The Schedule - Day 1
Every day is a gift. Where you are may not always seem like where you want to be. Creating a map of the best possible route for you to achieve your goals starts by writing down what you already do throughout the day. Wherever you are, now you are here.
Time - Your entire life is on a timer and has an expiration date. Maintaining a record of your daily routine creates an opportunity for you to examine how you spend your time and find out how much of that time is spent working toward your goals.
I have been meaning to make a schedule for quite some time. As the days go by and time keeps moving forward, I still do not have a daily schedule to guide me or remind me how I spend my time. This makes it difficult if not impossible for me to figure out how and where I will ever find the time to work toward my goals. If you do not find the time to create a schedule and make a concerted effort to stick to it, you have no chance of ever achieving your goals because you have not established any room in your life to do so.
The Daily Schedule - Start by creating a record of the things you already do every day. Write down everything you do throughout the day staring with today.
This morning I woke up, started the coffeemaker and brushed my teeth. This is pretty typical. This particular morning I checked the news headlines and started writing this. Today is Sunday, January 1, 2023 - 1/1/2023 - today - a good day to start this process because there is only today unless you prefer to continue doing whatever it is you have been doing.
It is important to remember to document the things you do throughout the day for as long as it takes you to come up with a summary of what you do with your time. Start with what you are already doing so that you can figure out what you need to change.
How to do this - Today I will pick up my phone and start the timer for 1 hour. At the end of that hour I will write down what happened during that hour.
It is now 5:20AM on 1/1/2023. I am standing at the kitchen counter with my laptop at my apartment. I am drinking coffee. What will I do next? I am going to do whatever it is I normally do while being mindful that I am going to be writing all of this down at the end of every hour.
Sometimes I like to have music playing in the background while I work. The thing about multitasking is that you can only really do one thing at a time or intermittently distract yourself from one task to tend to another when you become bored with the current task.
Here is a way to self-test your focus. If you normally think you like to work with something on in the background like music or video and you have no idea what is actually playing because you are so focused on what you are doing, you may be able to get away with it as long as you are actually accomplishing the thing that it is you are supposed to be doing. You may find the thing you were so good at not paying attention to playing in the background eventually becomes a distraction and you have to turn it off.
Are you slowly working your way toward accomplishing two separate tasks at the same time or are you just responding to whichever stimulus you prefer from one moment to the next?
In general, most people cannot do two significantly important things at the same time effectively.
I think I must 'waste' or misuse a significant amount of my time merely jumping from one meaningless task to another by allowing technology driven micro-tasks (like responding to phone app notifications) to steal my life away a few seconds at a time. This is unfortunate and I will make sure to make a legitimate effort to carefully consider how I use my time.
I really want a breakfast burrito right now. I decide to eat a breakfast bar and it only takes a few minutes for breakfast and I don’t even have to go anywhere and I am saving money. Right now the cost of everything is going up. Everyone likes to save time and money.
The next time I go to get my favorite breakfast burrito I will write down how long it takes and how much it costs and use that as an example of how we negotiate with ourselves to justify doing the things we want to do even though we know we could do something better and save time and money that will allow us to do what we supposedly really want to do, but keep telling ourselves we simply do not have the time to do.
Set a timer for one hour. Write down what you did during that hour when the timer goes off. Then, immediately reset the timer again for one hour. Repeat this process until you can see how you are spending your time throughout the day.
Start to realize what you are doing as you clear a path to achieving your goals by following a process that begins by simply writing down what you normally do throughout the day.