How to Use Your Schedule to Find More Time for Yourself

Use your schedule to find more time for yourselfTime 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

The Emergent Task Planner (a free download)

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.

Related reading:  

7 Tips to Help You Become a Master Scheduler


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7 Tips to Help You Become a Master Scheduler

7 Tips on How toBecome a Master SchedulerAll of us have limited resources: limited energy, limited brainpower, limited willpower, and limited time over the course of one day.  When we have multiple activities we’d like to get to in one day, leaving the schedule up to chance is a recipe for having our intentions go unfulfilled.

Give yourself a much better chance of feeling satisfied at the end of each day by training yourself to be a master scheduler.  No, you don’t have to micromanage everything to do this.  You just need to take an honest look at your own plans and engineer them so you can be sure to make them happen.

Here are 7 suggestions for becoming a master scheduler:

Invest the extra time to do proper schedule planning.  It may be as little as 7 minutes or as much as 45 minutes, but whatever amount of time you need to organize your schedule will pay off when you execute your plan.  Knowing where you are headed will enable you to invest your energy into making the plan happen. You won’t be wasting your willpower and mental energy constantly figuring out where to invest your attention throughout the day.

Ruthlessly eliminate unnecessary items on your schedule.  Gradually get rid of the tasks and activities that drag you down and make your free time seem to disappear. Decide what you want to focus your heart and mind on, and head in that direction instead of to the mall or to the black hole that is the internet.

Make sure to pre-plan what is necessary in your schedule.  One example of this is your meals.  So many people make the mistake of skipping breakfast, arguably the most important meal of the day, in order to feel like they are maximizing their time. Schedule in your meals and your exercise and any routine appointments to make sure you keep yourself in top form.  And remember — never skip breakfast!

Tightly limit how much time you allot to your projects.  Don’t throw time at your projects.  Instead, estimate how much time you will need and allow yourself just enough time, no more.  This way you’ll be more inclined to push yourself towards the finish line, saving yourself time in the process.

Schedule in significant breaks between periods of work.  When we work for hours on end our creativity and productivity wane.  Allow yourself a proper break whenever you are intensely focused or involved in medium-to-high-stress activity. Determine how long you want your break to be ahead of time, in order to protect yourself from turning your break into unnecessary Procrastination.

Clearly differentiate between work time and play time.  This is an area that chronic Procrastinators have difficulty with.  When we Procrastinate, we end up thinking about work when we are playing, and being mentally checked out when we are supposed to be working.  Being able to separate work time and play time is a skill that can be learned over time.  Try to start putting it into practice by scheduling your time more wisely today and throughout the upcoming week.

Balance heavy and light.  Be aware of busier days and make sure you schedule lighter days around them.  This will prevent you from burning out and will increase your chances of making it through the week with some energy left over.  Weekends will be that much more joyful as a result.

There are many more tips on scheduling to share, but if you stick to the ones listed here, you’ll be well on your way towards having more time for your work and for the rest of your life.  Use the extra time you have to build a better week ahead and of course, a brighter future.

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