Are you a To-Do List addict but getting nowhere? Here is my secret to successful scheduling.
You must have at least one to do list… perhaps you are a to do list addict like me and have a to do list that lists your many sub to do lists? Trust me when I tell you I have tried everything to be organised and get the idea’s or inspiration out of my head.
Everyone has their own system and way, and I have devised mine based on a pic and mix of all the best tricks I have learned along the way. This may not be the right way for you, but getting organised is all about learning the different tricks that are out there and finding out what fits in with your daily life. I hope my arsenal will be able to help you battle tasks and increase productivity.
What’s my secret?
People always say to me what’s your secret? Where do you find the time? Well it is down to planning, and repetitive scheduling, which cements the plan in your brain. You see once you have that plan down on paper ( and I mean actual paper and fun stuff like colouring pencils and wash tape) you have a plan you can follow, rather than looking at a string of words on a to do list.
The problem with a to do list is you can pick the easiest tasks to complete first… it makes it look like you have done a lot of work when really you are leaving the big clunky jobs to morph into something bigger than it needs to be. There is a lot or research and work that has gone into showing that you should always do the larger tasks first… I will talk about that on another day!
The different stages to my scheduling:
Step 1: The list.
I actually do have a note book, or a note on my phone with a list of things that I need to remember or get done. These are usually random things like collate all the videos to re-edit or schedule and plan 6 weeks worth of live lessons. Everyone’s lists will be different depending on what your job is.
Step 2: – Planning
Now the list is in place, now you need to plan it. YES – plan it! If you are wondering why you need to plan a list… this helps look at your entire week/schedule and see where you can block out parts of the day and dedicate them to certain parts of your list.
We are only dealing with the week ahead, nothing longer. So look at your list and decide what is the most important and where your deadlines are. Place the most important part of your task in the first box of time you have, making sure you leave enough time to complete all of the tasks necessary. If you need more time than this, find a spot where you can also complete this, or whether or not you can afford to extend this slot.
If you have tasks that don’t need to be completed in this week, add them to a pending column and this can be carried over to the next week (yes! You get to plan out each week differently, without sticking to a strict time table. Remember… each week can be different and make sure you are able to be flexible with your time).
Step 3: Delegate your sections.
Keep delegating sections of your week into the time slots you have available. You can delegate entire days to big tasks you may have, just make sure you keep an eye on what other tasks you have on the list as well as your deadlines. Soon you will be able to see all the different tasks planned out efficiently in your plan. Don’t forget to colour code, add wash tape etc to make it unique to you.
Step 4: Plan the whole week.
Use each day for tasks and give them time, making sure you keep in slots for catching up with the minor tasks. If you usually have tasks that pop up, delegate more time in the week that gives you the opportunity to re-shuffle. Remember, this is a plan but you have the power to keep it flexible if this if how you work, don’ panic if you didn’t get all of the work you needed to done, just make sure you learn and plan more effectively in the next week.
If you know you work fast or take your time on tasks, make sure you keep this in mind when planning. I am a perfectionist and probably take longer than I need to on something to get it perfect, I therefore allow time for this.
The most important part of my week is Sunday. Both my husband and I take a few hours to plan our weeks and schedule our diaries. We do this after morning coffee and it sets me up for the rest of the week. I feel cleansed and in control.
If Sundays are not an options try Friday after work, although this may become a chore and you will rush it. If it helps to get you ready for the week, keep Monday mornings free to plan out the week, you may need to get up earlier to ensure you have time for all of your tasks that week.