How to Stick to a Schedule


The best intentions fall short when you can’t implement them — especially when it comes to keeping a schedule. To turn motivation into action, try the following four tactics for sticking to a schedule. They counter the internal blocks that cause many people to fail at being organized.

Understand the Value of a Schedule

Being human is being productive. And being productive is being efficient and following a schedule and plan. Humans were designed to derive gratification from fruitfulness — people are born to be busy. Have you ever seen an idle toddler? A toddler who is a couch potato? What a sad, abnormal sight that would be! Schedules allow us to realize our natural and innate productivity — to live up to and actualize our greatest potential; to express the powerful energy we contain within in a focused manner.

Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

Though we are naturally active and energetic, as evidenced by every exploring toddler, the routines we develop and the negativity we absorb as we age cause us to slow down and even become inclined to vegetate. Inactivity can become the new norm. This lethargy can also cause us to become uncomfortable with schedules and deadlines. And it is this comfort zone that is keeping you from achieving your goals. So, the solution to organizing your schedule is to go beyond your comfort zone. It is worth being uncomfortable to get the satisfaction of being productive.

Taking just one action beyond your comfort zone can propel you into keeping a schedule. Any change you make to your daily activities will make a difference — it simply breaks your habit of inactivity. Try doing just one item on your schedule. Action breeds action. One leads to two, and so on.

Know the Difference Between Rest and Laziness

There is room for rest, but not laziness. Learn the difference between recharging your energy reserves and shirking responsibility. One way to evaluate how much time you spend on excessive resting is to write down everything you do for a whole day, and look back at the ways you’ve spent your time. This, of course, requires honesty with yourself and motivation to do something new that is outside your comfort zone. Keeping a log of how you spend your time is a perfect “one action” that can jolt you out of inactivity.

Create Continuity and Purpose In Your Schedule

How can you stick to a schedule if you think that the activities on it are unimportant and disjointed? Your daily schedule should reflect your raison d’etre — it’s a key to going from survival mode to living consciously. Find (or create) a thread of continuity throughout your day — a common theme and purpose which unites your activities.

Do you know what your purpose in life is? Do you have a personal mission statement? The fundamental work you must do to create continuity and purpose in your schedule is to know who you are, what you stand for, and what impact you want to have in the world. It sounds like a tall order, but having a personal mission statement and connecting all of the items on your schedule to it will dramatically change the way that you manage time and approach your responsibilities.

Go deeper into this subject: How to Focus and Manage Time | Mindful Multitasking | MyLife: Chassidus Applied Episode 127 | Vice Advice Series Part 7: Laziness | Your Guide to Personal Freedom: Discipline

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