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10 Smartest Ways to Schedule Your Time

A schedule allows you to accomplish all you need to do. Plus, it ensures that you finish everything you need to get done.
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It takes just 10 to 12 minutes to create a schedule that’ll save you 2 hours (or more) throughout the day! Plus, you’ll love the feeling of crossing tasks off and not having to worry about them.

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Whereas if you don’t have a schedule, you’ll flounder around, dizzy with distractions, and get nothing done. Furthermore, the next day is even worse!

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Living without a schedule is like giving up control of your life to the universe. It’s rolling the dice of chance and hoping something good happens.

That’s no way to live! Especially when there are so many benefits to having a schedule.

The advantages of keeping a schedule:

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A schedule eliminates the old “I don’t have the time to do that.” excuse by allowing you to be strategic with what you do with your time. It gets your head in the game and builds your motivation. In fact, you could schedule the next five years if you’re feeling ultra-ambitious!

Here are some more bonuses you’ll get from a schedule:

  • Your productivity explodes, which impressing your boss and customers.
  • You lift that giant weight of not having extra time off your shoulders.
  • You’ll discover which tasks are critical and which are a waste of time.
  • You will feel so proud of yourself at the end of every day for accomplishing so much. As a result, you’ll build confidence and enjoy life more. Seriously!

Making a schedule just takes a few minutes, and it won’t hurt a bit, I promise. Alright, let’s do this!

Here’s how to effectively schedule your time:

1. Add your goals to your schedule

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First, add your goals to your schedule or planner. Don’t underestimate how important a planner is.

So, brainstorm for a minute. What awesome things would you love to do?

What if you finished that nagging task that keeps you up at night? Or start that project your subconscious always mentions?

You could learn to paint, program a computer, play an instrument, or add a new language to your repertoire? Aren’t you fancy!

Anything you always wanted to do but never have time for, now you’re going to make it happen like a boss.

2. Create a master list of everything you need to schedule

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“A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.”  — Peter Turla

Now, list everything you need to do, from the tedious to the momentous tasks. Unload everything onto your planner.

Here are some ideas to add to your schedule:

  • Cleaning and maintaining things
  • Relationships
  • Work-related tasks
  • Steps to take towards your goals
  • Things should do but never have time for

You get the gist; let it all out. It’s not useful to keep your to-do list floating around in your head. After a while, it’d be a chaotic mess! But when you see everything laid out in front of you, you can sort out your life.

3. Prioritize your list

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“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”

— Lee Iacocca

A schedule isn’t as beneficial if it’s a jumbled list of random tasks. That’s where prioritization comes in to save the day! Sort everything from the most valuable tasks to the necessary little things you need to do. Prioritizing is where the real power of the schedule comes into play!

Incredible things would happen and much faster than they would have beforehand!

People waste most of their time doing unnecessary tasks. In contrast, only a few of their actions bring in results! The Pareto Principle says that just 20% of your activities give you 80% of your results. So, what if you focused most often on those tasks and stopped wasting time with the other stuff?

Look at your master plan and ask yourself which tasks produce are most profitable. Put those at the top of a new list and prioritize the rest.

Then in your planner, schedule the days you’ll do each activity. Do the 20% tasks first thing in the morning so you won’t have all day to procrastinate. Plus, in the morning, your brain is fresh and ready to tackle these essential activities.

4.   Don’t over-schedule

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“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”

— Zig Ziglar

We overestimate how much we can do in 24 hours, but scheduling too many things can be detrimental to your productivity.

Your anxiety levels increase when your tasks carry over into the next time block. Then you fall further behind, get discouraged, and your productivity goes right down the drain.

Examine your schedule and choose to cut out the unnecessary tasks, and focus on what matters. Also, don’t take on extra responsibilities unless you have spare time for them. The less overwhelmed you are, the better you’ll perform.

5. Weekly and monthly goal lists

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At the beginning of each week, write a few goals in your planner. Then check last month’s list and see how many you finished and which projects you need to keep working on this month.

