Following a personal schedule can be challenging because nothing is forcing you to follow it. You feel great while you’re successful at following the plan, but there’s still something missing that makes you just not do it? That has been my experience before, at least, and I figured out why.
Break down your task(s) in more detailed orders than just “clean.” or “work.”
I’ve almost always before been very vague with my schedules. For example, when I’ve made time slots for cleaning and working, I always used to make it like this:
- 9 A.M to 11 A.M — clean
- 11 A.M to 3 P.M — work
Which was never working out for me, and I could never figure out why. Recently I was reading about hormones. I stumbled upon information about the hormone Dopamine, and I directly started to reflect on how I create my schedules. Dopamine is the achievement hormone, one could say. It’s known as the “feel-good” hormone, and it rewards you whenever you’ve done a task that you see as a goal successfully by making you feel good. For example, a study was done back in 1998 that showed that completing a goal in just video games releases dopamine. The amount of dopamine released while playing was similar to an injection of the stimulant drugs: amphetamine and methylphenidate.
And so, by completing tasks that you see as goals, your body automatically releases dopamine. So why is this important? This hormone affects everything that has to do with your attention span:
- You feel more accomplished.
- You get a higher level of alertness and attention.
- The more dopamine you have, the more focus you’ll have.
- You get more creative.
- You hold your concentration better and longer.
- You get a better long-term memory.
- You feel more motivated.
- Higher levels of dopamine tend to make you more social with people who matter to you the most.
The higher level of achievement that you’ll complete for yourself, the more dopamine your body will release. And so my entire point is, by instead breaking down your tasks to more detailed specifics, you’ll know exactly when you’ve completed a goal because the goal is the task. Your body will receive dopamine, and you can easily move on to the next task because of it. Whenever I had these vague tasks like “clean” I never really saw myself as finished with the task. It was just draining my energy without releasing dopamine. I felt unaccomplished and confused, and the rest was history.
A fun thing that you can do with the knowledge of dopamine is to see life as a game. Every task on your schedule is a mission, and dopamine surges are your experience points that you receive after the mission is complete. The more dopamine you receive, the stronger you’ll become because your entire inner being becomes more focused, concentrated, and joyful. You feel more motivated and accomplished and can take on bigger and bigger things after every task you finish.
Put yourself first
I don’t care if you’re busy. I don’t care if you want to be as productive as possible. I don’t care if you think that you won’t need it. Because you absolutely will. No task in life can come before taking care of yourself.
Again, no task in life can come before taking care of yourself.
If you have a business, you are your business.
If you have a relationship, you are your relationship.
If you have dreams and goals, you are them.
They all follow your state of mind. If you’re sad and angry all the time, I promise you that nothing will go well. But if you’re optimistic, content, and relaxed, everything will go well. You’re the main factor. Yes, the business/relationship/dream is separate things technically, but you’re the one who drives them, and it’s either up or down. Therefore you must, by any means, take care of yourself first before anything else. By doing so, you will prioritize everything in your life by prioritizing yourself first.
My point is, in your schedule, plan a few daily tasks that are good for your inner self, whether that is taking walks or meditating — working out or reading books as long as you feel peaceful and genuinely blissful in doing it. And be generous with the amount of time you give towards it because the better you feel, the better everything else in your life will go.
If you follow these two steps, I guarantee you that not only will you be able to follow your schedule perfectly, but you will thrive in every area of your life because of it. And take my reminder to heart, it’s very easy to skip certain parts in your schedule that’s about taking care of yourself while you’re thriving. Because you then think that you don’t need it anymore. Then because you start to skip them, things suddenly go wrong because you aren’t taking care of yourself. It’s very easy to come into that mindset, but I guess you’ll have to experience that yourself if you haven’t already.