For a while I always found myself to just go with the flow and get things done as I went about my day. It wasn’t until recently that I moved on and started creating a daily schedule for myself. I still keep a small binder of reminders what I need to do and when I need it completed. Since adding a schedule to my days I’ve realized how much more productive I’ve become. For myself I make two types of schedules, one for the work week and the other during the weekends. The difference between the two for me is like night and day; weekends I have much more free time and I have a wider selection of times to block off for what I need to do or want to do. Below are some of the strategies I’ve adopted in making my schedule to better prioritize my day and to make the most time for myself.
Plan your day:
For me, planning out my day when I wake up in the morning and prioritizing what I need to get done is extremely helpful. By putting the most important activities I need to get done at the top of my list increases my chances of actually getting them done. If I put them at the bottom and went through my list as I went through my day, I could run out of the time I designated to complete my tasks and be forced to continue working them in time I hoped to be leaving work or just relaxing on the weekend.
Don’t forget about interruptions:
While planning what you need to get accomplished in the day and creating your schedule, remember things don’t always go as planned. There has got to be at least one thing that comes up daily that you didn’t plan for and can really throw you off if you’re not ready for it. Adding extra time for the unexpected can help manage your timeline. Finishing ahead of schedule and having that added time is a great feeling!
What can you delegate or outsource?
Now that you came up with your schedule and what you want to accomplish take a closer look at everything. Is there anything that you don’t necessarily need to do yourself? Probably yes. Delegate what you find necessary out to those who can take it on. For instance, if you have a kid at home who can get started with cleaning the house or can cut the lawn let them know that is their responsibility for the day. You can now cross that task off your list and move on to something that is for you to get done.
It can be very easy to get off track in your day. You need to do the best you can to keep distractions down to a minimum. If you are able to wear headphones I find them to be very helpful to keep yourself out of off topic and distracting situations. Setting aside blocks of time, like “office hours” is great to ensure you don’t let things interrupt you. In this time just focus on the task at hand and nothing else; forget emails, your phone, everything in this block of time to ensure you get as much done as possible.
Set time for yourself:
Life doesn’t have to be all work. Everyone needs to make time for themselves to unwind after a long day or week. Creating a schedule to optimize your time for work can give you more time to enjoy yourself. A simple schedule can add hours to your day where you can do what you want to do instead of procrastinating on your tasks at hand. If you’re someone who wants to get to the gym you can add it to your “to-do list” or just go in your own time here. It’s a great opportunity to take a step back from everything and try to schedule your day so you can make the most of YOUR time.
Don’t overdo it. If you’re someone who thrives off of constantly working and not taking any down time go for it, but if you’re someone who needs time to yourself then take it. Keep enough structure in your list to be productive and to accomplish what you need. If you can put these strategies to use in your life, you’ll be able to get more time for yourself within your day.