Good morning my friends!
Today I want to share with you a little trick I learned a few weeks ago about effectively scheduling your week. I was asked to attend a meeting right after the New Year, where Linda Evenden, a motivational speaker from Australia, was video chatting with a group of women about goal setting and priorities. She was so joyful and energetic, I literally hung on every single word she said.
At the end of the hour and a half, Linda briefly spoke about how she manages and schedules her week. Being a work-from-home mother, I consider myself someone who works full time, but because I work from home and set my own schedule, I am also kind of a stay-at-home mom. Scheduling is difficult and the responsibility of a business and a family is tricky. Her suggestions were GOLDEN and has helped me tremendously get through my weeks without feeling the compulsion to always be working.
Here are the steps:
1.) On Sunday, write down every single thing you can imagine that you need to do that week. This can consist of returning texts, emails, web research, going to the cleaners, scheduling meetings etc…Take a few minutes to dump everything that is floating around in your brain onto paper. Linda called it a ‘Capture List.’
2.) Go through and make ‘CATEGORIES’ of like activities: Emails, Errands, Scheduling, Photography…whatever activities you typically engage in during the week. Assign everything on your Capture List to a Category.
3.) Next, take a pen (I use a different color ink) and assign a day that each task needs to be done. Note: Assign like things on the same day. This allows you to get into a groove which then allows you to work more efficiently. For example, I do all of my writing on the same day at the same time instead of writing an article, then checking email, then holding a photoshoot, then writing another article. Groove = Efficiency.
4.) Take this new schedule written on notebook paper and transfer it to your calendar. Every task that was floating around in my head is now scheduled. Once everything is checked off for the day, I don’t worry about the other things, because I’ve already carved out a time later in the week to do them. The compulsion to continue working completely goes away.
Friends, I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, and it completely changed my life. If you decide to give this a go, I have a few suggestions.
- I use a paper calendar for all my tasks, and my phone calendar for all my appointments. When completing step 3, I pull out my phone so I can be sure not to schedule too many tasks on days I have lots of appointments.
- I try to leave Fridays as blank as possible because tasks can get moved as new things pop up. If I have Fridays open to receive those things, then I’m not stressed on Friday night about having to finish that day’s work plus all the overflow. BONUS: If I’ve done a good job sticking with the schedule, Friday becomes a fun, light day where I can possibly have lunch with the hubs, the kids, or some friends.
- I also schedule in time to hang out with the boys and Brian. You know the drill: if it’s on the calendar it gets done!
- The first time I did this, it took me over an hour to write it all down, make categories etc…I wasn’t 100% sure what categories to make. But the second time, it took me around 30 minutes. Don’t be turned off if you feel overwhelmed at first. It definitely gets easier/shorter.
I hope this helps you when scheduling your week. Give it a try and let me know how it worked! Also, I’m trying a new paper calendar that was gifted to me by my sister-in-law at Christmas. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Would you like to hear more about this? It’s from a brand new company based in Texas! The layout works well with my brain and with this method of scheduling. Let me know if you want to hear more!