If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me how I fit everything I do into a day…
In all seriousness, I’m constantly asked how I get everything done, and the “secret” is that I use a Time Blocking Scheduling Method to schedule my life. When I describe my day, I’m always met with “Wow – what a busy day!” And in all honesty, that’s what my everyday is like! It’s busy from morning until night – and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
YES, a vacation or a weekend away is great, but my days are full and I love it this way. I have a lot of things on my plate and my trick to keeping it as together as I can is to simply have it organized. Schedule, reschedule, organize, and be on time!
Let me preface this by saying that I fall apart sometimes, my schedule gets overwhelmed and swamped, and my anxiety flares up and nothing gets done on time – that’s when I know I’ve taken on too much and I need to take a step back – and a deep breath!
I started to say NO to a lot of things that wouldn’t work in my schedule, because realistically, my schedule is also my family’s schedule. My kids have their own activities, school schedules, and social lives, my husband is busy running our business as my partner, and then I have my own work schedule to go along with that.
To organize this without allowing life to become too hectic, I use iCalendar on our Mac/iPhones. This way my older child and my husband can both see things on the calendar that they need to know about, and it’s on our computers and our phones – aka. Accessible anywhere! Scheduling everywhere! Easy to look up and edit!
I’ve tried so many different ways to organize my life and this is the best way for me – I’ve tried day planners of all sorts, special family calendar apps on our phones, different ‘to-do list’ apps – and this simple way of planning out my calendar works perfectly for me. We also have a large paper calendar in our kitchen to remind us of any important dates/activities that are already in our online calendar.
I like to label everything – Family – Work – My Schedule – and I choose who it gets shared with, and I can also turn on or off my calendars. I typically turn off my work tasks (so it looks like the calendar below), except when I’m work, so that way I can “turn off my work brain” when I’m not working! Otherwise I’d be overly concerned with all of my work tasks when I shouldn’t be.
How often do I create a schedule like this?
Once a month or so, I will make sure my schedule is running properly and I’ll add new activities to it when necessary, and remove things that aren’t applicable anymore. Most of the items are on “repeat” for an indefinite amount of time, and I adjust the days when I need to. Then I create new weekly tasks, usually for work, every week.
I use a Time-Blocking Scheduling Method to create Time Blocks for everything important – morning routines, exercise, work, kids school schedules and after school activities – and then when I have to add to the schedule – say to make an appointment or see if we have time for a playdate, it’s super easy and simple to find the bare spots or even move around things that aren’t super important.
It might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s quite simple – there’s only 24 hours in a day, and I use about 8 of those for sleep! The remainder are divvied up between work/kids/hubby/household/self care/etc… and sometimes they overlap because I can be a serious multi-tasker (listening to podcasts while cleaning or recording voice memos while cooking), but for the most part, I can easily see where I have free time or not.
Scheduling every minute of the day might sound a bit OCD, but I promise you, it’s actually the opposite. The clarity in my schedule helps me through my days, get to appointments on time, and reminds me of all the tasks that need to be done – and they get done!
How do you schedule your days?