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The Vicious Cycle of Making Schedules and Failing at Following Them

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Having made around 38 schedules in my one year of preparing for CA Intermediate exams, I have deduced the fact that when you make a schedule, it is given that you will fail at following them. Sure, there are some superbrains who have so much control over their minds that once written on paper, their schedule is the ultimate plan. But not everyone (read: especially me) has reached that level and hence suffers from the constant dismay of having failed their meticulously prepared Schedule. I used to make a rather deliberate schedule with not just the hours allotted but the chapters to be prepared at that time. Being someone who had constant anxiety related to the amount of syllabus left and being a permanent grasshopper, hopping from one subject to another because of this constant fear of not preparing that subject, having a schedule made me calm. But the repetitive failure of following my schedules lowered my spirits to the point that I was made to consult a counselor.

I believe I am not the only one who suffers from this problem. We make a schedule, we follow it for 2-3 days very strictly, even achieving the entire goal and for the next week, we try to use it but the baggage of missed out goals of previous days accumulate and we have to start again with a new schedule and a new plan.

What is the solution then?

There isn't any.

If you are wondering what was the point of writing all this if I was not planning on giving the solution, it really was to just let you know that you are not the only one. It's a natural process that happens to everyone.

How to make it better?

This is something I can try helping you out with or even not. What works for one person might not work for another.

Tip 1: Always make achievable goals: More than often, we make such unrealistic goals like 3 chapters to be completed in one day. When you do this, you set yourself to failure from the very beginning. Set targets according to your capacity. If I feel I can only do half a chapter in a day, so be it, make a schedule according to that.

Tip 2: Setting your time goals: If you are anything like me, you would aspire to study 15 hours in a day starting from the very first day of studying. This is where I was always wrong. Because it seemed that to do CA, I need to study for that many hours. I made my schedule with the hopes that when I wake up the next day, I will have the superpower of studying for that many hours. NO. DON'T. Sitting hours is a gradual process, something I learned later on. You start with 2 hours or whatever is your existing capacity and you build on that. It's not a miracle, set to happen in a day.

Tip 3: Make schedules on Excel: It takes less time and it's easier to edit your schedules, saving you the misery of making another one from the scratch.

Tip 4: Double your capacity: For some people, it works to make a schedule double their capacity so that they can achieve at least half of it. The pressure of having to do 10 things in a day might push you into completing about 5 of them. As long as this does not disappoint you, it's all good.

Tip 5: Never lose hope: Making schedules can often be very tiresome and not being able to follow it, makes you hopeless and disappointed in yourself. The only way to overcome this is to accept the fact that this has nothing to do with your capabilities, but is a commonly occurring phenomenon with tons of students facing the same problem.

Take a deep breath, tear your old schedule, take a fresh new sheet and start writing it all again and trust me when I say "It will be all okay".

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