Why a timetable usually doesn't cut it?
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities." -Stephen Covey
HOW many times have you made a timetable with lots of decoration and borders and said to yourself, "I will follow this." If you were like me, you probably would have. The thought of organising your life, making a timetable so that you could fit all your hobbies along with your studies is very attractive. but many times it happens so that we follow the routine for a day or two and then start to lose the flow. Here are some tips, which I am sure will help you in following your routine every day!
Shielded time zones
While starting out, your routine may seem very jammed and hectic, that's why it is very important to start with small steps which will make your timetable seem fun and not a monster!
Each day, right in the morning, try to decide on one activity which you will surely complete within the day. Prioritise this activity and give it a set time. This becomes your shielded time zone. Make sure you leave plenty of space around this time slot and that you will be free during that specific period of time. If I decide that from 2 pm to 4 pm I will practise the piano, and it is the most important thing I will do during the day, I will leave around 15mins around it so that I do not feel rushed and have plenty of time to make myself comfortable.
This is a beginners step. While doing this, you will realise that you do not always need to be in the right 'mood' to do something. Once you initiate the activity, you start to get in the flow anyhow. this leads us to our next point...
Just do it.
We often wait for the right mood to start doing something, we think that once we get into the mood our activity will produce better results and things will get done in an efficient way. Most of the time this results in a delay in the activity that we had planned to do. 'Getting into the right mood' slowly becomes an excuse for not doing something. This is why it is very important for us to take the initiative. Force yourself to sit down and start doing what you had initially planned.
This links back to our first point. While making Shielded Time Zones, you are making sure that whatsoever happens, we get the work completed without any interruptions or excuses. I recommend starting with only one Shielded Time Zone. You slowly, almost unknowingly, start getting into a habit and the excuses start to fade away. As you get more used to this, you can make more shielded time zones which essentially leads to making a timetable.
The point that I am trying to convey is that instead of starting out with buying a studio microphone, we should try to record our voice on our phone first. Which is a way to say that instead of tightly packing your timetable with projects and activities, we should start out slowly first.
It takes ages to build a reputation, but seconds to knock it down
So now we have finally made our timetable and are getting things done as we initially planned. We have expanded our empire so as to complete our tasks and make life more productive. But sometimes we might feel like chilling for some while and taking time off. We might have the urge to stray away from our routine and there is nothing wrong with that. But what we need to keep in mind is that we have to come right back on track.
Rescheduling your activity is a great option if you are feeling a bit off. When you reschedule your timings, it is very important to do it wisely. First of all, you need to prioritize each activity. If you are to complete an assignment that is due the next day, you have to be very mindful while rescheduling it. If possible, try to get it done then and there. As stated earlier, waiting for the right mood results in delay and often never getting it done.
"If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done." --Bruce Lee