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You’ve had to deal with a lot of changes over the last year. Your kids are home in quarantine for 2 weeks, they go back to school, they come home again, no doctor’s appointments for 3 months or more, and then 100 in a month.
The only constant is change. When your season changes you have to make some tweaks to your schedule. Sometimes you can make small changes and other times you have to give your schedule a complete overhaul.
Signs your schedule isn’t working:
You feel like your life is running you instead of the other way around.
You never feel like you have a say in what you do. You feel like your life is running you. Like you can barely keep your head above water. You’re kind of juggling what you have now, but if anything else gets added to your plate, you don’t know what you’ll do.
You are still working at 10:00 every night.
You are never finished with your to-do list so you are always still working on your to-do list every night at 10:00. You keep doing it night after night telling yourself “Just one night and I’ll be ahead”.
Wake up in the middle of the night thinking about your to-do list
You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about your to-do list and can’t go back to sleep unless you write down the things you need to add to your to-do list for tomorrow.
You don’t have a routine down pat to put things on autopilot.
You don’t have a routine which means that nothing is on autopilot. No one in the house does anything on their own and you have to remember to tell them to do everything. You don’t have any set routines in place.
You never seem to be able to get enough sleep at night.
You feel like you are never able to get any sleep because you have to finish your to-do list and are up late every single night just to keep your head above water.
You can never relax because you always feel like there’s something else to do. You feel like you're spinning your wheels and barely keeping your head above water.
You constantly struggle with the same task or around the same time of day and you don’t do anything to fix it.
You are not a morning person, but you think that you still have to do your highest energy tanks in the morning because that’s what the experts say. You don’t think to just do your big activity when you feel like you are at your best like mid-afternoon right after lunch.
Why your schedule isn’t working:
You’re not prioritizing
When you don’t have a good handle on your priorities, it’s easy for you to feel like your life is running you.
You’re micro scheduling your day.
You can’t micro schedule your day. Micro Scheduling means you account for almost every single second with limited downtime if any at all. You have to schedule breaks and downtime. You cannot schedule in literally every single second of every single day. You also need time to switch from one task to the next.
Your schedule isn’t detailed enough
You are very vague when you put things on your calendar/schedule. You don’t put exactly what you’re going to do in what time frame. You just sit down and work on what you feel like when you feel like doing it. You let your mood dictate when and how you will do something.
You aren’t scheduling based on your life
You are trying to schedule something that needs your full concentration for 5:00 in the afternoon when you start yawning and getting sleepy. You aren’t scheduling the big tasks when you’re naturally more productive like 8:00 in the morning. Or you are scheduling getting groceries in the middle of your toddler’s nap time when they are super cranky.
You’re taking on too much stuff. No one says you have to do it all, but you keep adding things to your plate and not giving anything already on your plate away. You try to control everything and do everything yourself instead of asking for help. You don’t think anyone can do it the way you want it done so you don’t delegate it to someone else.
You don’t know how to say no
You are obsessed with telling people yes every single time they open their mouth. You don’t stop and check your calendar to see if you even have the time or bandwidth to take on the new projects. You just say yes all of the time to everything and everyone. You even say yes to things you don’t even really want to do because you’re such a people pleaser. When you say yes to everything, you are allowing others to dictate your schedule.
How to fix your schedule not working:
1. Schedule your priorities
Set your priorities and schedule them first.
How to set your priorities:
Ask yourself what’s important to you in your life right now?
What goals do you have? What do you want more of in your life? What matters the most right now? Write down the important things to you.
What does it mean to make that a priority?
Ex: Your husband is a priority.
To make him a priority, you decide you want to have a date night once a week and turn off your phone every single night at 8:30 after the kids go to bed to have one-on-one time with him.
Schedule your time with your priority FIRST.
Put your weekly date night on the calendar first and your one on one time every night at 8:30.
2. Schedule your appointments
Put your appointments for the week on the calendar.
3. Schedule your downtime
Next, schedule your downtime and rest time.
4. Schedule your to-do list items
Put your to-do list items on the schedule next. Decide when you’re going to do something and write it down on your schedule. Then throw away your to-do list.
Success Tips for Scheduling
Work with your personality and not against it.
When scheduling things, consider your personality. When are you the most alert? When are you the most productive? When are you the least alert?
Keep in mind when you feel most productive and schedule the most important parts of your day then. If you are a morning person- schedule it during the morning. If you’re a night owl – schedule it then.
Plan your day in advance
Plan your day at least the night beforehand. Planning your day the night beforehand will help you plan when you’re at your highest self. You don’t have all of the in the moment drama of talking yourself out of something or not feeling like doing something. This will help you plan your day for maximum productivity because you're clear and level-headed.
Batch like items together
Batching means looking at the tasks on your to-do list and scheduling them together. Batching for a special needs mom could look like: ordering medicine/supplies, telephone calls, errands, doctor’s visits, therapy visits, etc. Instead of going out of town for 2 days a week, you just batch all of your appointments into 1 day and knock them out altogether on the same day.
Schedule breaks and downtime
Don’t overschedule your day without any downtime or breaks. You need the breaks and downtime to relax. It also takes a minute for your brain to stop doing one task and start doing the new task. Give yourself time to catch up.
Use time blocking method to schedule
Using the time blocking method to schedule is so helpful. Time blocking is basically taking out a chunk of time in the day and devoting it to a certain group of tasks.
For example, take a 1-hour block of time every Tuesday morning to take care of your child’s medicine ordering, medical supplies ordering, a non-emergent doctor calls, etc.
All of the admin stuff that goes along with your child’s condition can be done every single Tuesday at 8:00 am. You can set aside time for Mommy stuff every single night from 4-8. You can have your mommy and me time, give your child a bath, therapy, etc.
Anything your child needs your help with can be done during this time block.
Create theme days
If you have a big chunk of tasks for a certain type of task you can also create themes for your days.
Here are examples of theme days:
- Special needs stuff
Take the downtime that you scheduled to actually not do anything.
As moms, there are always 10,000 things going on in our head on our mental to-do list. There are times it seems like you'll never be able to get everything finished. This is why it’s important to relax and spend time not doing anything. You don’t always have to be busy doing things. It’s okay for you to take a break. YOu don’t have to go 24/7.
You don’t have to feel like your schedule is running you. You can get ahead of your schedule and schedule your activities in a time that works for you.
If you want to take this work to the next level, check out our Create a Smarter Schedule Workbook. You will be able to automate the tasks you do most often ever single week and free up so much time! You can sign up HERE.