I just finished fighting a battle with my schedule for the upcoming spring semester, and I think I won. I'm using the upside-down trick.
Mornings tend to be my best time of day, mentally-speaking, so last semester I scheduled my work hours in the afternoons with the thought of using peak brain power for studying in the morning. The problem with this was the lack of externally-imposed structure on this lifestyle. Mornings would quickly become scheduled with @#$% car repairs or doctors appointments (achoo). But I never touched the assistantship hours. I could borrow time from myself to do these errands, as long as I did the assistantship hours. As a result, everything at work is just fine, but once again I'm paying myself last, if you will. Silly, because my goal here is to finish this degree. In addition, since there was no external push to be sitting in front of my computer at 8:00 AM each day, or whenever I'd set aside the study time, so I was perhaps being more relaxed about my study attitude than I could have been.
To win this battle, I will flip things upside-down this next semester. I'm going to work smaller chunks at my job over more days per week and limit them primarily to the mornings. Then, the afternoons are for my studies, barring the one class I'm taking and the other I'm helping to teach in the evenings. If the car breaks down or the nose gets plugged up again, then the appointments to fix said things will happen in the mornings and I will reschedule the assistantship hours to other times. That's easy to do, and it helps me keep priorities in order.
I'm a bit nervous about making myself get anywhere early in the morning: I've fallen out of the habit while in school. It'll take some time to adjust my sleep schedule, but this will give me more daylight hours to be productive. Perhaps it will prepare me to go back to work full-time. Next week will be an interesting one.