The Power of Schedules

white and black weekly planner on gray surface
Photo by Bich Tran on

The school year has started, which means that I’m working more consistently again. I am back to getting up early to get ready for work. I am taking the train into the city and thinking about my students and the million things that needs to get done to get my kids speaking English. Even with work, I am still working on my unpaid passion projects, blogging, and enjoying it.

Unfortunately, though, during the three-week spring break before the school year began, I slacked on those blogs and was not able to use the time well to produce great content. I enjoyed the time I spent writing, but these were usually hurriedly written just so I can post something onto the websites. I spent a lot of that free time just watching too much TV or YouTube.

This worries me a little. I was hoping to take this time to “practice” being an entrepreneur. I have this image in my head that an entrepreneur sets her own hours and has the freedom to do what she wants. I started this journey because I want financial and time freedom–to be able to work on the goals that I am interested in.

So far, I am learning that I struggle when I have a lot of free time. I lose the motivation to work when I know I am on vacation. While I understand that it’s important to take the time to relax and recharge, I sometimes go the extreme case where I chill out too much and completely lose motivation and momentum.

When I started working again, I had to go back to my teaching schedule. I realized that having a consistent schedule is a very powerful thing. For my entire working life, I have been conditioned to live my life on a working schedule. This counts for when I was going to school, too. I needed to show up at work and at school, no questions about it. It was something that I had to do. The responsibility of that was a powerful motivator for not slacking off.

I think for me, this means that not only do I need to manage my time better, I also need to create a working schedule that I can live with. When I was writing, I found that I really am more alert and creative in the morning–which means that I am more productive and can work with focus then. In the afternoons, I become easily distracted and find it really hard to resist Facebook and YouTube. I tell myself I just need one video and then I can go back to work. Unfortunately, once I start, I am down the rabbit hole and have wasted half the day.

Again, though, this is all a trial stage for when I become my own boss. I am learning a lot about myself and about my work habits. I am learning to observe how I spend my time and what I do with it. I am learning my weaknesses and trying to create a way to improve on those points.

My goal now is to establish a routine that will force me to work more consistently. It will be something that I need to do, and do consistently well. If I keep thinking that this will help me get to financial independence, then I hope it will motivate me enough to continue working diligently.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 10.56.41

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