Scheduling, Time Efficiency, and the Elections

I’ve been trying this new thing out where I plan out my entire night before I start working. Write out a basic list of things I need to do with an approximate time on it, fit it into a schedule, and stick to it.

Here was my plan for tonight that fell apart after 8:00.um

Previously, I just had a list of things that I needed to get done and getting a certain number of them done was considered successful. However, even this was relative

This schedule has motivated me to stay on task, but I tend to take too long transitioning between tasks. A 5 minute “break” switching in between assignments can easily turn into 20 minutes, which can easily turn into an hour obsessing over election results on the computer. 1

I’ve noticed that I can generally focus well for up to 2 hours before some stubborn unwillingness to work kicks in. (This also applies to when I’m using the Pomodoro technique.) If I genuinely try at something, my brain will start hurting and it takes a while to recover.

Problem though: When the schedule doesn’t go to plan (like today), is the option to stay up later and risk losing sleep or transferring the stuff to the next day? The most urgent stuff was all at the top, so it got done, but what about the stuff at the end of each day that doesn’t get done because there never seems to be enough time?

Pretty sure the answer is some more clever re-ordering and becoming more efficient. Increasingly, I’ve been feeling guilty for choosing sleep over arguably more urgent things (and still feeling tired during the day) and my productivity is nowhere near its max.

Inspirations for this post:

Song: Pandora.


  1. While everyone else was panicking about HERO, I had my eyes glued to school board election results. Not a happy day. 
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