I keep reading people recommending sticking to a schedule as a way to get through the home-bound time of coronavirus, but I beg to differ. Sure, I think it’s important to get enough sleep, so I could see sticking to a bedtime and wake-up routine, but overall, I find that not having a schedule is a much more rewarding way to go through the day. And now that we don’t have the standard time constraints of work, school, and social engagements to navigate, the flexi-day is more appealing—and approachable—than ever.
What is so great about not having a schedule to follow? Well, it allows me to tune in to cues from my body and the environment that might indicate what the ideal activity for a given moment or time period might be. For instance, if I see a dirty window and suddenly have an urge to clean it, why should I hesitate to do that? Just because my schedule said that now is the time for music practice, which I don’t feel like at the moment? Or, if the forecast called for rain, but I look outside at 11am and see that it’s clear and sunny, wouldn’t that be the ideal time for a walk? So what that I scheduled that time for writing? I can do that when the rain returns. Not having a schedule allows me to be more attuned to what is actually going on around me and inside of me, instead of having my intuition and freedom of self-determination curtailed by the decrees of some arbitrary authority (such as my less enlightened self of the previous night).
I believe that sticking doggedly to a schedule can also inhibit productivity and flow—for instance, when it tells you to move on to the next thing when the one you’re working on, and are still enthusiastic about, is not yet done. I think we need to trust ourselves more rather than less, not yielding automatic control to the clock and our analytical, spreadsheet-making sides, but empowering ourselves, in evolving communication with our surroundings and the action unfolding around us, to make the best decision, moment by moment, of what to engage in. This attunement to forces beyond the self is crucial in responding to needs and feeling fulfilled.
Can it be scary not to have anything planned out for yourself? Yes. Can it also feel liberating? Definitely. It’s a release of one form of control and a gain of a more wholesome one, which is your own autonomy and ability to be present in the world. I think COVID-19 time, while traditional daily schedules have been displaced, is a perfect time to try out the unscheduled life and its benefits.