Keep Your Sanity: Set up a Schedule

Could you imagine taking a long road trip without a road map? What would you do if you took a wrong turn, how would you get back on track? How would you get where you were going without having the important information a road map provides?

Trying to live a full, busy life is much like traveling but without a proper road map sometimes you don’t know whether you are coming or going. A schedule will provide direction for your daily life. At a glance you’ll be able to see what needs to be done for the day. You’ll know if you are on
track, and if you aren’t, what you need to do to get back on course.

Here are some easy tips to help you create a workable schedule:

One of the first things to do when making a schedule is to write down all the things you have to do so it’s all laid out in front of you. Write out everything that needs to be done on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

Now, that you’ve got it all written out and visible you can begin sorting events into common themes. Color code each theme (family, work, daily, monthly, and weekly).

Once your tasks are all sorted out, give each task an estimated amount of time. Just to make sure you don’t understimate or overestimate how much time you’ll need for a particular task, time yourself on that particular task for a week or so. You might just be surprised at how much time some tasks take.

While you might think a trip to the grocery store only takes 45 minutes or so it may actually take well over an hour. You make feel like the trip out to pick up the kids only take 15 minutes or so but in reality it may take twice as much tme. We always seem to underestimate our time which in the end makes us feel as though we are falling behind or don’t have enough time in the day to do what we need. By timing yourself for a week or so, you’ll get a better visual of your actual time usage. When you see how long it really takes to accomplish your regular tasks, you will be able to see how many things you can fit into a normal day. You’ll no longer feel the need to constantly be trying to push yourself to accomplish more in your day.

Once you have written down your tasks and estimated the time it takes to accomplish them, you can start planning your schedule. Some people like to have a daily schedule that is very organized with certain tasks assigned to certain times and others prefer to keep a weekly schedule which allows for more flexibility. Personally I like to have a little more flexibility in my schedule.

For more in depth tips for time management, visit Tips for Time Management.

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