Friday, December 28, 2007

How to Schedule Yourself

Do you need to get organized on your time-- but you are just not sure HOW?

Here is how I set up my schedule: (roughly) and got myself set using
it! The key is to use your schedule daily and not give up after 3-4 days. Your
schedule will look very different from mine. Especially if you work outside the home or have
smaller kids, your tasks will certainly vary. But you can still use this guide to help you get started on HOW to schedule your own personal goals in --as well as the daily grind tasks.

The key to any schedule for yourself is to physically keep the list
making 'stuff' handy. Keep your list/schedule located where you will
sit down and look at it daily--or many times a day. For some this is
the refridge, others a dining table or the office or kitchen desk, but
for me it is the laptop. :) If it is a hard copy paper list, keep
paper and pen in that same area all the time for updates. You can even
computer print out your base listing for the week and have these
sheets handy for updating and adding to without having to write all
the basics over and over by hand daily. Ask yourself where do I sit
down at the beginning of the day? Where do you take my breaks or coffee
time? THAT is the place to put the list.

I do the same base activities every week (pretty much) so why not schedule
them into daily groupings? First, I had to think of what weekly tasks I need
to do weekly. List those and spread them out throughout the week. Then I add in a set of personal goals that are small increments of my bigger goals and are specific. After that, I added the daily items in that make everything happen.

I have a
TO DO list on my laptop in WORD that looks like this. I add to it and
take stuff off daily but basically it starts like this. Make your own.

(I have rearranged mine below slightly for privacy reasons but you
will get the idea)

church --if I am on the ball....
call my mom
do my nails-weekly-
write my dad and grandma
go to movies at theatre with the hubby or
page kit planning in evening watching tv with family so I am ready for
monday and thur.
take daughter back to school if needed

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-right now it's wedding stuff
lunch with a friend 1-4
scrapping some more on personal projects or gifts

sleep in. yes I schedule this. :) Then I don't feel guilty or
genealogy research in am.
call or lunch with friend 5
maintain my online obligations
scrapbooking special projects of client layouts

banking and errands
lunch with friend 6
scrapbooking special projects or client layouts

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-wedding stuff
lunch with friends 1-4 again
more scrapping

sleep in- yes I schedule this. :)
lunch with friend 7
pick up daughter from school if needed
dinner out with hubby

friday pm- date night or cropping party night depending on the week.

Yes, you might need to schedule crop time away from home at a local
store in order to get it done.

garage sales
errands with hubby
my studio cleanup
making page kits and cutting Cricut titles for the next week

Ok those are my basics. You can see that by working in my varied
commitments (my son's wedding projects, our client work, my social
obligations/lunches, crop parties, home chores, my writing, my online
work, and even sleeping in) --it can all get done. I do things in a
planned and CYCLICAL way. That way I know I will come around to it and
get it done. I don't put things off. Plan it in and even if it is only
15 minutes, you will get a lot more done than if you don't schedule it
at all.


Then I add in EVERY day items like the following onto my list:

vitamins daily
brush teeth
check email
type two letters up on my WW2 heritage Grandpa Project
email jy daily
email jn every other day
laundry loads-into washer 1 load only
read my inspirations-set a time limit
order dinner :)
drink water
laundry-fold clothes while watching tv with fam- 1 load only
email replies-yes schedule this-- and a time limit!

You may ask yourself why does Rock say she does only one wash and one
fold load of laundry per day? Why does she set limits on her email
replies? Why does she only type two letters when she could type four? Why does she set limits on her inspirations time? The answer is that I
have found that if I don't set limits, it gets way from me. It is too much to bite off. I will get
discouraged and REBEL on some things like on laundry or other chores. Home chores need
attention but they can suck you in. Doing a bit a day is better than
overdosing on tasks I don't like. And on fun things like email and inspirations--well
I will get sucked into the vortex of reading quotes, bible verses, and
general scrapping online browsing. That can cost me hours if I don't say NO.

That will take several hours a day away from my other goals. And
honestly, my priority is my family. I want to keep to working on their
genealogy, scrapping albums and projects instead of looking at what
OTHER people have done. As fun and pretty as it is to see other's
work--it is MY work that my family wants to see. It is MY work that I
want to get done. And really 5 to 10 or 15 minutes of inspiration is
plenty if I just follow up and USE it. :)

EVALUATE and MOVE ON: Look at your list now. Is there a BIG goal that is not being addressed? Sometimes making a list will point out to you that you have not allowed any time for certain goals. I have not allowed myself enough time this last year for my genealogy work so I will be remedying that by adding genealogy time one more day a week. I will also be increasing the typing time daily for my Grandpa WW2 Heritage Project. Oh yeah --and cooking dinner one more time a week! I guess I will add that in there too. LOL

Note that because I have limited my online browsing time, I can type two more letters a day on my heritage project? Because I have limited my laundry time each day, I have time to do my genealogy and make a dinner! I haven't added hours to my day, but I have stopped wasting hours!

Don't forget the applause! Set up a listing for yourself. Print a few
copies of your base schedule. KNOW that it will need adjusting and deleting and crossing off
here and there and adding to it. Do keep track of your successes too. I get great
satisfaction from taking a pen and crossing off items as I do them on
my paper lists and scoring them out on my laptop lists. It gives me a
sense of applause and KUDOS for what I have done. It also shows me how
far I have come each day. That boosts my moralle for the tackling next
list the next day.

FLEXIBILITY in your own methods and your expectations of
of yourself is key. IF you don't like loose paper lists, get a planner. If you don't like planners, try online or text calendar reminders like Google or YAHOO calendars or another free one like CALENDAR HOME offers. My husband loves his Yahoo calendar and phone text reminders. Just remember that you don't have to finish it all every day. Don't beat yorself up if you only get the most important ones done. There are days that I flop several unfinished tasks onto the next day --or even the next week! Life happens. Just flex. :)

Hope this helps!



C D said...

Love this post - thank you.

I keep a timer and set it for 15 minutes at a time (thank you fly-lady), and it helps keep the dishes manageable, the laundry not overwhelming and bathrooms tidy. Scheduling/Limiting the fun stuff is something I have to try in 2008.

One question, do you save your daily To-Do lists? When you get specific (private stuff) does a saved list help with timeline and journalling for a year?

Thanks for all the scrap-love you share with the online scrap-a-holics!! Happy 2008 & beyond!!

Carrie in Tucson said...

I have been thinking about this for the past few weeks. I do want to schedule myself. I checked out the calendar online that you recommended but now re-reading your original post I see that you use a list you made in Word. So I will try that too. Or I may make it in excell so I can put an 'X' after I do something so I can see what I am (and am not) being consistent about.