Time is very tricky. Time can slide by us. Time can get away from us. We can throw time away. We can crave more time. We can even arrange our schedule so to make more time for ourselves.
Fascinating. (Let’s do that last one.)
I want to help you feel like you have control over your time and that you have enough time to do what you want and need to do. Fortunately, the process for getting sanity in your schedule is neither complex nor out of your reach. You can do this. It does take a bit of planning though.
How to Use Your Schedule to Find More Time for Yourself
Step 1. Download and use the Emergent Task Planner
The Emergent Task Planner is a single sheet free download from David Seah. Grab your Emergent Task Planner here. Use it to organize your activities over a single day, plan your priority items, track your time usage, and keep tabs on your entire To Do list.
You will feel more connected to your plans if you write them down and if you see them written down. You will feel more inclined to get something done when you see the range of things you have to get done laid out in front of you in an organized way.
Gone are the days where you just hope that your tasks get done before the end of the day. You’ve got a plan now.
Step 2. Commit to Accurate Scheduling
Here’s where the planning starts to pay off.
Get in the habit of assigning a time for each of your to do list items to be done. Build upon that habit by making sure you do things as you have planned. Each task has its own time slot. You will know what to focus on just by looking at your schedule. No need for confusion or indecision anymore.
This step will be difficult to follow through on at first if you have been Procrastinating for a while. Just stick with the idea and practice of accurate scheduling and take things day-by-day. You will soon be able to work in synch with time instead of feeling like you are always falling behind.
Step 3. Avoid overwhelm
Procrastinators are accustomed to feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm can take so many different forms including:
- not having enough time
- feeling incredibly anxious
- feeling pressured by expectations from others
- not being organized
- being exhausted from lack of sleep
- not knowing what to do next
Keeping your activities organized with the Emergent Task Planner will help you avoid overwhelm. Accurate scheduling will also help you to to feel calm. You can take the planning one step further by making sure you make room in your schedule for proper rest and breaks, good meals, socializing, exercise, and sleep. When you arrange your schedule mindfully, it will support your progress and sense of well-being throughout the day.
Make sure you remember to plan sanity into your schedule. We cannot function like robots because we are not robots. We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can do good work for ourselves and others.
Step 4. Eliminate anything unnecessary
In order to have sanity in our schedule, we need to have a To Do List and a Not To Do List. We need to make decisions about what to eliminate and to make them wisely.
These decisions can feel tough, because many of us like to cram every.little.thing.under.the.sun into our schedule. It can feel fun to try everything, but if we are being real, we need to come to terms with the truest of truths — we cannot do it all.
Consider what you might do without, so you can have more sanity for yourself:
- binge watching television shows or movies
- monitoring the news constantly
- reading the entire Internet every time you pick up your phone
- worrying and second-guessing
- saying “yes” to everything
I know, it’s a tough list to think about. It might be tougher to take this important step of cutting something out of your schedule. Please know that your decision to manage your time more carefully will actually bring you more enjoyment and freedom in your life — not less.
When you make good decisions about how you use your time, you will end up feeling like you have more time to use. You’ll need to trust me at first on this one, but that’s okay because these strategies really work.
Love your schedule, love yourself
You might feel some resistance to the idea of using your schedule to combat Procrastination. After all, there are so many factors that make it seem like Procrastination is here to stay. But, as we all know, Procrastination is the thief of time and a pain in the a**, and time is truly precious. So let’s start moving so we can kick Procrastination out the door.
Let’s remember to be kind to ourselves as we try new techniques and ideas. Let’s not get overly frustrated when things don’t feel like they are going perfectly from the start. It is important to stay the course. Love your schedule in order to love yourself. The rewards of finding productivity and flow after leaving Procrastination behind are tremendous. Don’t miss them.