During high school and college, I hated schedules. I would seldom commit to anything unless absolutely necessary. Even until now, this phobia of commitment still has a grip on some aspects of my personality. Could it be the reason why I’ve been single for so long?
Looking back, I didn’t like schedules because I envisioned myself a free spirit, and schedules seemed like shackles to me. They told me where I should be, when I should be there, and what I should do when I’m there. Back then, I only saw the limitations, and never the convenience.
I was hella proud of being spontaneous. I didn’t commit myself to things I wasn’t sure I’d be able to deliver, and this was A LOT of things back then. Friends would either see me as the last-minute sabit, or the last minute injan. They didn’t know what to expect, to their delight or despair.
But everything changed when the fire nation attacked. And by fire nation, I mean employment. Like it or not, I had to adhere to a fixed schedule day in and day out. At first I was hella bummed. No longer did I have the luxury of time, and I was also boxed in for most of my days, toiling away for a bi-monthly shower of pesos.
But because humans are good at adapting, I got used to it eventually. And then I saw the good part of schedules:
Improving time management skills
No longer was I trapped in chaotic spontaneity, I had to improve my time management skills in order to cope. Being an adult means more responsibilities and that means less time for the things you wanna do. So if you really wanted to do something, you had to find time to fit it in your schedule.
Learning to prioritize
With the realization that time wasn’t unlimited, I had to focus on the things I really wanted. There was no more time to half-ass a lot of things for a long time. Since time (and money) was a finite resource, I had to know what I wanted. I can’t do everything, so I had to choose the important things and sacrifice the rest. Things like getting enough sleep or finding time to work out were some dilemmas at some points in my life. There simply weren’t enough hours in a day to do all I wanted!
Valuing the value of time
When you realize that time is running out, you also realize how precious it is. In line with the previous points, you learn to spend it on the things that really matter. Money can be earned again but time that has passed will never return. So that’s a tough learning to keep in mind.
Sometimes, a fixed schedule is fine
I’m not totally turning my back to spontaneity, but having a schedule is a bit easier on the mind. Knowing where you have to be at a certain time puts your mind at ease. And I’ve already mentioned before that routine is the best way to conserve willpower. I’ve taken advantage of this learning by keeping and maintaining a planner/journal. With all the important dates already noted down, I have less clutter in my brain. That way, I can focus on the task at hand without worries of what’s to come.
Finally, you can still fit spontaneity in a schedule
My favorite realization. With proper time management, I can still have spontaneous night outs and movie dates with friends. I’m far from being stuck in a void of routine. Instead, of being limited, having a schedule has helped me become more streamlined and efficient in the things that matter. I guess one of the challenges of being an adult is balancing order and chaos, and to not succumb to falling into the extremes of either one.
In my experience, using the best points of spontaneity and schedules is one of the best things a person can do. It will surely help you become a better version of yourself. I am still improving and some forms of commitment still scare me (single for life), but I won’t let my fears hinder my growth, and neither should you.
Remember that the fears you refuse to face become your limits. So have the courage and go onwards. Stay unlimited.