Why Hour-By-Hour Scheduling Doesn’t Work

I was 12 years old when I realized that the “perfect” hour-by-hour schedule I made didn’t work. I never followed it exactly except the first day when I forced myself to do all the things I thought I’d love to do at that specific time. But it wasn’t want I wanted. I wanted to do something different everyday and at different times. I wanted to be me and not feel trapped in something like a 4-year-old.

Of course we all want whatever schedule we make to work out for us but the truth is those schedules (scheduling every hour of the day) doesn’t work and here’s why…

1. Every Day Is Different

No two days on earth are the same so making a schedule based on how the day will turn out won’t be worth the time. There can always be an emergency that happens, an unexpected task or a special event that comes up and will blow off your whole schedule.

2. Your Mood Might Change

When you create a time schedule or an hour by hour schedule you’re dependant on your mood to be the same every day. However, you may not feel like doing the same thing for a certain period each day. You may want to take a nap at 12pm instead of writing that chapter and would rather get the chapter done earlier. So why make a schedule when all you really want is to get the chapter done some point in the day?

3. It Makes You Feel Constricted

I don’t know about you but for me having a time schedule feels like I’m back in high school where every minute of the day counted towards something. I couldn’t go off plan or be late because a teacher would get ticked off. I couldn’t rest if I felt sleepy or eat when I was hungry. Instead I had to wait for a specific time to do what I wanted to do even if I wanted to do it earlier.

You don’t have to feel this way.

Break free and live your life as an adult who knows how to treat time responsibly. You make your plans for how each unique day will turn out and no one else.

Time scheduling doesn’t work because you don’t know how each day is going to turn out. So what should you do instead? Here’s what I do.

Before the week start I make a list of everything I want to accomplish over the course of the week. I come up with blog post ideas, plan out the chapters to write in my novel  and check out my work schedule because it changes every week.

Once I make a list I write down my goals. I don’t make specifics on each time of the day but rather an overall goal to accomplish for the day or for the week. This leaves me time for unexpected mishaps, errands, emergencies and I can alternate what time I do each task depending on how my mood feels.

What You Can Do

Write down all the fun things you want to do at some point during the week even if you don’t know the specifics. Next, write down all the goals you have for the week including work, projects (like writing), or errands. Then write down the ideal day in the week to do each task without mentioning the specific times.

That’s it.

As long as you complete your goals for each day you can do your own thing, feel free and responsible and go on to something fun.

I know this sounds pretty selfish but as long as you complete your goals you should be good. I say this because each day is special and should be treated as such.

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Thanks for reading and keep writing,


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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to Learnasyouwrite.com! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)


  1. Shaquanda Dalton

    Yeah, I think I created about 10 different hour by hour schedules over my lifetime and non of them work past the second day. I thought I knew what I wanted to do every hour of the day but I realized I’m a lot more complicated then that. lol

  2. Haha, I’ve tried hour-by-hour scheduling so many times and it NEVER works for me. You’re so right – every day is different and scheduling this way is constrictive. Now, I do something similar to your routine and it’s much better. Not keeping to the strict schedule used to frustrate me.