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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 35 – Scheduling and Planning

Hey guys! Phew! Life has been so hectic. I’ve got AP tests, meetings, volunteering, SAT’s and loads of hw coming out the wazoo and doesn’t seem like it’s going to let up anytime soon until like mid-May, but until then I will try my best to keep this going during this stressful time. I got about 30-45 minutes free to write up a post so I definitely wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. So far the subscription numbers are up to 230! That is pretty awesome! Hopefully we can keep it increasing. Just tell your friends about us and rate and subscribe to all our podcasts!

Because of my busy schedule I thought I would dedicate a post to it. Schedules are organized plans of how you are going to spend your future. They are completely based upon the human quantification of the concept of time. Our lives are based upon our the way humans structure a day. Within the 24 hours in that day, we have to accomplish what we have planned to do in our agendas. All events and everything we do falls in between these hours. Things like school and jobs are all structured in time in order to provide some organization. This allows us to stick to a plan and know when and where things are going to happen. Trains and planes and other things are all based upon time schedules that keep things supposedly easy to follow and effectively get things done. Now the philosophy “better said than done” usually applies here because schedules are just plans to help you get things done not to actually do it for you. In the case with transportation, there are so many variables that can affect the getting things done part like with traffic and delays.

Because of all these variables involved, flexibility and time management are an important part of creating a schedule. It is inevitable that sometimes through life things happen and there are forces beyond our control that we can’t foresee or prevent. Flexibility means that when these things happen in life, we are in a position where we can easily adjust and adapt into our chaotic lifestyles. While sticking to your schedule is an important thing, there are sometimes when we can’t and moving on with our lives despite these setbacks is one of the most important lessons you can learn. You need to stick to your original plans as much as you can but things come up so you need to the best of the situations you’re given.

Speaking of sticking to your schedules, one of the biggest things that fill up your schedules is commitments. Your commitments are what you plan to do and usually give your word to showing up. They are based upon levels of importance and when making commitments it is important to prioritize. This is usually based upon chronological order (like what you say you are going to do first) but it doesn’t always work like that as like I said, things come up. Your word is one thing that binds you to the commitments we make. Your word isn’t the most reliable form of trust though as plenty of people lie and don’t follow up with what they say they’re going to do. Writing is one of the most reliable forms of binding because it can be brought up and proven. Unless someone records you promising to do something, they can’t later bring it up and use it against you. You might lose some friends for lying but there probably is nothing legal that can be done against you. With writing however, you can be sued for failing to follow up with what you promised to do through your signature. Signing contracts and then not following up on them can get you in a lot of trouble.

Making too many commitments can cause high stress levels in your life. If you miss a commitment or something you planned to do then there can be many consequences. You can get many people mad at you for not following up what you plan to do. You can also be internally conflicted and mad at yourself for missing opportunities. Like with flexibility, it is important to know how to move on with your life and keep looking forward. That is in fact what a schedule is. It is looking forward in time to plan what you’re going to spend your future time on.

With scheduling, another aspect comes into play. When you structure your life so much, things can seem to become routine. When you know exactly what’s around the corner, there can seem to be less and less excitement in your life. This is where spontaneity comes into play. People need excitement in their lives and this is what I like to call improvisation. Much like in theater, improv is just making things up as you go along. With a schedule you know exactly where life is going to take you. By making it up, life may not exactly turn out like you want it. If you don’t try and take things under control, then your dreams will probably become less likely to be achieved than if you’re actively seek out opportunities and do actions that will help your dreams become reality. With that said, spontaneous actions are more exciting and if they end up turning out right they feel extra rewarding.

Another thing with schedules that needs to be addressed is the whole work vs. play aspect of life. These two things will most likely comprise much of your life. It is one of the most difficult things to balance. You need to manage your time correctly in order to have the optimal amount of time to work and also time to enjoy your life. You normally work in order to provide sustenance in your life and get the resources necessary to live like money. Working can usually be said as things you need to do and play is what you want to do. The best situations in life are when they are one in the same. If you enjoy your work then it basically is satisfying both needs for resources and entertainment. Another thing to recognize is the fact that we as humans are social creatures. We need to take into consideration the fact that we usually need human interactions with others. Depriving people of that will cause bad things to happen like depression. The good thing though is that almost all schedules are intertwined at some point or another. We need to collaborate with one another in order to achieve great things and through teamwork we can satisfy our social needs as well as work together to accomplish amazing feats.

With all of this scheduling, working, and commitments, it can be easy to fill up your time. Our lives can become so hectic and the ways to prevent it are by allocating time for breaks. Breaks are what give us time to recuperate and regain the energy we lose throughout the day when carrying out our schedules. They provide us with a chance to slow down and really enjoy life. Whether it is through doing one of your favorite activities or just plain old sleeping, there are many things that you can do to rest. This brings me to my next point about living in the moment. Scheduling things in advanced is necessary to keep your life structured but it keeps you looking in the future. Looking towards the future can make you not realize what you’re currently doing and then the next time you look, time is passing you by. The true enemy to getting things done is time. It is the resource that always gets depleted and you’re only given a certain amount. Making schedules can help you live your life the most effectively but it doesn’t always mean you’ll live your life to the fullest. The time you’re given is a limited supply so you need to make the best of it and the ideal way to do so is based upon personal preference.

This leads me to an open ended question. How do you spend your time and in your opinion, what is the most effective way of utilizing the time you’re given? Whether you’re hanging with your friends or working at a job, the answer to the question probably involves a healthy balance of whatever is involved in your life. Regardless of what your answer is, it is always important to remember that nobody knows the best way to live your life except for yourself. Your parents may seem like they know but their real job is to set you up with the opportunities to accomplish and live your life the way you want to. My personal opinion is that at the end of the day I want to be happy with what I’ve accomplish, but I would love to hear what your opinion is on this topic is. Hope you’ve enjoyed this note and be sure to tell all your friends about the blog and podcast!

-Allan Nicholas

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