Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Schedule

I am, and always have been, a terrible procrastinator. Those who knew me well in college can attest, and don't get my mother started on the topic.  I am the type of person who needs a routine and deadlines; I work best under pressure. It's so ingrained by now that I frequently find myself procrastinating things I want to do. 

I know I could be a better teacher, both in class and out of it, if I could be more organized personally.  Every time I've made a major life change over the past five years or so, I've sworn to myself that this time I'm going to make a schedule for myself, and make myself set aside specific times for exercise, Bible study, lesson planning, grading, etc. so that I am more consistent in my self-discipline and less stressed professionally.  I've always gotten by alright, but I know I am capable of so much more if I could only focus.  To tell you the truth, I've been trying for more than just five years--I remember even as a child thinking that 'next year, I'll push myself to read more nonfiction and learn more about subjects I'm interested in than what they teach in school.'  But in the last five years, I've really thought I would actually do it...

When I moved to Milan, I was reading  Gordon McDonald's Ordering Your Private World, and I had grandiose plans about how much I could accomplish once I finally mastered self-discipline.  When I moved to China the first time, it was another chance to start over and do better this time.  When I changed jobs from Lewisburg back to Columbia, I was going to use the extra time in the morning I had spent commuting and do an exercise video each morning.  Of course they all failed. 

And here I am again, starting over in a new place, new job, new responsibilities.  Same need to be more disciplined.  However, I think I've learned some things about myself; when I worked at Campbell Plaza, I was a very organized and productive person.  I had a detailed schedule, and I followed it.  We were busy in the afternoon, but not in the mornings, so I learned to get my work done first thing so I would be available to wait on customers later.  I even exercised more regularly than ever before thanks to a program at the YMCA that the bank offered.  So, I'm trying the same approach here in this life, even though it's a completely unstructured environment, unlike the bank.  I have made a schedule for myself with time slots for exercise, Bible study, grading, lesson planning, and reading (weird I have to schedule in reading--such is the pull of mind-numbing entertainment on the internet that I am way behind in reading all the books that I know would be helpful to me professionally and spiritually). 

Tomorrow is the first day of the schedule.  Already I've had to rearrange some things, as I have to run to the bus station in the morning to buy a ticket, but if I can get up early enough in the morning to get in some exercise first, then it'll be a start.  I want to do more than get by in life; I want to be the productive person I know I could be if only I could get my own willpower to cooperate. 


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