With three children, schedules are like a religious practice in our home.
Let me tell you something, once in a while I throw caution to the wind and try to wing it or fly by the seat of my pants. I’d say I’m only successful at this about 60% of the time. Not really that great of odds when I have so much to stay on top of and bits start falling through the cracks.
That leads to stress and scrambling to catch back up with the never-ending list.
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To avoid that mess, here are my 3 tips for maintaining your schedule for more ease at home and productivity in your biz:
Use one. Or many. It’ll make a world of difference. Whether you choose to go the digital route or old school pen and paper, each time I try to rely on my memory, I’m reminded that there’s only so much space in there before it pushes out information deemed not important (even if it IS important). The need for a planner or calendar to hold your to-dos in one place will be something you hear from me often.
If you have designated work time (which you should), reduce your distractions and do your best to stick to your list. My dad tends to call me frequently and at random times. A choice must be made whether to answer knowing he’ll talk for at least a half an hour, or let it go to voicemail and answer the next time he calls or give him a call back later (most of the time, he calls again before I get the chance to return the first). Yes, I would rather go have coffee with a friend, but duties must be tended to prior to the fun. BUT schedule those lunch dates in, too. They’re just as critical.
Musts VS Wants
Similar to the previous tip, when I write down my list of tasks, I include and separate into what I must complete and what I want to get done if time allows. What this does is sets me up a failsafe. If I am running behind, or an item takes longer than expected, I have a list I can then push back a day or two and not be upset. As long as I get the list of musts done (this often even means breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the kids), then I can pat myself on the back once. Or two or three times.
Trust me, there are plenty more ways to maintain a schedule. However, if you employ these 3 tips, you’re well on your way to a much more productive week. I invite you to give it a go and report back with your results. Also, some days will be better than others, so bear that in mind.
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