By Karen Grill, SecondActMoms.com
I am a big proponent of scheduling. Without a schedule, I would not be able to accomplish all my tasks whether for business or family. I recently wrote about my approach for scheduling for fall. There are a number of factors that go into a great, productive schedule.
I had my time blocks planned. I was following my schedule, trying to complete my tasks. But I found that I really wasn’t getting as much done as I had in the past. I had made a commitment to exercising every morning – and had added that to my schedule. And while I added time for showering and getting ready after my exercise, and eating a healthy breakfast (my superhuman breakfast) I was then not able to focus on my priority task of the day. I was really frustrated and couldn’t complete the task in a timely manner. For quite some time I was mad at myself. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t more disciplined. I berated myself for being lazy and unfocused and resolved to work harder, be more laser focused, etc.
I decided to review my schedule and check my energy levels. Previously, I always had high energy in the morning – and therefore was able to get a lot of important tasks out of the way. I realized, though, that with exercising in the morning – my energy wasn’t high right afterwards. I felt a little foggy or hazy. Maybe it’s due to all the great endorphins you get from exercising – but it wasn’t helping my business productivity. I realized that my issue wasn’t lack of dedication, but instead that my energy was not aligning with my tasks. Since I am determined to exercise in the morning, I will need to revamp the order of my time blocks.I decided that I will have a trial schedule next week. I will move some more concrete tasks, such as invoicing, or do some social media scheduling or interacting to right after my exercise and get ready routine. And then, after a little while, I’ll work on my priority tasks, my meatier tasks. I will wait to do the tasks that require more focus until I’ve recovered from my exercising. Hopefully that will allow me to complete my tasks and feel better about myself.
It’s easy to be hard on yourself. It would be easy to give up scheduling because you think you’re not a “scheduler”. Instead, try to diagnose why you’re having trouble. It could be lack of sleep, nutrition, exercise, etc. – a variety of reasons. Before your throw the baby out with the bathwater, try changing some things around to find out what works best for you. We all can become Scheduling Superwomen!
A couple quick steps
- Create your time block schedule with the information you currently have
Block off chunks of time for different types of tasks (Social Media Posting and Monitoring, Writing Blog Posts, Client Work, Email List, etc.). Then add individual tasks in each block. (I include my personal activities as well).
- Try out your schedule for a week or two
Follow the time blocks from above. After each block, make a note about how you’re feeling – was it easy to accomplish each task? Were there sticking points? Make sure you’re putting yourself in the moment. Focusing on each task and trying to complete it. That way you will know whether or not this schedule will work.
- If you aren’t efficient, analyze the areas that aren’t working
Ask questions about why it wasn’t working. It may take several days to really understand why you couldn’t complete a certain task easily.
- Revise your schedule
Once you really understand the potential problems, move things around. If you couldn’t focus at that specific time – try moving something less taxing mentally to that time slot. Or if you couldn’t focus right before lunch – maybe you need to eat earlier or eat a larger breakfast.
- Try out the schedule again for a couple of weeks.
With your revised schedule – check in with yourself about your tasks. What’s working? Is there anything not working?
- Rinse and Repeat until you’ve got your perfect schedule.
Back to You
Have you had some difficulty with your scheduling? What have you noticed about your productivity? What about your energy levels? Does the food you eat have an effect on your productivity? Let us know where you’re succeeding and where, perhaps, you need more work.