If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.  – Bruce Lee

Have you ever wondered how some people manage to do a 1000 things in one day? They seem to easily fit in work, meetings, working out, eating well, spending time with friends and attending a musical in one day without feeling the slightest burn out. Well, there is a simple secret all those people know: scheduling and time management is all that counts.

Now, some of you might say: I’ve tried planning but it doesn’t work for me. I’m just not the person for it, I prefer being spontaneous.

Well, I’m sorry for playing spoiler here but without the tiniest bit of time management you won’t achieve any goals or get any more successful in life than having a 9-to-5 job and sitting in front of TV every night – which is totally okay if that’s what you want.

The good news is though, time management is something you can easily learn. You don’t need to be any good in organizing or planning to far ahead to set out an effective routine for your day to day life. And you also DON’T have to give up spontaneity entirely. All you need is an effective strategy and getting started.

Luckily, you came across my post. Because I’m going to tell you exactly how you’re going to establish an easy strategy for better time management to build irresistible momentum in your life.

why i love scheduling - Why I Love scheduling (And You Should, Too!) - use time management to build irresistible momentum in life

Why I love scheduling and you should too!

I know for some people planning ahead and keeping track of a calendar is totally going against their roots. I’ve got several friends who tell me every day: “Tara I could never live of a calendar like you do. I’m rather living in the day and being spontaneous. That way I’ve got more adventure in my life, it’s more exiting that way you know!”.

Well, I’m sorry but I can’t agree with you. Being organized and schedule your tasks, neither hinders you in being spontaneous nor does it make life less exiting.

In contrary it makes life so much easier and more manageable. Here are a few benefits of scheduling that should convince you to start it right away:

  • Helps you, maintain an overview of what you must do. By setting deadlines you’ll know what is the most important right now and you can then focus on getting that done instead of doing less important stuff and miss out on any deadline. Schedule and voila you’ll never be late on anything.
  • Allows you to have several projects and goals at the same time. I think we all know, it’s not easy to learn something new, get going with a long-desired project or try to achieve some life goals. And now imagine you’ve got more than one thing you want to start working on. Man, that’ll be hard to handle! No, it won’t. At least not if you schedule the tasks you must do for every goal or project. You won’t miss out on committing to any of them and you can also check if you’re still on the right track aka doing enough to improve.
  • In contrary, it helps you be realistic. Some people, including me, have so many things they want to do that they don’t know where to start. They are likely to take on too many things at once not getting done anything or losing sight. Scheduling helps you be realistic with your time and the projects you start.
  • Frees up your mind. Just think of the many things you can concentrate on, if you’ve just got those annoying little tasks out of your mind you need to remember doing.
  • Saves you time. Once maintaining a calendar you’ll never get in the position of not knowing with what to start because you just need to open up your little digital device and look it up.
  • Helps being spontaneous AND successful. I’ve briefly mentioned it above; spontaneity and success mostly don’t go together all too well. For success, you need to be dedicated and keep doing things for a longer period and sometimes even meeting deadlines. You really need to stick to your tasks no matter what. So, in contrary you can’t be spontaneous anymore. Though, with scheduling those deadlines and tasks you’ll know when they need to be done and can arrange tasks in the way they fit the best for you. Also, if you don’t have any meetings or fixed dates you can always move a task to a later time if there’s something exiting coming up that moment. This way you regain some spontaneity and still maintain that momentum you need for being successful.
  • You’ll look smarter. I hate to admit it, but in today’s working society being organized is a crucial trait. No company wants to hire someone who’s always late, hasn’t got her life together and can’t get her shit done. You need to schedule important things and manage your time to get you shit together and be on time.
  • If not already obvious enough, scheduling is important for time management. Those two things are basically married. One can’t go without the other. And you need time management to get momentum and achieve your goals. (We’ll dive into that more in detail later)
  • Lastly, scheduling helps you establish and maintain a routine.
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Great Ocean Road, Australia

What do I need a routine for?

Ah, I’ve been waiting for you to ask!

Having a routine has two sides, a good and a bad one. There are routines that establish bad habits, which are holding us back from achieving our goals. And certainly, too many routines are also holding you back as they not save you time but take away time by you getting so caught up in following your routines that you don’t have space to enjoy life or work towards your goals.

By the way, the same goes for habits. Too many habits, no matter if good or bad are also taking away time and space for you to enjoy life.

If you have a few productive and supporting routines however, that help us to save time and keep up with those things we can’t put our focus towards.

Just by maintaining a good routine you can save time. Instead of wandering around spending time on unnecessary stuff we spend it on developing our projects. Things like getting up in the morning, brushing teeth and having breakfast will go without thinking. You can even take it as far as having a good habit of working out. I’ve got a lot of friends asking me, how I keep motivating myself to work out even if I don’t want to. Let me tell you, there is no secret, it’s just habit. I’m going to the gym because I’m always going. I don’t think about it, I just do it. All you need is routine and you’ll get a stronger and fitter body without having to think about it, isn’t that great?!

Here are 5 more things you can create a positive routine on and benefit in the long run:

  • Get up earlier –> you’ll have more time to achieve your goals
  • Have breakfast –> gives you more energy to manage the day
  • Watch less TV, read more –> you’ll get inspiration, knowledge and ideas
  • Interact with friends regularly –> you won’t forget them even if your busy
  • Start having a calendar –> create momentum to achieve your goals

Related: 5 small everyday habits to improve your personality.

All you need to do is to evaluate your routines whether they are supportive or destructive. And be really honest with yourself here you are the only one that suffers from too many or bad routines.

