Schedules - do they mess up productivity?

Schedules - do they mess up productivity?

People often sell us the idea of a schedule or calendar. Use a calendar; schedule everything. Keep it short. Experts advise us to allocate fifteen-minute windows to complete tasks.

I was sold. I didn't want to be the fool who fell behind. 

Before I say what I am going to say next, I want to emphasize that a calendar is a wonderful tool. It helps you get organized. In my world, being punctual and showing up are signs of character.

And yet, here I am, about to share how my beliefs morphed.

You see, if you get too sold on the notion of a calendar and how everything has to happen at a certain time, it is a trap. 

I used to go to a local gym, which opened sharp at 6 a.m. Because I woke up early, I would often arrive early. No one would let me in. Often, I would leave, saying, Who is going to wait for the gym to open?

My priority was not to get the job done. My priority was to do it when I arrived. 

The same thing persisted even during COVID. There was nowhere to go, and no real calendar to follow.

But in my head, I had fixed 2 p.m. as "strength training time." If I missed the 2 p.m. window, my brain would automatically tell me, It's too late now. 

It's amazing how the brain can mess with you.

I had nothing to do and nowhere to go, and yet. 

Then I slowly changed my mindset. My goal was to get a set of things done in a day. It did not matter when or how many intervals there were.

Counterintuitively, my productivity increased. 

I still use a calendar. It would be out of character for me to not show up on time for a meeting. But for the things I need to do, I follow a list of things to do instead of worrying about when. 

My talk with Sister Shivani is out now. Please do watch, there is so much to learn from her.

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