The time we have in a day is finite, and sometimes we plan on finishing certain tasks, but time gets away from us. Schedule management is not easy, especially if you try to remember all your appointments and duties without any kind of reference. There are tips you can follow to ensure you stay on track and have time for work that you want to finish, as well as to relax. The following advice is going to ensure that your day goes much smoother than before, even if some random task suddenly comes up.
1. Create a Daily Routine
Having a routine is extremely helpful when planning your day and setting time for different errands and work. Even on days off, a routine is necessary, so you do not find yourself running around trying to catch up on tasks that you were unable to finish. Your daily routine starts from the moment you wake up. Setting a specific time to get up will help you plan how your day will go. Don’t forget to include details about when you will eat breakfast, get dressed, and go to work. This routine should end with you going to bed for the night. Having a set routine will help you manage your available hours in your day because you already have constants that will never change.
2. Write Down Your To-Do
This may seem quite simple, but it still deserves a mention. A to-do list is another essential tool when managing your schedules. When writing down the items on your list, be aware of how you want to order them. Some people prefer to order their tasks according to priority or by the level of difficulty. Others like their to-do list to be ordered based on how much time each item will take. If you struggle to follow your list, try finding the order that works for you. You can include simple items that you already have in your daily routine to give you a sense of achievement when you cross them off. For example, you can add items such as take a shower, eat breakfast or pack your bag for the day. Nowadays, there are apps that can help you create elaborate to-do lists, and some even give you points or rewards when you finish tasks that you wrote down.
3. Use a Tangible Calendar
Another great tool is your calendar. Of course, there are various online calendars that you can use, but schedule management pros believe that you should have a tangible copy of your calendar on hand. Some people prefer to just print out their digital calendars, but you can also find printable calendar pages that you can download and fill in by hand. If you are a kinesthetic person, writing down your plan by hand can help you focus and will ensure that you remember each item you place on your calendar. This solidifies the idea that you need to be working on a certain job or duty at a specified time.
4. Set Time for Email
People often forget that sending and responding to emails can consume hours in a day. If you do not set aside time out of your day to keep track of your email, you will find yourself struggling to keep up with changes and requests. If left unchecked, you will feel like you have too much on your plate. Setting aside an hour or two every day to check and respond to your emails will ensure that you do not feel like there is a task hanging over your head that you are never going to finish.
5. Plan Everything
There is no way to predict the future, but this should not be an excuse to spend your days going with the flow without any kind of plan. About 90% of your day should be planned ahead. Your daily plan should not just include important meetings and appointments. You should also include time for your lunch, coffee breaks, and duties you have to do during your working hours.
6. Include Breaks
Setting time for yourself to relax or have a break is often easy to forget. When you are creating your schedule, you should always have time for breaks. A great strategy to follow when setting your schedule, that is proven to increase productivity, is having 25 to 30 minutes of work followed by a short break. After setting up your schedule with 4 working slots, you should have a longer break. This ensures that you maintain complete focus throughout the working time slot, then rest your mind for five minutes before going back to work.
Using these 6 expert tips, you will be managing your personal and work schedules like a pro instantly. You do not have to worry about trying to fit in a million tasks in your day without any idea when you are going to do them. Remember to always have a detailed plan to ensure that you are ready for the day ahead, but leave some room for flexibility if something is canceled or a new errand comes up.