Why I Need to Create a Schedule on New Year’s Day

Lately, my schedule has been shifting around a bit lately, which sometimes leaves me with extra time that I wasn’t expecting.  For example, the easiest way to watch “The Addams Family” is to put a disk in about an hour and a half before I go to sleep, since each disk (actually, disk side) has about four episodes on it, and when I’m watching stuff before going to sleep I like to turn off all the lights and not have to get up to do anything else.  So that extends my evenings.  And on top of that sometimes my meetings run short, or I plan to work on Saturday morning but then don’t work as long as I planned for.  So I end up with some extra time that I didn’t expect to have.  Since I’ve been complaining about not having spare time, you’d think this would be a great thing for me.  Except … I have a hard time deciding what to do when I get that extra time.  So I end up doing something like, say, reading and none of the things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Now, part of the problem is that I’m heading towards a long vacation and towards New Year’s Day.  The former means that I’m putting off the things that I want to do while on vacation to then when I have more set time, and the latter means that certain things I start that I won’t be doing while on vacation will likely be dropped when I decide what I want to focus on next year.  I certainly don’t want to start something and feel pressure to finish it next year, as I want to keep that as open as possible to ensure that I do what I really want to do.  So that pretty much eliminates playing any games, because I’m not likely to finish any of the games that I’m not going to play on my vacation — currently TOR and Persona 5 Royal — before the end of the year, and don’t want them hanging around to consider for next year (I already have Dragon Age:  Origins and Mass Effect to consider there, and don’t want to add more).  Any projects that I want to do I will do over my vacation, plus they tend to be things that I can’t just pick up for a couple of hours, as I need at least a little preparation/planning first.  And the philosophy that I’m currently reading is the Nietzsche which I rarely feel like picking up at that time.

So what I end up doing is reading, writing a blog post, or sometimes watching a horror or science fiction movie.  None of these are useless — as the first one is for fun and the last two are productive for the blog — but it leaves me feeling a bit guilty thinking that I probably could have done something more productive and yet never do.

This sort of thing is one of the main reasons I started making schedules in the first place, because I was constantly finding that I would find myself with some free time to do something, be unable to think of anything to do or decide on what I wanted to do, and then finally pick up something like reading or playing a game and then, after starting that, realizing that there were a couple of other things that I wanted to do that I could have done instead but at that point it was too late.  The schedule a) forced me to decide what things I generally wanted to do, b) forced me to consider them in those time blocks and so forced me to consciously decide not to do them instead of just forgetting to do them and c) let me plan out when I’d have time to do various things so that I didn’t end up with as much unexpected free time, which also meant that when I did have unexpected free time I could use it to goof off instead of worrying about doing something productive in it.  Am I more productive with a schedule?  Probably, although I haven’t worked it out.  At a minimum, it makes me feel better about that because I can look at the schedule, see what’s working and not working, and console myself with the thought that these are choices that I specifically made as opposed to just not thinking about those things I wanted to do until it was too late.

So that’s why I really want to sit down and do a schedule on New Year’s Day, and try to follow it.  I’ll see how that works in 2022.

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