Whether you’re moving from one blocked out activity in your schedule to the next or your less busy and just trying to plan your day, the way that you look at your time can affect how much you get done. You don’t want to only get through the things you have to do. You want and should make sure that you do include space in your schedule to do the things that interest and inspire you. Sure you have to go to school or work, but if you love reading, painting, dancing, or anything else, you should be doing that, too.
If your schedule is always packed, it can be hard to think that your interests, whims, and inspirations, are important and worth including in your schedule. You can always do them later, right? Wrong. You can do them now! You just have to respect your time and your control over it. A lot of this comes down to mindset.
A common thing that we say when we want to do something is that we’ll “find” time to do it. Unfortunately, this hunt for more time to do the things we enjoy is often unsuccessful. “Finding” time implies that all of your time is already taken up and that you need to search out more scraps of time to use for other things. It implies that you need to create pockets of time that you don’t already have, making the task seem overall impossible.
When you give yourself the task of “finding” time, you put adding the thing you want to do to your schedule in a negative light, decreasing how likely it is that you will spend your time on it.
Setting Aside Time
Another thing that we often say (though maybe less likely than “finding” time) is that we will “set aside” time to do something. While these two phrases mean the same thing from a broad perspective, the difference is that “setting aside” time puts you in control of your schedule. It implies that you are dedicating some of your time to something you want to do instead of dredging it up or hunting for it.
Telling yourself that you will “set aside” time for an activity makes your interests a priority instead of an unimportant side project. When adding your interests to your schedule this way, you do so intentionally and put the activity in a positive light. “Setting aside” time also encourages you to pick a time and stick to it, increasing how likely it is that you will successfully do it.