Creating schedules and sticking to them is a skill that we must cultivate and learn, especially in our adulthood. While on paper (excuse my pun) it sounds simple, unfortunately life tends to get in the way of that seemingly natural and simple way of handling our lives. Simply put, life happens. Things do not always go according to plan, but if we do have a solid foundation, utter crisis can be averted.
How can we go about that, though? Well, as you may have guessed, it starts with getting a handle on how we deal with scheduling and planning. Organization is critical, and there are a few ways we can improve our skills at that. Follow along for some more details on that!
How to Get Started
This is probably one of the most difficult parts of this process. Taking that first step can feel almost impossible if we are not sure where to being. You could check out a resource like this one, https://blog.doist.com/organize-your-life/, for some pointers on how to start. Other than that, I will be providing a list of five strategies that you can use to improve this aspect of your day-to-day living.
Step One: Creating Routines
I know, I know – this is what every self-help guru recommends. Just keep in mind that there is a good reason for that! If you can get yourself into a routine, you will likely find that your quality of life is vastly improved. Why is that, though?
Well, a big part of it is that we form them through our habits. Some examples of this could be our sleep schedule or how often that we brush our teeth. Obviously, it might not seem like you need to see 3 month calendars to jot in when to go to bed or when to brush your teeth, however, it can’t hurt to write them in for a few weeks just to get yourself on the right track.
Even if you feel like it is silly or a waste of time, I recommend trying it. Stick to the schedule that you write about, and eventually it will simply become an inherent part of your routine! What are some good habits that you could create, though?
It could be getting a solid eight hours’ worth of sleep as opposed to five. Perhaps it is scheduling in time to read a book each day – even an hour can make a big difference. You could also start doing some meal preparations every Sunday to get ready for the week.
Step Two: Planning Ahead
This is really the crux of this article, so that is why I put it so high on my list. It probably seems like this is something inherent that we do, but for some of us, it is a challenge. That is part of why I use a planner or other form of calendar to sort out my schedule.
I tend to go for about a month or two in advance. Any further than that, the future is generally a bit too unclear. However, for doctor’s appointments and such, that is usually fine to pencil in.
Now, there are some phone applications that you can utilize for this purpose in addition to paper options. To some extent, that will be up to your discretion. I remember things better if I write them down, but I know everyone retains information differently!
Step Three: Find Balance in Your Life
Most people want to be productive every day. We want to get on that grind and get closer to achieving our goals. However, I think it is important for us to remember that having a balanced lifestyle is critical to overall happiness. How can we do that? Well, articles like this one can provide some insight.
What I will highlight is that it is important for us to mix in activities that we truly love into our routines. Life is not only about working and finding success. We also need to enrich ourselves and spend time with the people we love. Do not lose sight of that!
Step Four: Declutter Your Spaces
This is another one that is certainly easier in concept than it is in practice. It is hard not to enjoy finding a good deal when we got to a department store. Even more difficult is trying to get rid of the items that we buy, especially if we have some sentimental attachments to them.
Now, I am not telling you to throw out every item that you own. However, sorting through our belongings every once in a while, and throwing out or donating things that we no longer need can have a positive impact on our lives. The less clutter around us, the more emotional space we have alongside the physical space.
Step Five: Reflect on Your Progress
Personally, I find that a lot of us do not recognize or celebrate our accomplishments nearly enough. Life seems to go by so fast that we do not get the time to do so. Yet, it is an important and enriching part of our daily lives. So, I think that taking at least a moment or two at the end of the week to look at our tasks and responsibilities and see what we accomplished is critical.
Of course, on the flip side of this coin, we do need to acknowledge and hold ourselves accountable for anything that we did not get done. Adding it to our schedule for the next week is an option, of course, but it is still important to understand that it was a failure, even if it did not have any serious consequences.
If we do both, we are more likely to stick to our routines and scheduled activities. The incentive to complete tasks is self-satisfaction, and if we hold ourselves accountable, we are less likely to skip out on important things. Just remember to make some time for yourself as well!