How to Create Your Perfect Schedule
If you already feel stressed reading the word “schedule,” this blog is for you. Whether I’m in a coaching session, reading your comments and e-mails, or speaking to women all over the country, one of the common complaints I hear...
If you already feel stressed reading the word “schedule,” this blog is for you.
Whether I’m in a coaching session, reading your comments and e-mails, or speaking to women all over the country, one of the common complaints I hear is that nobody has time. When you don’t have any time to dedicate to things that you care about such as your business, family, friends, or yourself, you won’t be able to put much of what I talk about into practice.
Sometimes we’re hesitant to pursue new ideas and dreams that we’re really passionate about because we’re already spread too thin. But I don’t want a lack of time to hold you back, so I’ll share with you the same method I take my clients through to re-assess and design their schedules.
I want you to start out by picturing your calendar as a blank slate. I don’t want you to sift and sort through your schedule as it is now. We’re not even going to try to clean it up—we’re going to start over. Just like when I cleaned out my bonus room last weekend. If you think keeping socks paired is impossible, I present to you: Carter’s VeggieTales Noah’s Ark. This playset has 20 animals (10 pairs) and hundreds of blocks that are scattered around my house like confetti. There are also shapes and puzzle pieces and plastic tools, oh my!
It would have been nearly impossible to work in that disaster zone. It was just easier to take every toy out of the bins, toss them in a big pile, and match them up from there. And sometimes you just need a good purge. That’s what this is! So visualize your calendar with zero commitments.
As beautiful as that picture is, I understand that you do have actual commitments. So go ahead and write those down, but only the obvious ones that cannot be moved: your full-time job, getting the kids to school, weekend soccer games, etc.
Now gradually plug in the things that are important to you and your family—not obligations that you get roped into. If it’s on this list, it needs to be something you value. This is the time to write in things you may want to do but never have time for, such as your Saturday morning runs or Thursday family game nights. This is not for the things your sister guilts you into, or your coworker’s essential oils party. Those are optional. In a perfect world, this would be your life — and it’s probably less cluttered than your current scenario.
Put this new schedule next to your current calendar and look for ways to get closer to your ideal schedule. If you see that something you’ve already committed to is about to end, you can use that time slot for something on your new schedule. For the things you absolutely can’t fit in, think about other solutions. Maybe you can hire a babysitter for an hour on Saturday mornings so you can get a run in. If working on your side business for a few hours on the weekend earns you a couple hundred dollars, maybe you can pay a housecleaner $50 to do the vacuuming you’re not getting done.
By taking these incremental steps toward that goal, you can be living out your ideal schedule in about a month. Stephen Covey says, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” And that’s what I want you to do. It’s your schedule and your life, after all. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive and create a schedule you’re excited to live out and proud to live in.