Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Organize Your Schedule

Hello everyone!  I thought I'd do this next post about how to organize your schedule.  For me, that was difficult to do and I needed a starting point.  So, I have gathered my best tips and suggestions and hope you find them useful as well.

By organizing your schedule, you are choosing to spend your time wisely and in doing so will reduce stress, you’ll feel more fulfilled at the end of the day when you can look back on what you've accomplished, and be able to spend more time on the things you want to do, rather than the things you "have" to do.  Take charge by taking back control of your schedule.

Things left undone will only linger in the back of your mind.  Constantly trying to remember things is exhausting.  Make a To Do list to free you from forgetting what needs to be done.  It'll also help you plan your day, so you have enough time to complete them.  

☐    First, buy one daily planner to use for both work and your personal life.  Using more than one leaves room for overlapping appointments and confusion.

☐    Sit down with your family and plan your week or even the month ahead so you can:
  • Divide errands
  • Divide chores
  • Plan meals
  • Schedule a babysitter as needed
  • Plan for driving arrangements for activities

 ☐    Gather all your To Do items from calendars, sticky notes and scraps of paper (including the ones you have in your head!) and create a To Do list that you will keep in your planner.  Make sure you make this list as complete as you possibly can.

☐    Sort your To Do list by:
  1. Tasks that must be done today (pay gas bill, schedule doctor visit).  Schedule these in your planner.
  2. Takes that must be done this week (Mail a package, call to schedule Tune-up).  Schedule these in your planner.
  3. Tasks that you would like to get done, but do not have an immediate requirement.  Something that needs to get done in the future (organize yard sale, lunch with friends)
 ☐          Once you’ve sorted your To Do’s into one of the categories listed above, number the tasks in each group, in order of how they should be completed.  That way, if you get all the Tasks in Group 1 (Today’s) finished, you can begin working on the list in your 2 group (This week).  If you do not finish everything in you’re a list, make sure they have top priority in tomorrow’s list of To Do’s.

☐          Schedule all of your Doctor’s, Dental and even Veterinarian appointments for the next year.  Try to schedule doctor and dental appointments back-to-back so you won’t have to make as many trips.

☐          Keep a small pad of paper or notepad on your nightstand for those times when you think of something while your mind is trying to wind down for the night.  Make sure you transfer them to your To Do list in the morning.

☐          Use a page of your planner for a Master To Do list.  This could include cleaning routines (daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual), gifts that need to be purchased for upcoming birthdays’, books you want to read, movies you’d like to see,  This frees you from having to remember later.

Some Tips:
  • Don’t put more tasks than you can realistically accomplish in one day.  I typically draw a line -that is my indicator that this (above the line) is what I can accomplish today and anything below the line is for the next day.  All new incoming items are then added to what is below that line.
  • Schedule meetings with a beginning and an end date.  Account for the time it will take to prepare for that meeting or time it might take to get to the meeting.
  • Schedule your errands based on where you’ll be to avoid wasting time driving to different locations.
  • Whenever possible, schedule appointments for first thing in the morning.  As the day progresses, there is greater chance for cancellations and/or delays.
  • Break down projects in to smaller, easier tasks.  For example, instead of putting a To Do of “refinish table”, write down every step needed to accomplish this task – buy tools for refinishing table (sanding paper, paint, primer, rags, etc), clean table, sand and prime table, paint table, put second coat, seal the table.  Then put a deadline for each task and work to complete each one, accomplishing one each day if needed.

Staying Organized

Once a month

☐          Pick a task from your group 3 tasks (future tasks) and schedule it in your planner.

☐          Schedule time to take a break if you find that you are always on the go.  We need time to     refresh.

☐          Schedule dates with your partner, children and the people who are closest to you.

Every 3-6 months

☐          Review your C group tasks and set final deadlines for To Do’s that have been left undone since your last review.

Once a Year

☐          In September, write down everything you did not accomplish over the summer but wanted to.   Add these to your new planner, when you’ve ordered the new one for next year.

☐          When you receive your new planner, transfer all birthdays, anniversaries and appointments to the new one.


  1. Really enjoyed this post - great ideas especially remembering to review (I always forget)

  2. I love reading about how others organize--your post shows a really clear and sensible way to work. Thanks for sharing!