I’ve always been meticulous when scheduling my life, but I enjoy going on adventures and letting the world surprise me. As such, I devised a special two-part challenge to determine which type of life is best for me. The results were surprising.

Week 1: Schedule Everything

I’ve gone full O.C.D. in the past and scheduled my every waking moment, but that inevitably led to bouts of dissatisfaction and non-productivity. This time, I made sure to include lots of rest and periods of “Free Time” where the only aim was to relax and enjoy myself. The schedule changed more than once over the course of the week, but here’s a quick look at the final version:

  • 7:00 AM: Wake up
  • 7:00-8:00 AM: Morning Routine
  • 8:00-8:45 AM: Writing
  • 8:45-9:00 AM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 9:00-9:45 AM: Writing
  • 9:45-10:00 AM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 10:00-10:30 AM: Walk
  • 10:30-10:45 AM: Email
  • 10:45-11:00 AM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 11:00-11:45 AM: Business Growth
  • 11:45-12:00 PM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 12:00-12:45 PM: Business Growth
  • 12:45-1:00 PM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 1:00-1:45 PM: Walk
  • 1:30-1:45 PM: Social Media
  • 1:45-2:00 PM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 2:00-2:45 PM: Editing
  • 2:45-3:00 PM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 3:00-3:45 PM: Skill Development (Business)
  • 3:45-4:00 PM: Exercise/Reading (Non-Fiction)
  • 4:00-5:00 PM: Reading (Fiction)
  • 5:00-9:00 PM: Free Time
  • 9:00-10:00 PM: Evening Routine
  • 10:00 PM: Sleep

As you can see, it was a strict schedule. I was initially worried I’d be miserable, but the structure made me SUPER productive and gave me a far greater sense of accomplishment and happiness than I expected. I was tempted to stop there, but I knew I’d regret it, so I proceeded with the second part of my challenge.

Week 2: Schedule Nothing

This challenge was WAY easier than the first, but it made it nearly impossible for me to be productive. Instead of benefiting from the freedom, I ended up feeling more stressed and wasting time on pointless things because I didn’t have a clear vision of what I was supposed to be doing. I’m not saying this approach is bad—I’m sure some people are capable of going with the flow and being both productive and happy—but I require structure in order to feel a sense of accomplishment.

I’m happy I did this two-part challenge, but I’m glad it’s over.

Here is the link to the “How to Structure Your Day” bonus episode I mentioned in the video: https://youtu.be/TE2GFZcamw4