How having a schedule helps you become more productive during your EVS.

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Even before starting the EVS, my supervisor sent me my schedule of the first week. It was very detailed, there was a cell for almost every hour of the day. A couple of weeks later, I learned that I’ll be organizing it by myself for the rest of the year. I was 50% excited and 50% worried about my habits.

I’m very familiar with making schedules for all kinds of days. In my agenda, there’s a different detailed schedule for every single day of the year. You’d think that a person who schedules everything so scholastically, is productive and gets things done. Well… I wish.

Scheduling my days is the way I procrastinate, by still convincing myself that I’m not procrastinating and this is good for me. Of course it’s not. Taking too long to make the schedule is one problem but sadly, it’s not the only one.

The biggest problem is that I never follow the schedule. I can’t think of a single time I did. That’s what made me worry a bit, about the EVS’s program. “What if I end up doing nothing and I get kicked out?”, “what if I go overboard and my supervisor just gives up on me?”.

Here is where I should mention what we’re supposed to put in our schedules generally. On the first day our supervisor said “put everything in your schedule”. “Even if you’re doing something for only 10 minutes, put it in the schedule”. The things you’ll see in all of our schedules are the donation center, visits, personal project, croatian, pocket book, teatime and social media. Everything else is a free time activity. I should also say that really added everything in my schedule. You can see when I run, study, go out or to the supermarket. Not because I want to show it to my supervisor, but because It helps me have everything at the same place.

Worrying about your problems leads to nothing, so I just went ahead and made my schedule, hoping I’ll follow it. Of course activities like donation center and visits can’t change time according to my mood, so if we look at the schedule from a to-do list perspective, they’re always ticked. What happens though with the other activities, that don’t require me to get out of the house?

There’s one main similarity and one main difference between my schedules before and now. The similarity is that I never do something at the exact time I’m supposed to (eg. at 10 till 12 I’m supposed to edit youtube videos but I actually do it at 3- or in the case of me-before-evs, never). The difference is that I actually get things done. Of course, I’m “obligated” to do most of them so I have to finish each task, so what’s the big deal?

For some reason, I now view the schedule as a To-do list and I have the motivation to finish everything ASAP, and have free time later. So yes, I don’t work on my personal project on Tuesday, only because I finished working on it on Monday. Feeling good about finishing all the tasks I’m supposed to finish, a domino effect started and I started being more productive in general, to the point where my daily routine became almost identical to my ideal one.

So what’s the point of this article if you’re not planning to do or aren’t currently taking part in an EVS right now? What motivated me to finally stop procrastinating and finish my assignments and to-do-ings? It was the fact that I had to do something. All you need in your daily schedule, is one thing that you have to finish and the rest will come on their own. The main point is to start with something and slowly, but surely, your body gets used to it. If you don’t have anything that obligates you to get up from bed and go outside, then try to find it and soon, you’ll accomplish your goals (and clear that to-do list that only keeps getting bigger).