Though for building a routine, and I think by now you will agree with me here, you need to schedule your tasks. To build an effective routine to work for your goals, you need to schedule little tasks you need to attend every day. You need to set out a plan by applying time management and then be dedicated enough to stick to it.

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How to better time management

As it is with every organisation skill there is no right or wrong. Everyone has his or her own strategy of how to get things done, though there are some ground rules you should stick to when starting to manage your time.

First, you need to get a sense of what time is.

You need to figure out what are your daily tasks and how long does it take you to get them done. And by that, I mean you need to track them before you schedule them.

Step #1:

Write down your daily tasks (everything from showering and brushing over cooking and eating to driving to work). Then for the next three days set a stop watch every time you do one of them and write down the amount of time it took you till you finished.

After those three days, you should have a broad impression of how long your daily task really take and how much time you need to assign to each of them every day.

Then it’s time to schedule them.

Step #2:

Schedule all tasks that occur frequently as repeating tasks. You don’t have to schedule bathroom time, but I do recommend scheduling cooking and eating time as those can be very time consuming and are important for an overall health. In general I recommend scheduling every task that takes you longer than 15 minutes (including getting ready, for all you girls out there ;)).

Once you scheduled all the regular tasks, it’s time to think of the things you need and want to do. Here I recommend doing this on a weekly basis.

So, like it is with meal prep – for those being not familiar with it – you sit down every Sunday night planning your week. (Don’t forget though to schedule “planning next week” as a returning task!)

Once you scheduled all the regular tasks, it’s time to think of the things you need and want to do. Here I recommend doing this on a weekly basis.

So, like it is with meal prep – for those being not familiar with it – you sit down every Sunday night planning your week. (Don’t forget though to schedule “planning next week” as a returning task!)

Another very helpful tip here is to time block instead of just schedule your tasks.

What does that mean?

That means that you set a side time for each area that frequently needs your attention every week.

For example, you schedule some blocks of time for business every week, another few for exercising and some for social time. Having those time blocks makes it not only easy to stick to the time you set aside to work in each of those areas but also gives you a clear overview over how much time there is left in your week when you stick to your must dos.

I wrote another blogpost that goes more into detail here, so you might want to check this on out.

Step #3:

Schedule all the “Must-Do”-Tasks (usually those which have an ending deadline) and tasks with a fixed date first. Make sure to include the deadline and duration. Then fill the rest with things you want to do, aka the tasks you planned to do for achieving goals and projects.

Related: Create and achieve every goal you want.

Make sure to be realistic when planning. Try to calculate the estimate time needed for every task as realistic as possible – it’ll get easier with more experience, I promise. Otherwise there will be rude awakening. Also, always include the time it takes you to get to places and a time buffer in case you calculated wrong. Lastly do not forget to leave some empty hours for me-time, relaxing and spontaneous occasions.

Step #4:

Set a reminder for every task. That’s definitely one of the benefits of digital calendars nowadays.

I like to set a reminder 15 minutes before the task, on those not needing any preparation. With tasks, for which I need to prepare for, like for example every Monday when there is a new blogpost coming at 12pm, I additionally set a reminder for the day before, so I have still enough time to get it done in case I haven’t already. For even more important things or things that need review from other people, you would want to set an even earlier reminder so there is enough time for the other person to get it done and hand it back to you in time.

You see this is really task specific and takes some thinking and consideration of all contingencies.

Step #5:

Stick to your schedule and see the magic happening by implementing that time management you did when scheduling. This might be the hardest part, at least when you just started out planning. Though I promise it will pay off!

However, no matter how experienced and talented you are with organizing and time management you can always calculate wrong or not being as productive as you thought you’d be. And there will always be times where your just not motivated, that’s perfectly human and no shame.

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Great Ocean Road, Australia

What if I guessed wrong and can’t get a task done in the time I’ve planned?

No worries, it’s not as bad as it looks. By now you’re a master scheduler and able to be spontaneous enough to push a less important task to a later time and that way free up some time to get the more urgent things done.

And always remember, noting in life goes entirely as planned, but where would be the fun if it did, right? By sorting out a plan and applying time management you can prevent struggles as good as possible, everything else is life and that’s where spontaneity comes in.

Related: 4 steps to master self-doubt and life challenges.

What if I don’t want to do the particular task at the time scheduled?

Well, that’s a whole other thing to work on. But here are a few things that might help. First, as mentioned in the beginning of this post, once you established a good routine some things will go without thinking.  So just do them and don’t think about it. Mostly it takes longer to motivate yourself then getting it done in the first place.

If this doesn’t help, Mel Robbins suggested an awesome strategy called the 5-second rule in her book the 5-second rule. She proposes, you count backwards from 5 4 3 2 1 and then do whatever you don’t want to do. By counting backwards something in your mind gets triggered and there is no way for you to escape and procrastinate.

Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! The next time you find yourself procrastinating, count backwards from 5 and see what happens. Also, if you knew this strategy, I’d love to hear if it worked for you?

•••

All right, that’s it. Now you’re best prepared and hopefully hooked to get that scheduling on the way and improve your time management to create irresistible momentum in life.

If so, I now challenge you to pick one task and schedule it right after closing this window. Then schedule another task which says, “planning next week” and implement all you’ve learned today.

Also, if this was any helpful, I would love for more people to read it and get going with creating irresistible momentum in their lives. So please tell your friends, tell your family our share this post anywhere on social media!

See you soon and don’t forget:

Let’s Grow!

Unterschrift

Do you have any tips on scheduling and time management? Tell us in the comments!

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