Have you ever purchased a stunning new planner, set it up with all your tasks and goals for the upcoming weeks. You’ve a list of your daily to do’s nicely jotted down and you’re ready to get cracking? Check back in a few months and how many have you managed to keep on top of? How many have you stuck with or even completed? Does this sound a little familiar to you? Then I would like to say a huge warm welcome because I’ve been there, I’ll put my hands up it’s super frustrating is’t it? All your good intentions, all your hard work, and you find yourself back where you started.
These simple tips I’m going to share with you today are going to get you using your planners in the best possible way. And most importantly it’s going to fit comfortably into your lifestyle, so you can start ticking off your checklist like a Pro!.
Sometimes despite all your best good intentions, writing a list of to do’s, making sure you have the tools to achieve your goals. If you don’t think about how you’re going to schedule everything into your day-to-day life, you’re going to end up back where you started. Believe me I’ve been there a number of times and it’s hard work.
For your to do’s, dreams and goals to flourish you need to make the time to nurture them. I love using this analogy, because it really is just like growing a flower. You’re going to need to make time to water it, make sure it has enough sunlight and protect it from anything which may hamper its growth. All this good stuff is what’s going to help your flower blossom.
Don’t get me wrong, having your planner and creating your list is fantastic! It shows you’re thinking about the best ways to really get yourself more productive, and you’re definitely on the right steps to getting more done. But there’s a key ingredient which is going to make all your planning come together nicely…
So what are you missing?.. Okay I’m not going to keep you hanging, this key ingredient is SCHEDULING. Simple huh? Well actually not so much. Making time (and I say making, as finding time is almost impossible with how busy I know your life can get) is going to take you from frantically rushing around trying to complete your tasks, to Girlboss “I’ve got it under control”.
Three Awesome Steps to Master Your Schedule
Know Your Lifestyle
Let’s start off by quickly by doing a brain-dump as I like to call it. What are your personal commitments? What’s your life like? Are you currently working full-time, do you have little kids at home? Are you studying at the moment?
Knowing your personal commitments seems really simple right?, And it is. This is what I always suggest you do before trying to start any plan, from decluttering your home to taking your business to the next level. Knowing what you’re going to be working around is fantastic for being realistic with your scheduling. You’ll soon be able to easily spot windows of opportunities to make time for things on your to do list and when best to multi-task.
I’m going to share with you an awesome simple time blocking technique, which is going to give you structure, but also flexibility unlike when you try and plan your schedule into specific time slots.
Keeping It Simple!
Now you should already have a list of your to do’s or goals, and If you really don’t like scheduling or find it difficult sticking to ta schedule you’re going to love this technique. It’s great for breaking down your day into easier, manageable chucks. Start by splitting your day into:
Start assigning your to do’s into either morning, afternoon or the evening.
Remember, try and keep your high priority tasks in the morning if you can, because you want to get those done first and out of the way. And be realistic, if you work part-time morning shifts, you don’t really want to plan tasks around that time. You may want to use that time for maybe simpler, quicker mini tasks or no tasks at all.
Once you get to know your working style, you don’t necessarily need to schedule a specific time for every to do on your list. Find out what works best for you. What environment you work best in? Check out How to Easily Reach Your Goals in 5 Simple Steps for awesome tips and strategies for figuring this out.
Once you do figure out which working style works best for you, you’ll find you don’t have to specifically schedule every single thing you need to get done. For me, I know putting the laundry in the washing machine then washing and sterilizing my baby’s bottles collectively will take me 10 minutes max. As long as I know this should ideally be completed in the Morning, I’ll get it done when the right time slot occurs. However, completing the grocery shop or drafting up a work related email will take up more of my time, so for those tasks I will allocated a specific time in the morning.
This is the beauty of schedule blocking in Morning, Afternoon and Evening slots, it allows you to have more control to be as flexible or specific depending on your lifestyle.
Don’t Over Do It!
Being realistic is super important, because if you try and pack too much into your day you’ll end up feeling really overwhelmed. So if you realize you’ve a free afternoon on Wednesday that doesn’t mean you need to fill it with a whole list of to do’s. Don’t fill every single free moment you have with tasks to get done. Maybe one or two, but it’s so important, and I can’t stress this enough, to give yourself some breathing space, give yourself some time to relax and do whatever you like and enjoy.
Take a Break Now & Again! Spend time with your family, you time, whatever you like to do to relax. If you fill every free moment you have with to do’s you’ll end up feeling burnt out and unmotivated. I’m guilty of this and have to admit sometimes I still do it, but it doesn’t help me get more done because I’m too exhausted and when I do try and get things done I’ve no enthusiasm (so I really don’t do it properly) sound familiar? Don’t beat yourself up if you’re tired, if you need to reschedule your to do’s, you’re not going to be at your best if you’re exhausted, so take breaks when you can. Promise me!
Great Scheduling Takes Time and Practice
Perfecting your ideal schedule takes time and quite a bit of trial and error. Reflecting on your schedule week by week along with maintaining a positive outlook is really going to take you further than you possibly imagined. This is easier said than done right.
Learning to not put yourself down for not finishing a task or not getting as much done as you planned is actually a great opportunity for growth and reflection.
Reflection is going to lead to finding a even better scheduling style which is going to work for you. Maybe the plan you sent into place didn’t really work out great, this a fantastic opportunity to look and see what you can change. And when you do accomplish a task reward yourself, having something to look forward to can make you more driven. Yes, your end goal is your overall aim and it’s your overall drive but there’s no harm with having little rewarding treats along the way. It keeps you going even when it looks tough, even when you can’t see how you’re going to get there. This is what’s going to take you to the next level.
Let’s Get Scheduling!
The fab secret to great scheduling is YOU:
What is your Lifestyle like, your Commitments?
When do you work at your best? Morning, Afternoon or Evening?
What are your Main Distractions?
Over doing it is only going to leave you feeling tired, overwhelmed and discouraged. So be realistic and be flexible. It’s not important how long it may take your friend or sister to finish a similar task as you, it’s about you. Never compare yourself to others but only to your own achievements.
Uplift your journey. – You don’t need to fill up all your free time with To Do’s. Seriously, take a break when you have a break and reward yourself along the way as you complete certain steps to keep your momentum going. If you must work through your break, why not use the time to do a mini reflection on what’s working and what you could possible change to make your schedule work better for you. Don’t compare yourself to others, start using your planner in your way, in your time.
Making your life easier is the icing on the cake with a planner aimed to work with your needs, simply click the image below and you’re on your way!
Available in 2 awesome colours Pink Cadillac or Hint of Mint in either A5 or A4. Also check out How to Easily Complete Your To Do List in 5 Awesome Steps for great tips to really show your to do list who’s calling the shots, and start making the most of your time the best way which works for you.
I hope you enjoy using these planners as much as I do, and as always let me know how you’re getting on using these steps and how I can help you stay more organized.