by Kathie England

Better Than Before – Day 19

How scheduling helps manage your time…

Gretchen Rubin offers the perspective that scheduling can be used to restrict time spent on an activity. It is a way to practice setting a boundary.

One reason that people procrastinate is the perception that the task with take more time than you have available at the moment. By scheduling a specific amount of time to work on a task or project, you set a boundary for that task. Start work and end work based on the time you scheduled, regardless of how much progress you made. This strategy is especially important when you didn’t finish.

Continuing to schedule time and respecting that time helps you move forward and eventually finish. This idea is another example of the quote I shared on Day 18: “Small steps actually taken lead to more progress that great steps that never happen.” – Marilyn Paul, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys.) It also goes long with this quote I’ve shared before: “Good and done is better than perfect and none.”

Setting a timer is one of the most effective ways to monitor your boundary. Any timer can work, but I especially like the Time Timer products, particularly the Time Timer Plus. ( These timers make time visible. As the red area on the dial gets smaller, you know the time is getting used up. The Time Timer products find lots of fans among individuals diagnosed with ADHD because of the way they make time visible.

Another advantage of a timer is you can race it to “Beat the Clock,” a show that was on television many years ago. This strategy is especially helpful for those with ADHD because the excitement created by racing the clock helps activate the prefrontal cortex and stimulate the release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. A dopamine insufficiency is one of the factors that impacts executive function and makes it hard for people with ADHD to get started on tasks that are boring.

Another aspect of using your schedule as a boundary is to avoid “Always Available Syndrome” (AAS). AAS is when you make yourself totally available to ANY interruption, regardless of its importance. Preserving the time you set aside to work on a project helps you avoid interruptions that absolutely reduce your efficiency and effectiveness. Many time specialists report that the time to complete a task is as much as 500% longer when you allow yourself to be interrupted.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what Gretchen Rubin calls tomorrow logic. Kelly McGonigal in The Willpower Instinct refers to it as future self.