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  • April 26, 2023 4 min read

    Planning is all well and good and one way to make sure we’re prepared for anything and everything we have to do for the day? Have a schedule. But putting together one is more than just making a list of things to do and then a timeframe beside them. To make sure we make the most out of our time and that we can get a lot done in the most efficient ways possible, we need an effective schedule in place.

    But what steps can we take in order to ensure we create a schedule that will work for us? In this post, we take a look at a few things to be mindful of so we can plan out a truly productive day!

    1. Structure your day.

    The first step to an effective schedule is creating a structure to follow. By having a certain framework in place, you can then divide your day accordingly. You can do this in different ways.

    For example, if you work from home or have full control of how to manage your time, then you can probably structure your day based on when you’re most productive. Some people can focus more at night while others thrive when they begin their day early. There are also people who start the day slow but, as their energy picks up, they find they can accomplish more by midday. If you work for a company or have a rigid timetable that needs to be followed, then take a look at where you can make adjustments. From there, group and schedule certain tasks accordingly. 

    2. Don’t just list down your tasks: prioritize them.

    To-do lists are great and having one ensures you don’t forget anything important that you need to remember. However, as part of an effective schedule, a list for the sake of having certain things written on paper isn’t enough. If we want to be systematic about ticking off whatever is on this list, we also need to arrange them by priority.

    Of course there’s nothing wrong if you want a simple list but, in the interest of effectiveness, assigning a value to each task on your list will make it easier for you to finish what’s important. This has a domino effect on the rest of your tasks and the rest of your day: you won’t be chasing after deadlines and you can set a particular time—when you’re most productive for example, or when you’ll be uninterrupted—to do tasks that need your full, undivided attention.

    Looking for ways on how to rank the tasks in your list? Here’s a handy guide with methods that you can try!


    3. Make sure to be realistic with time allotments.

    This may take some work and trial and error is encouraged, but when creating a schedule, it’s important you’re realistic when it comes to planning tasks and activities across your day. As someone who knows quite well how your day goes, cramming too much into several hours or the whole day can lead to pressure and procrastination; in the end, you may not even get anything done at all.

    The key is to take a good look at how much time you have in a day, how long you usually take to do certain tasks, and then basing your time allotments from there. Provide some leeway just in case things don’t go as expected—you never know if something comes up, an emergency or something urgent—since it’s always better to have more time to do something than less of it.

    In case you find yourself procrastinating, this post might help.


    4. Expect to make regular changes and adjustments to your schedule.

    Whether or not your tasks change from time to time, it’s important that you tweak your schedule regularly. A lot of outside factors can affect our tasks as we do them and priorities and responsibilities may change. Therefore, it’s important that we’re flexible, adjusting to these changes as we go and making changes to our schedule as well.

    Daily, weekly, or monthly, set aside time to go over your schedule and check if it’s still working for you. Even if you feel that it’s not necessary, go over it anyway. Think of it as maintenance: if you want to keep your schedule running in tip top shape, checking for improvements has to become part of the upkeep.

    Looking for more ways to make planning your week, month, or year a success? This post can help! You may also want to check these time management methods to which you can incorporate to your schedule: the Pomodoro Technique and Time Blocking.


    5. Don’t be afraid to try different variations of your schedule.

    The only way you’ll be able to figure out what works for you is if you try something out. It’s the same with your schedule. If you’re lucky, the first one you set up will work out for you right away and that’s great! However, don’t be discouraged if everything doesn’t fall quite into place just yet after several tries. Just keep reviewing, making adjustments, until you find a schedule that works.


    How effective can you make your schedule?

    Creating an effective schedule takes time and practice, but with these simple steps, you can become a scheduling master in no time! There will be a lot of work involved, some patience, but don’t quit and keep going.

    What other steps can you think of taking to make sure you make your schedule as effective as possible? Are there things outside of this list you’ve tried with much success? Share it with us in the comments!

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