When I think back over the last few years about when I felt the most productive and confident, I readily identify the winter between 2012/2013. I can also easily identify why…I had a great schedule! I was honoring myself by going to the gym, visiting family, spending time with friends, and working with regularity and consistency. Having a schedule prevented me from overworking, isolating, and/or avoiding. I was able to meet my own needs and take care of myself by relying on a schedule that I made while in my wisest state of mind.
I share this with you as I have recently realized that I have NOT been sticking to my schedule! I sat down today and remedied this situation and wanted to share with you some steps that made it easier:
- Determine what you value and want to accomplish during a week. Examples may be exercise, visit relatives, spend time with friends, work, read, create art, hike…
- Create measurable goals related to each thing you want to do, such as workout 3x/week or visit grandma once/week.
- Create a blank schedule with one column per day
- Fill in the mandatory/inflexible parts of you schedule in blocks
- Weigh out the other pieces of the puzzle, filling the week in with as much balance as possible
- STICK TO IT!
I really do recommend that you stick to your schedule for several weeks before making any changes. At first, only make changes to things that were problematic during your trial run. This might be removing things that you scheduled after work if you find yourself having to stay late at work certain days. It may be permitting yourself to sleep in on a Thursday or Friday if your week is taxing. Try to limit the number of changes you make at a time so that you know what is helping and what isn’t.