather than booking out the entire day for it. This allows for you to get stuff done a lot quicker since pressure to complete something within a certain period of time keeps us on our toes.

Don’t bother planning out tasks in sections but rather divide-and-conquer your task by breaking them down into smaller sections. This allows you to give yourself a definitive conclusion to your agenda rather than have to worry about the other segments and whether or not your task was relatively “large” enough to warrant satisfaction.

Fun factor #

Good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.

A lot of the times, the reasons why schedules fail is simply because people don’t like looking at them. And why would you? Looking at a schedule that dictates how you should get back to work, provides constant negative feedback, limits your satisfaction, and overall is boring? Definitely not. That’s one hell of a schedule, and something you should actively avoid.

This simply means that in order for you to look at your schedule and find it to be pleasant to bother with, you have to add in the fun stuff. This could be some movie watch time, or a conversation with your friends, or partying. Could be anything. The point is, however, to add in the fun stuff too. Life’s quite boring otherwise! :D

Do not forget the fun factor.

All that’s nice and all, but what’s the catch here? #

There are days where you wake up and wish to work on something new and cool. But, there are also days where rolling up into a blanket burrito, disregarding the rat race, the looks of disappointment in the faces of your parents, seems like a more appealing approach to life. The problem with this lifestyle is that the Sloth in us is powerful. We, as humans, love the idea of being efficient in our life, and what’s more efficient than not doing the task at all? So, a single day of appeasing your inner Sloth, can quickly turn into a week or even a month, before turning into years. This only leads to a downhill spiral of depravity and chaos.

The good part is that this does not have to be the case. There is a solution that allows for productivity and to develop a consistent method to better yourself. It’s called habit.

A large part of getting things done on a daily basis isn’t quite as much motivation, as compared to your brain unconsciously following a particular series of motions. Schools and Workplaces are a wonderful example of habituating yourself to a lifestyle, wherein you get in, work and get out at a fixed timing.

I’ve attempted to implement timetables before but a major source of inspiration for me comes from Jordan B. Peterson, and the way he articulates the need for setting yourself up for accountability to a schedule. Here’s an informative video on Jordan B. Peterson’s Daily Schedule, and another one on why you should be doing so.

I do have plans on making an article on tackling the aspect of giving up on scheduling after reading Atomic Habits, as I have received good feedback regarding it. But, this is all I have to offer for now! :D