Here are some things I've learned about myself and scheduling:
1. No "Do this every day" tasks that aren't necessary.
I can only do so many "Do this everyday" tasks. So instead of a bunch of individual must-do tasks, I do better with a category of tasks ("Create something" instead of "Draw 30 minutes" or "write for an hour.) Trying to do a category every single day doesn't seem to work for too long either, but at least is better than individual tasks.
I am considering doing some finite 'every single day' projects, though. For instance, spend a week studying anatomy for 2 hours every day. I'll consider that on Monday.
2. A Mr. Bumblepants in motion stays in motion.
It's hard for me to get started and to stop. The in-between is just fine, although I also spend a lot of time anxiously thinking about when the project will be done. So I don't have to account for motivating myself during the task. I just have to get myself to and from tasks.
This also means that I need to work on letting go of an unfinished project. If the project needs to be done all in one go, then I need to plan ahead for that, or just do it right then. Otherwise, I need to accept that I will not finish during my work time, and that has to be okay.
2. Time exists and is finite.
Time is not a constant in the rest of the universe, but here on Earth it stays pretty regular - a fact my brain has not come to terms with.
It's very easy to say, "Oh, I'll just get this done real quick," and shove an hour long task in front of everything else. And from there, it's easy to say, "I'll just work on this till it's done," and then lose time that day for anything else. This is most disappointing when the project turns out to be a flop - a whole day wasted for no results.
Instead of tossing away that day's schedule for a new project, I have started writing down new projects that pop up, so I can add them to a future schedule. I'm having some success that way. I am also discovering that there are time when jumping in and tossing a whole day at a random project is very good for me.
3. Just accept the insomnia.
I have a lot of trouble sleeping. Sometimes it's anxiety where I can use coping techniques to chill out. Other times, it's like a switch is on in my brain that doesn't turn off until 8:00 or even 12:00 the next day - at which point I've got to drag myself through all my things. This can go on for a few days at a time, and I progressively feel more sick and unable to get anything done.
I will definitely continue to try getting a consistent sleep routine down, but I now accept that I will simply have cycles of bad sleep which will lead to bad days. I have done things like simply ignoring the schedule for bad sleep days, or having alternative schedules that work better for those times. These two ideas seem to be in the right direction.
I'm going to continue working on my sleep problem, but in the meantime I am getting a lot more done now that I'm accommodating my obstacles. The specific ways I cope seem to matter less than the fact I make space for myself to cope.
There's definitely more to it than that.Of course there is. All the articles on de-cluttering, de-stressing, totally taking apart and rearranging how we go about our tasks - I think it's really just a sign how put upon we all are to figure it out. How can accomplish the Herculean task that is living? How can we deal with all the changes?
I think making time to sit with our brains and see what's there, playing around with them to figure out how they work - I think that's how solutions get found.