May 24, 2012, 6:00 am

Why You Should Show Your Schedule The Middle Finger

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous
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What’s your schedule like today?

When you first start working on your new business, a new program at school or even a new job, your friends will preach the gospel of having a schedule. You need a schedule.

Everyone seems to love to talk about schedules. We don’t want to be “off schedule” or “behind schedule.” We often run around trying to fit everything into our schedules. Schedule this, schedule that. Get a life and stop scheduling every single moment of your day.

You might not like this next thought but I need to write it. I hate schedules and I don’t believe in them. We are human beings, not mindless drones. We shouldn’t base our whole day on what some schedule tells us to do. Screw schedules.

Now don’t get me wrong. You have to follow your schedule at work if you don’t want to get fired. You also have to follow your class schedule because you want to attend the right classes.

I was a huge fan of the idea of a schedule except I just couldn’t figure out how to put a decent one together. Finally I heard a podcast with Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan (UFC announcer, Fear Factor host) where Ferriss brought up how he doesn’t believe in schedules. He brought up that Arnold Schwarzenegger and others are not into schedules. They both bashed schedules and the myth of setting the perfect schedule.

The idea was presented that you should set a few key tasks to get done in a day without a scheduled time for everything.

This really resonated with me. What I do now is I set a few key tasks that I want to complete every single day. This could be something like “write 1,000 words for new project” or…

  • Go to morning kettleball class.
  • Hang out with brother.
  • Respond to every blog email.
  • Write three new articles.

You don’t need to set a specific number of tasks. I just believe in planning to get done 2-3 three important things. Tagging your friends in photos on Facebook isn’t important, sorry.

Instead of scheduling everything or trying to plan to your day out, I recommend that you make a plan to get a few main tasks done.

This doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your work schedule or school schedule. I just think you’ll benefit more from actually setting out to get something done. By this I mean measuring your work in output, and not time. Output and results are far more important than what time you did something or how long it took you.

I urge you to give this try. This weekend or whenever you set out to get work done, try to plan to get a major task or two done. Don’t worry about what time you do it or how you do it. Just do it. Give it a shot.

Oh and once again, please don’t show up late to work tomorrow because some blogger-dude told you to show your schedule the middle finger.

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Comments

I create a to do list almost every day. Rarely does everything get checked off. I’m OK with that. Often, I’ll rank items from most important to least important. No big deal if I miss a few things.

I will limit a lot of my tasks to a specific time period. There are some things that need to get done, but they don’t need to eat up time from other tasks I need to complete. Interactions on social media, research for a particular blog post, etc.

I struggle even getting the items I need to do written down! I have a little notebook app on my phone with a to do list, but if I ever get it written down, I forget to check it. For me, having a schedule helps me actually look at my to do list. So I put the tasks on the calendar and set aside time to actually get them done. I am far to easliy distracted to not have a schedule and I would NEVER finish my tasks without dedicated time for them.

I do agree that schedules can feel confining, but scheduling is much more my style than writing down some important things and hoping I get them done. Maybe I’ll give it a shot again, but I don’t know if it will change how I operate.

I don’t do either but I really show start. I have a mental list but sometimes things fall off. For some people they need the schedule to get their to do list done while others don’t. To each their own I guess.

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