Put these goal lists somewhere where you’ll see them daily. That will keep them on your mind, so they don’t get abandoned or forgotten. Whenever you glance at your goals, your subconscious gets to work on making them a reality!

Also, go over your plan every month and adjust it since your priorities will change over time.

6. Create systems to save time (and make tomorrow easier)

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Can you think of anything you could do to make your future tasks easier and faster? Brainstorm for a while and write anything that pops into your mind.

For instance, you could organize things better, so you can get started faster. Or build your skills, so you’re more efficient. Also, you’ll benefit from learning how other people do these tasks and try them out.

7. Bundle similar tasks

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A genius way to get things done is to work on similar tasks all at once instead of spreading them throughout the week. That saves you all that time getting prepared and getting started for each step. Because you’re doing the most challenging part (starting) one time, rather than seven. Then, you’re done with those tasks for the entire week!

I like batching the tasks I hate so I can get them out of the way in one swoop! Look at your list, pull out similar things, and bundle them together on the same day. 

8. Schedule breaks and buffer time between tasks. You’re not a machine!

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Similar to our bodies, our brains need to rest after a strenuous workout. So, take some time to step away from your work and disconnect for a while.

Also, when you’re planning your time, don’t set tasks back to back. Task switching takes time and effort! You need to get everything ready, mentally let go of the last project and move on to the next. So, make sure you set some buffer time to do that.

If you’re exhausted, then getting things done becomes an even bigger feat. You can’t work non-stop and be effective. So, make sure you take breaks by including them in your schedule.

9. Track your progress

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As you go through your day, track how long it takes to complete each activity. It’s helpful to know how much time, on average, it takes you to do things so you can schedule them. Soon you’ll refine those time planning skills to surgical precision!

10. Take your schedule seriously!

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“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”  

— Mark Twain

If you put off things till later because you work for yourself, it’s time to spice things up. A lot of people are productive because they have someone making sure they’re finishing things. But, if you don’t have a boss or are working from home, you might need to use your imagination.

Imagine something horrible will happen if you don’t finish your daily tasks before a specific time. It’s easy when you have a boss because you could get fired if you aren’t productive.

For example, you can increase the urgency by setting a timer on your desk and imagining it’s a bomb! That should spur you into action! Plus, it turns work into a game.

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Or pretend you need your work done in 30 minutes, or your customer will drop you or even sue you! That should make each task much more critical!

Otherwise, you can pretend something exceptional would happen if you finished in time. Like you’d get a new car or your dream house! Whatever inspires you to get to work!

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“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.”

—  Wayne Dyer

In short, you now have a secret weapon to slaughter everything you need to do! A schedule allows you to take back control of your day! Prioritize your tasks so your most important things are finished first. Also, group up similar items to crush them all at once!

If you’d like more life-changing wisdom like this, subscribe and get a brand new article in your inbox every week! Also, leave a comment and let us know of any other ways to schedule your time!

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  1. Sheryl,

    Another amazing post! I am huge on scheduling, almost to a fault, LoL. But I digress…

    Favorite quote: “When you write your schedule, avoid setting tasks back to back. Task switching takes time. Get everything you need ready, then mentally let go of the last project and move on to the next. ”

    This is on point, especially the task switching aspect. It has taken me some time to hone this nuanced skill of time management, but it is paying in droves!

    A kind of weird question ask people at parties is “what’s the one thing every person on the planet has in common?” Time.

    We all have 24 hours in a day. Riight? So by managing my time effectively, I feel more productive, and I’m….wait for it……motivated to progress….. onward through the fog!

    Thanks for once again inspiring us all with your “timeless” words. :p


    • Thanks, Trent! Yeah, as I said, scheduling can be addicting! Okay, actually …I cut that part out, lol! Also, I had cut out your favorite part earlier! Luckily, I didn’t delete it; I just cut/paste it into another doc. Voila! It’s back in the article just for you! I have problems with task switching, too, especially if I’m in the zone! That’s true everyone has 24 hours a day. It’s what we do with those hours that really make a huge difference! Well, I’m glad you’re progressing through the fog. Hopefully, there aren’t any cliffs nearby!

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