Schedule Your Success
The alarm rings. Got to get to work, hit the gym, hang with the bros, read, game, learn a new language, catch up on “Mad Men,” change the oil, take her out, finish that fruit bowl painting, etc., etc. There’s a crapload of things to accomplish in a day. Unfortunately, 24 hours is hardly enough time to squeeze it all in, which can lead to problems. You have so many goals, but find yourself falling behind on others. All that time spent at the gym has cut into souping up the ‘Stang. More time with the girlfriend means less time with Master Chief (see “Halo”).
Setting lots of goals is a great thing. Sure, you could devote all your time to one thing (say, side planks or painting pewter “Star Wars” figures), but you’ll end up a sad, one-dimensional expert with zero to talk about with normal, non-obsessive people. Diversifying your life experience will lead you to be a better-rounded person who doesn’t freak out if that one goal of yours (say, becoming a top ten hip-hop artist) doesn’t work out. The problem arises when you attempt to check all these said goals off your list. There’s just not enough time in the day to do go on a 20 mile run, read “Ulysses,” complete “Modern Warfare 3,” and take your girlfriend to Pizzeria Uno.
Without proper planning, you’ll never be able to achieve all of the goals you’ve set. As a result, you’ll end up feeling like a failure for not “doing it all.” You might wonder, how does a guy like Jay-Z tour, record, own a fashion line, sell headphones, and have a family? I don’t know anything about Jay-Z’s scheduling (I just assume he has a team of people involved in ironing his shirts), but clearly he knows how to pursue simultaneous goals.
Proper prioritization is key if you want to achieve your goals and not feel out of control. You shouldn’t have to cut back on sleep in order to live a full day. Working late into the night will catch up to you quick anyway, and you’ll end up accomplishing even less in your new zombie-like state. Consider your goals, from most to least important, and all of the available hours you have in the day. After the essentials (work, bathing, providing your body with sustenance), you’ve got only so much time to practice your guitar shredding and work on your abs. Winging it just doesn’t cut it. While you don’t want to be so anal as to schedule calling your mom, it does help to create and follow a semi-flexible schedule. That way you have time to hang with your friends without missing out on your nightly “World of Warcraft” raid and/or episode of “Gray’s Anatomy” with your girlfriend (because who’d want to miss that?)
Stick to a schedule and prioritize your goals and you’ll never feel like you’re falling behind. If you do it right, you should have enough time to take care of eat, sleep, work, and build ships in bottles if that’s your thing. If you can, try and schedule someplace other than Pizzeria Uno for date night.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.