Over the past few months, I’ve taken on more and more personal projects. My days have gone from having plenty of free time for activities to wondering how I’m going to fit one more thing in my day.
As a husband/father/friend/musician//blogger/podcaster/casual powerlifter, this can be especially problematic. It’s surprisingly easy to let the immediate and urgent feelings of a looming deadline or self imposed goal take precious time away from investing in the relationships that are most important to me. I’ve often found myself going days without spending quality time with those I care about the most in favor of editing podcast episodes or making social media posts.
While the podcast and social media related commitments are important to me, they aren’t the most important thing to me. I needed a strategy to help me quantify how much time I was giving to each activitiy, so I could be more proactive about managing my life choices.
Scheduling My Day
Making a detailed schedule of your day is nothing new in the world of productivity. It’s not difficult to find examples of successful and productive people living a structured and organized life. Until now, I had avoided creating a personal schedule because I thought I was “fine”. I wasn’t as busy as I am now, so I didn’t see the need to learn about time management and organization. It’s a classic case of being reactive instead of proactive.
Instead of describing my daily schedule, I’ll just leave a link for you to see it.
My scheduling is nothing fancy or revolutionary, but it makes a big difference for me in a few ways:
I Have More Time Than I Think I Do
The first thing I noticed when I filled out my schedule was the amount of space left after I had filled in my required activities (rehearsals, family duties, teaching). Seeing this clearly for the first time changed my perception of my time management immediately; as good as I thought I was, I had lots of room for improvement.
I Could Fit Everything I Needed Into My Week
Scheduling on a weekly basis allows you to think big picture. Some things, like laundry, cooking dinner, and going to Costco only happen one or two times per week. Fitting those activities in the schedule and sticking to your plan ensures they won’t get overlooked in the day to day grind. For the activities that happen on a regular basis, scheduling them allows you to secure a time and a space to show up for those things.
Less Stress Overall
The biggest benefit of scheduling my life in such great detail has been a reduction of stress overall. I don’t worry as much if things will get done; I know they will because I’ve planned a time. I can prioritize more effectively each day if I’m thinking weekly. Whether I’m scheduling practice time, family time, or time to catch up with friends, I know everything is covered.
If you are a busy person, and you haven’t tried this amount of detail in your schedule, give it a try! There’s no perfect version of this; just start and you’ll learn what works best for you along the way. You can use my schedule as an example, or you can find your own unique way of organizing your time.
“When you streamline your schedule by making deliberate decisions about tasks and activities that are crucially important you and identify your most important priorities, you give yourself permission to make choices that excite and interest you. You also grant yourself permission to exercise your right to say, “No, thank you.” – Julie Connor, Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide
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