Why Your Life Depends on Keeping a Schedule, and What Should Be In It.
Earlier this year, I started keeping a paper schedule. I used to throw everything into my phone, but then I always forgot about it (don’t ask). I keep my schedule on my coffee table as part of my morning routine. But I don’t just schedule my business commitments, I schedule every aspect of my life: appointments with clients, business events, dates with my girlfriend, nights out with my buddies, and especially vacations and my time alone. I even schedule time that I use solely for planning future events that will go into my schedule.
Now you may say that is a very rigid way to live. Actually, it’s incredibly liberating; if you take control of your time, you will take control of your life. Life for me now has become more about taking charge and accomplishing rather than sitting back and letting time control me. No more wondering what I’m going to do with my day, only to have it end and wonder what I did all day. Those days can be ok, but not all the time.
Obviously business related items should be in your schedule, but here are the mandatory minimums that every should set time aside for:
Time to Plan
You absolutely must take time each week to plan out the following week. It could be half an hour, it could be three hours, but you have to make time to plan. This is your time to research vacations you want to take, dates for you and your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, etc. and all the other fun stuff you want to do.
Your Have To’s
No, not your appointments with clients or meetings or work schedules. The things you have to do for yourself that will keep you primed all week. What do you do that keeps you focused and motivated? Gym? Nature Walk? Meditation? Night out with the guys? Great, you need to schedule these things first. If you let your have to’s slip, you’ll start to notice everything else slipping.
Time for Fun
This one is similar to your “have to’s”. We often sacrifice doing fun stuff that fuels us so we can get in another meeting with a client or an extra couple hours of paperwork. How good will the quality of your work be if you haven’t made time to forget about the office for a while?
This is one of the most important things you can schedule if you’re in a relationship. I promise you, if you take the time each week to schedule time with your significant other, they will never feel neglected and your relationship will continue to grow.
I take scheduling one step further though: I actually colour code my plans in my schedule by subject so each month I can go through and audit where I need to spend more time, work or relationships or personal time. I can see each month how much time I spent on my business, on writing, on time with my girlfriend and on personal time for myself.
If you follow these tips and schedule your time properly each week, you will never hear yourself say again “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”. You will find yourself to be the most productive employee, entrepreneur, and the most loved partner anyone can have.