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In the turn of this year, I have put together some goals which I want to pursue and areas of my life I want to advance in. To meet these goals, or to work within these areas, I have created a daily programme which outlines everything I need to do by the hour. If I flow to this schedule, I can be sure that I will meet these goals and consider myself to be 'productive' or at least be heading down the right path. I reversed engineered this programme, that is, I worked out how long it'll take me to reach a goal in broke this down into a weekly dose that should soon build up to the ultimate goal.

One of the issues here is that I can never follow each daily schedule 100% this is because it doesn't really allow for any emergencies that arise, and it can't otherwise I might as well not have a programme as I can't foresee the future.

Say I have a total of 5 goals, and they're all spread out across the 7 days of the week, do I spend the majority of one day on each goal, some hours a day on all goals, or a week one goal at a time then repeat the cycle, or spend a few days on one goal then the next?

I have been trying to work with different combinations. Personally, I have found that keeping something consistent, ie, working with a goal for the day totally allows for more work to be accomplished that having those 4 or 5 hours stretched out across 5 to 7 days. I also do to the gym everyday in the evening so cross out 3 hours for that, along with an hour of compulsory reading a day so there is just about 4 of 5 quality hours after accounting for meal times etc.

Finally, we're heading to the mid-point of the year in a few days. It will soon be the longest day of the year, then the days will gradually begin to get shorter (depending on where you live). When I think about this, it is mind boggling, almost unbelievable. And regrettably I haven't achieved what I wanted to this year, despite losing an astonishing 6 months.

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2 Answers 2

One of the issues here is that I can never follow each daily schedule 100% this is because it doesn't really allow for any emergencies that arise, and it can't otherwise I might as well not have a programme as I can't foresee the future.

You can still have a daily schedule with some slack in it. What if you plan 2 hours per day for "unplanned events"? You might push back your planned 11am task to 1pm, but it will still get done in the same day. Preserving the spirit of the schedule.

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The unplanned time would also give you some slack at the end of the day to take a break from following the schedule so vigorously. –  Gaʀʀʏ May 26 at 5:15
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It's simply not that easy. Yes, I have scheduled 1 hour breaks for every 2 hours, and a gym session to finish the day, followed by relaxation time, but freeing up this anymore will just cause an already unproductive person to become even more aimless in the day on a loosely structured program. –  User_2313 May 26 at 19:42

I see no reason that you should be doing this at all.

Micromanaging your schedule is bound to take a lot of time you could use for better things. What's worse, your scheme sounds much like the dreaded waterfall model of planning projects which generally leads to ineffective results. Instead, apply the agile way of thinking into your personal life: there's no way you can know in advance how your goals should be attained. I recommend you use an established methodology like Personal Kanban or GTD.

If you can't consider abolishing this setup, you should switch between tasks as little as possible as you can't get into "flow" if you're constantly switching.

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I will look into the models you've suggested, as I am desperate to get 'moving' towards my goals. I disagree that not having a programme, at least in some respect to the one I mentioned is detrimental to my progress. Otherwise, I can see myself having aimless, and purposeless days without direction. I wouldn't know where I am going. One thing I forgot to mention is that my ability to stick to that days schedule depends greatly on my mood, and motivation for that day. A poor mood/motivation, will yield to an unproductive day, which starts the cycle for low-mood and depression. –  User_2313 May 26 at 19:39

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