I’m sure you have all experienced this several times in a week – You start the week all charged up, convinced that you will go through the entire “To Do List” for both your work and life. You have a list of tasks you need completed at work; you want to exercise at least 30 minutes every day, you plan to cook a few healthy and delicious meals, you want to read that book you;ve put off for so long and even perhaps indulge in your hobby.
But Alas! It’s Friday and as you look back on the week, you’re overcome with despair, frustration or even anger that you have a whole lot of “NOT DONE LIST“. Now you go into the weekend with this heavy weight and you’re not feeling excited to move into another week.
Why didn’t the tasks get completed? TIME-WASTERS are the problem! As you’re going through the day, you get distracted by an interesting article or picture on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Or perhaps you were lured to the mall and started browsing and what was to be a 30 minute stop ended as a 3-hour trip. Or perhaps there was an unscheduled family event or the kids had to last minute requests for their school project and you needed to help them with it…the list goes on.
So how do I MINIMISE Time-Waster? What is the ONE MAGICAL Step?
If it must be done, it must be on your CALENDAR (or planner).
Yes, look at my calendar (yes that’s a real snapshot of my calendar). I know it looks full but it keeps me on track. I schedule all my work appointments and activities. I schedule my weekly sessions for my shoulder therapy. I schedule my gym and yoga sessions and my weekly outdoor runs. I schedule bulk cooking (yes I bulk cook and freeze..but that’s another blog). I schedule my day out with Mum. Everything that is IMPORTANT is on the schedule.
Ever since I started this schedule, I am on track for at least 90% of the time. But because I have given a buffer, I usually am able to catch up.
So if you have never scheduled you life ever, here a 5-easy-steps to starting your schedule:
1) Open your calendar on your gmail (or any other email you have. I find Google’s calendar the most user friendly as it gives me 30-minutes alert and I can even program it to send me my daily schedule at 5 a.m., so that I can have, at one glance, an idea of what my day will look like.)
2) Put in all the routine tasks and set them for the whole month (e.g. if every Monday morning you need to send reminders to your clients, put it on the calendar; if you want to workout every Saturday morning; or house cleaning every Sunday morning.) I even put in MY REST DAYS. Yes those are days where I take a break from work and sometimes if there is extra work, I do it at leisure during this rest days.
3) Key in all important social commitments you have (weddings, birthdays, coffee with friends). That way you can prioritise and reorganise your activities if there is a clash. Hence, if I’m teaching on a Saturday and there is a wedding, I can choose to change my class and if that is not possible, I let my friend/relative know why I won’t attend. Important family events are put on the calendar way, way in advance. (I had my nephew’s wedding keyed into my calendar one year in advance and blocked out the whole week so I didn’t schedule any work for that week.)
4) Have a start and and time (give at least a 15 minute-buffer in case you go over time. For example, I want to workout for 1 hour but I know walking to the gym and back takes 25 minutes so I allocate 2 hours for gym).
5) This last step is the MOST CRUCIAL – look at your calendar at least 3 times a day so you stay on track. I look at it first thing I wake up, before I go to bed and at least 2 more times throughout the day. That way I am operating in real time. If some circumstances change, I can quickly do my adjustments.
Get organised and start to Simply Live.
Remember, Me First, then Family, then the World.
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