The benefits of having a consistent schedule need not be overemphasized. It allows you to accomplish more, avoid procrastinating, and even create time for tasks or activities you normally sideline due to the “lack of enough time”. For instance, many people in the busy world that we live in find it hard to keep up with their fitness routines just because work and household tasks come in the way. Without a proper schedule in place, many find themselves late for appointments, behind on targets, and even with horrendous diets. (Image Credits: Jess Baily Designs/Pexels)
But if you are like many people who have tried to create a schedule, you must have noticed how hard it is to stick to the schedule you created. You make a program of activities, only to abandon your schedule after a short while when you find it hard to keep up with. Well, it takes dedication, and if this sounds anything like you. Here are some tips on how to create a schedule that you can stick to.
1. Befriend Calendars and Planners
To make a schedule that works for you, one of the first things you’ll need to do is learn to use calendars and planners. As you can see on this site, many different types of tools and calendars can help you to keep a close eye on your chores, tasks, and targets for the day. They help you to constantly check your schedule, which keeps you on your toes by acting as a constant reminder of what lays ahead of you. That way, you can easily catch up with your schedule before you end up messing up your activities of the day.
Being in the know gives you an idea of how your day will be. It even gives you the push to act accordingly. Feeling burnt out is normal, but procrastinating is the worst mistake you can ever make. That is why you are always reminded to give your schedule frequent glances. These tools help you stick to your schedule. You could try using planner stickers to help you make your planning more visual.
2. Create Realistic Goals and Deadlines
When you are used to doing something, you can easily predict how much time you need to accomplish the task. For example, if you take longer answering calls than writing emails, you can allocate more time for calls and shorten the time block of doing emails. Stacking your plan unrealistically causes unproductiveness. When you spend a shorter time than assigned on a task, utilize that time by starting on with the next activity on your schedule. Creating realistic goals and deadlines also means planning your time appropriately.
3. Avoid Distractions
When working, focus! We cannot sometimes control what we think. We even find ourselves absent-minded. No problem, you can break the habit through some training. However, distractions, in this case, include phones, television, and music. A quiet place is the most ideal if you are working on your laptop. That will help you commit to a single task. If you itch to update your timeline, take a quick BRB break, and then come back. If possible, keep all your distractions away from your vicinity. That exercises your productivity muscle.
4. Cushion Your Schedule
As earlier mentioned, some tasks take longer than expected. Others may take a shorter time to be completed. That is very normal, and it should not take the better part of you. You will not always predict durations correctly all the time. When creating your schedule allocate an “extension” of 15 or 20 minutes more to help you wiggle with your tasks. That will help you beat the anxiety and pressure of getting late for the next activity.
5. Stay Ahead of Your Schedule
Staying ahead may mean waking up earlier than usual or adding speed to complete tasks before due time. There is some satisfaction derived from staying ahead of your schedule. You end up achieving your tasks earlier. That even allows you to start the next job before the scheduled time. It helps you avoid the last-minute rush syndrome.
Finally, all work without play makes Jack a dull boy; but don’t play too much! We sometimes find ourselves under pressure to complete a project, only to sneak out and drop a tweet amid the limited time. It is okay to sneak out of the project but let it be at the stipulated time. Actively focus on your work, and you will remain productive. It is very okay to steal an hour to catch-up on the Netflix series you are following, but it is best to time block it in your schedule. Do not forget to document your achievements and note any area or tasks you are still struggling with.
Hopefully, with these few tips, you will accomplish more and earn some free time by sticking to your schedule.