Do You Also Struggle to Stick to Your Schedule After An Interruption?

Why is it so difficult to stick to a planning that you have made for yourself? You define your intentions and what you want to do. You set your goals. You create a time plan or schedule on when you will do what. And then something happens and before you know you do not follow the schedule anymore that you have set. Why?


This happens to me on a regular basis. With regular I do not mean every day or every week. With regular I refer here to whenever I have created a schedule that I plan to follow for a number of weeks or months and then I am not anymore.


You realize at a certain moment that your intentions and schedule were something that you do not follow anymore. It is not that you do not like it or do not agree with it anymore. It is often just the opposite.


When you look at this schedule as you set it before, you still think that it is very good for you to do this. But you are not. What happened and what can you do about it?


For me what often destroys my good intentions and behavior is that something irregular happens and interrupts the normal daily routines. This could be a business trip or a holiday. It could be an unconventional meeting or something that you need to do for a couple of days that takes you out of your rhythm.


And it is the routine, the rhythm of doing things that makes you keep doing them. If you have to think every day what to do know and how to organize your day and where to start, it is difficult. That would take a lot of energy and time. It is much easier to follow a certain structure or routine.


That does not mean that what you do exactly is defined and set in stone. It is more that you stick to a schedule that defines when and how long you do certain type of tasks. When do you work on project A or B? When do you exercise? When do you respond to all your emails? Etcetera.


Once you are in a certain daily or weekly routine, it is not too hard to keep this going. But when your rhythm is interrupted for a couple of days it is also easy not to pick it up again but to let you guide the spending of your time by what is most pressing at that moment.


The first step to overcome this is to realize that these interruptions of your rhythm can destroy your schedule.


The next step then is to start after the interruption with reviewing your schedule. Maybe there are a few pressing items on your plate then. You estimate how much time these items take and you agree with yourself when you start to adhere to your schedule again.


A word of advice here: take up your old schedule within a day of returning from the interruption. Do not change the schedule now since you do not have a new one yet. Pick up your old routine again and once you are in it, review it and see what you want to change.


Enjoy the interruptions.