Are you overwhelmed with jobs to do? Do you feel like you don’t get any time to yourself to do the things that “youre supposed to”? Whether it is paying bills, sorting childcare, filling in forms, answering emails, paying parking fines, booking appointments or ordering shopping online- the stuff of life never aims! Let me introduce you to the sorcery of scheduling. Whilst making a schedule might sound like adding one more task to your already busy day, trust me, it will create hour for you.
It’s a practice my wife Vidh adopted when she was first at home with our young son. To counter rising nervousnes that there weren’t enough hours in the working day, she made a detailed daily schedule that accounted for every minute.’ Wake up: 6.30, Get ready: 6.45 -7.05, Breakfast: 7.05 -7.25, ’ all the route through until bedtime.
The result? Vidh felt more in control of their own lives. Each day finished with a satisfyingly ticked to-do list and she was able to enjoy the time she had are planned for herself, guilt free. Whereas she used to think she wasn’t get anything done, she would now insure a long satisfyingly ticked listing in her notebook at the end of every day.
As humans, we are wired to get a little dopamine buzz from completing undertakings. We love the feeling of ticking even tiny achievements off, reminding ourselves that we’ve done something. That tick alone gives positive information to the brain: we’re in control of the day and life is good. It shifts us from a stress nation into a thrive one. Many top CEOs use scheduling for this reason. It helps them be more productive, while ensuring they have time to pursue pastimes as well as spend with their families
But Vidh’s practice of scheduling had an even more significant impact- she rapidly started to find that she had even more gaps opening up in her daily diary that hadn’t been there before. If you are one of the many people who feel there aren’t enough hours in the working day and that they never get anything done, take a good hard look at how you expend your day- if you did a brutal analysis of your day, you may be shocked to find how much hour you’ve whiled away on social media, email or just prevaricating until you have no choice but to get on with things. Scheduling will address this: it will help you prioritise the most important things that you need to do, improve your efficiency and best of all, help you find time to do the things you love.
How to schedule your day
Think about tomorrow and write off all the places you have to be or chores you have to do at a specific time( that doctor’s appointment at 10:30 am, the 4pm conference call ). Then note down all the tasks you’d ideally like to get done, in order.
Next, write off a’ me time’ activity you’d have liked to spend time doing but don’t foresee having enough hours left. It could be a yoga class, a phone catch up with an old friend, a soak in the bath.
Now schedule your entire day, from the moment you wake, including snacks, travelling hour, everything. Put those fixed appointments in first, then your’ me time’( yes, this is something that does come before the other tasks ). Finally, schedule the remaining jobs around these, in order of priority. Those you can’t fit in, don’t forget – you can’t attaining the impossible.
If you finish undertakings early, don’t automatically grab your smart phone. Have a mini-moment of pacify. Take a walk, do a few minutes’ deep breathing or just linger over a cuppa.
People I recommend this practice to nearly always tell me it enabled them to get more things done than they’d imagined. It may seem prescriptive, but I assure you it will unexpectedly give you much more flexibility to enjoy the things you love.
For more on reducing stress and feeling most productive, year round, order my volume The Stress Solution: The 4 Steps to Reset Your Body, Mind, Relationships& Purpose, here.
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