Importance of keeping a schedule

Written by: Neal Enenbach

But I have a schedule

I’m a former student of the Coastline ABI program. When I was there, I’d keep hearing over and over about how critical it was for me to keep a schedule when I left the ABI program in order to account for all the time I used to spend in class, which was four hours a day for four days every week. It really doesn’t matter if your schedule prior to your brain injury was extremely full and busy or if it was more free and open. Things are different now and having a calendar of your scheduled events that you can readily refer to is of more importance than ever in order to help your day remain conflict-free and running smoothly.

Keeping track of our schedule never seemed like a big issue when I was in class because we scheduled and tracked everything. We used a calendar, such as Week Calendar. We learned how to easily and properly color-code our appointments into categories such as appointments with doctors or lawyers, personal time with family or shopping or chores. You can use it to track your morning routine or account for your traveling time, or remind you of important dates or perhaps prescription refills.

We also learned about the importance of scheduling in blank space to allow for time between appointments for traveling or unexpected delays. I have my tale of woe to share with you in a moment about the importance of this point.

We also used an app called PaceMyDay to use, in sync with our calendar, to track how we feel from the moment we wake until we go to sleep and to monitor our energy level during and after an activity. PaceMyDay also gave me options to take a break during an activity that may prove to be too strenuous and it would suggest options such as listening to some music or being mindful.

Lessons learned the hard way

When I graduated the ABI program, I didn’t necessarily follow all that I had been taught. I didn’t really see scheduling as an absolutely necessary skill I needed to use day in and day out, but more as a skill I could call upon as I felt it was needed.

Big mistake. Within a week I had missed important appointments, scheduled things too close together, and I wasn’t being honest with myself on how long an activity might take or the energy it required. I got all jammed up and everyone paid the price of my poor scheduling maintenance….

You might not like to admit this, but you can’t just keep your schedule in your head or like you did before your injury. Our minds work differently now, and we need to take full advantage of the readily available resources and strategies out there to help us compensate for our issues such as
calendaring.