Make Your Calendar Work For You

How much thought goes in to creating your weekly schedule? Do you take the time to plan your week or do you just try to think of what to do when you realize you have a little time?

Creating a weekly schedule involves putting in time up front, but it saves you time in the long run. Each time you stop and think about what to do when you have a little time, actually takes up part of that time. 

By doing the planning ahead, you only have to spend that time thinking about what to do once a week instead of every time you have a few minutes. Total time saver. 

Creating a weekly schedule involves putting in time up front, but it saves you time in the long run.

So the first step is to perform a brain dump at the beginning of the week. I prefer Sunday morning before everyone gets up. Sit done and write out everything that needs to get done. I mean everything. Appointments, errands, meetings, school events, work projects, etc... 

Once you've written all those down on a list, pick out the things that have a specific date and time like meetings and doctors appointments. Those go first since they can be moved around.  

Next, look at all the most time consuming tasks. These are things that would take more than an hour. For example, going to the grocery store, shopping, coming home, prepping the food, and putting it all away would take more than an hour so that would fit into that category. Other things might be work projects, or church and coffee hour, or a trip to the park.

Put these things into your schedule next. Be sure to make sure that the important time consuming tasks get on the calendar before the less important ones in case you don’t have enough big chunks of time. In that case it might have to wait until next week.

Next, pick out the tasks that take 30 minutes  to an hour. These will go on your calendar next. Try to include a little buffer time between tasks. This can either mean leaving a few minutes open in your schedule between tasks or just over estimating the time you allot for each task. That way if things take a little longer or something happens, you’re not completely thrown off. Plus, it gives your brain a break between tasks. 

Again, during this step, lay in the tasks that are most important first, so you know that they make it onto the schedule. The less important or urgent tasks may be left for the following week. 

Creating a weekly schedule

Finally, it’s time for the quick tasks. The things that need to get done but only take a few minutes. Now you can enter those into your calendar where there is space. Remember not to book every minute. You need time to breathe, and think, and recharge. 

There is one more step that often gets left out, but is super important. Once your schedule is complete, it’s time to re-write the tasks that didn’t make it onto the calendar. When you write them, put them into the three time length categories. So all the time consuming tasks are in one section, then the moderate tasks and finally the quick ones.  

Now if time opens up on your schedule you have a full list of things you can do and how much time it will take.  

This means that during the week you don’t have to think about what to do. You do your scheduled tasks and if you have extra time you do tasks on your list.  

You end up saving time since the time you spend thinking about what to do is only done once a week. You get it done up front so the rest of the week is so much more efficient. 

Here's to getting things done in 2018!