I’ve been waking up late and looking back at those wasted extra 15-minutes or hours with a mixture of guilt, shame and regret for every moment. I work at night, so those extra scraps of time took bites from my time among the living and business hours services like good coffee and clothes shopping.
I had lofty goals. I was going to start yoga this winter break. I was going to be so flexible.
But instead, I got a planner.
Or maybe I should call it my journal of procrastination. I’ve always been a fan of lists and keeping track of dates. But I can tell now I’ve limited myself to just keeping track of “adult” things like bills, appointments and other boring adult things like renewing car registration and when the Amazon prime payment comes out. But this first semester back at school, I got used to scheduling everything I had to do because really I had to — working and going to school full-time and hoping to do either successfully meant picking times to do things and actually doing them, or letting them pile up to the point of failure.
Only now, I’m paying more attention to writing in and setting time for things I try to remember to do anyway. Like, instead of just thinking go to the gym, I write it down every day. A: it’s super fun being able to check off things, even if they’re required human things like like “grocery shopping” or “try to only stream 3 episodes of anything.” and B: I maybe the most hippy thing I’ve ever said, but writing “gym”over and over and not being able to cross it out really brings into to the universe, one way or another.
On winter break, it’s a practice that let me feel less guilty about sleeping in because I was still technically productive if I finished my lists. I tend to feel guilty about sleeping in or being unproductive mainly because I could have been making better use of my time.
But as long as I get what I need to done, so what if I sleep in?
I’ve picked out my top two other favorite things about keeping a personal schedule. To serve as reminders stay with it and as maybe helpful to other people on the fence with keeping a dorky planner.
- Visualization. The start of the week has become one of my favorite. I’m a visual person, so it’s relaxing to see everything that needs doing laid out and accounted for. Anticipating checking things off is exciting and fulfilling, too.
- Tracking. Even if I’m not able to get things done, I try not to think about it as a failure. Instead, it can be an opportunity to analyze the situation and make a change that will better manage your expectations. For me, I realized that the beginning of the week I definitely allowed that extra excuse to be tired take me until Wednesday/Thursday to be productive. Just being aware of that helps me to make a little extra effort at the start of the week… sometimes.
And maybe it’s just a wishful short of paper charm; writing “yoga?” over and over until it’s a reality I can check a box for and put a line through.