As I’ve said, planning is really hard for me. I (Cary) am highly creative but I will often make a schedule and then not keep to it.
In Finishing School, Danelle Morton and I call this “the Fake Schedule.” In our struggle to use time wisely, we must distinguish between tangible progress and symbolic progress. As examples, I talk about going to the office supply store instead of writing …
and Danelle talks about “the Fake Schedule.”
The Fake Schedule is a schedule you create that makes you feel good but exists “in an ideal world where there are no distractions or failures of the will,” Danelle writes. “You might sit down with your calendar at the beginning of the week and block off two hours on every weekday and six hours on weekend days. Marking these blocks of time on the calendar can be an extremely satisfying activity. It is as if you were creating an ideal world where you are efficient and dedicated, a model citizen …”
Indeed. We do this. And then, using the Finishing School method, we discover the difference between what we have planned and what we actually are doing, and we make adjustments and keep going. We correct course and eventually we finish.