How I Created a Schedule to Increase Productivity, and How you can do it too!
I haven’t always had a schedule, but when I created one, my productivity skyrocketed. In the world of writing, they have the plotters and pantsers. The plotters are the ones who plan their story. They write scenes, and plan each one. The pantsers put their pen to their paper, and let their story flow without planning.
In life, I was a seasoned “pantser”. I knew what tasks I wanted to get accomplished in a day, and I would bounce on each of them at the earliest time available. With one child, pantsing was someone productive, but with two….Let’s just say, I had to learn some new moves.
When I had my daughter, I realized that balancing all three of our milestones was very difficult. She had to eat at certain times, she needed diaper changing, my son was being homeschooled, I was working towards making a living writing, being a wife, a home manager, and a good wife, but how could I manage it all? I definitely could not do it all well without a schedule.
A family friend that I call, “Sister Adrienne” came to Texas (where I live) for three months to avoid the cold weather up north. During her time, she told me how she managed productivity in her household with a schedule, and she helped me make mine. When we did my schedule, here are the main things we did…
Brainstorm about all of the tasks I do
I started from the time I wake up. When I get out of the bed, the first thing I want to get done is…After I do that task, I want to do…
If you want to make a schedule, it may be more difficult to start with time slots. I told Sis Adrienne everything that I wanted to accomplish, and she typed as I was speaking. By the time, I was done speaking about everything I wanted to do all week, I had the skeleton of a good home management schedule.
Think about when you want to complete the tasks
After, I had a list of the order I want my day to go, we went back, and she asked me, “What time would you like to be doing that?” or “how long does that usually take you?”. I had a list of tasks like meal times, cooking times, writing time, setting up advertisement campaigns, networking, church, travel time, and more. We took my list, and thought about when I wanted to accomplish those things.
Think about how much energy you have a different times of day
For me, I have bursts of creative energy, but they happen regularly. I am usually more energetic in the morning and at night.
If you’re making a schedule, you want to be mindful of when you are creative, so that you can use your creative time to execute creative tasks.
Think about your obstacles and what times they arise
I homeschool my son and I am also the primary caretaker for my 5-month old daughter. I cannot think about completing business tasks like writing or making sales calls while she is hungry or while I am supposed to be giving my son educational instruction. If I am trying to do business tasks when either of them need me, my customers may hear her screaming in the background, my son may get distracted or bored when he could be learning, my productivity would diminish, and I wouldn’t feel good about my day.
When you are making you’re schedule, you have to consider all of your responsibilities, and when you have conflicting interests. Rather than overwhelming yourself by attempting to multitask with incompatible activities, block the time out, or put two compatible tasks during the same time slot. For example, I make my daughter’s baby food at the same time, I make food for the family. While I am making food, I have my daughter and son slotted for independent time. I put her in her bouncy and my son can work on puzzles, schoolwork, or play a video game.
Plan to meet your families’ expectations
My family loves family time. We like to be together, but with life’s obligations, we can bulldoze right over family time. Put things like “family time” on your schedule. Another thing that is important is having good meals, spending time with my husband, or expressing interest in each person in my families’ latest milestones. As life is happening, we need to dedicate time to make our family members feel important, and slot this time on our schedules.
Maybe you like sending birthday cards, going to your child’s baseball games, or some other supportive activity. Slot supportive activities on your schedule too, so you can calculate how much time you have, and ensure that you’ve made time to execute the most important things of your day.
Put reminders in a convenient location
After I had my schedule mapped out, I put my reminders in my Google calendar. Google calendar wlll send notifications to your phone. My notifications go off throughout the day to alert me of the task I scheduled to accomplish next.
Maybe Google calendar may not be your favorite way to be notified, but choose what works best for you. Maybe you can hang calendars throughout the house, so you can stay reminded about what task comes next. Maybe you like checklists or sticky notes. Whatever works best to keep you on track with your schedule, do it. It’s not enough to create the schedule if it’s not easily accessible to you.
- Open a word processing document and beginning typing, “When I wake up in the morning, I want to…”
- Make a list of everything you want to do in a day
- Don’t forget things like “clean the oven”, “clean the refrigerator”, or other weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even annual tasks
- Discuss your schedule with your closest advisors. They can be helpful to remind you of tasks that you may have been putting off, or things you may be forgetting.
- Set up your notifications or put the schedule in visible places (in your car, in your room, in your kitchen, and wherever you spend large amounts of time)
- Implement the schedule and tweak it when you notice something is not working well on the time you slotted.
Here is a playlist to give you more ideas for how you can make a schedule and stick to it:
What do you do to improve your productivity and become a better home manager, parent, and spouse? Does a schedule help you with your productivity? Why or why not. Leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you!