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Questions to ask (or think about) before learning to plan:When are you most productive? When are you the most productive? Are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you always tend to get a little sleepy right after lunch? Just realize when you’re the most productive will help you so much with your planning. When do I start losing focus? When do you start losing your ability to focus? For most people, it’s for sure when they’re hungry, but it can also be at other times too. Maybe when you get closer to getting off work or mid-morning. When are my children in a better mood? When are your children in a better mood? This will help you in planning activities with them. Generally speaking, most kids get cranky around nap time. Or maybe you have one child who is a night owl and one is a total morning person.
Preplanning: Before You Start Time Blocking1. What roles do you have in life? Think about the roles you have in life. What are the titles you carry? Wife, mom, employee, Sunday school teacher, therapist (for your child), cleaning lady, family finance guru, personal assistant to your special needs child, etc. What are all of the roles you have in life? Write out each of the roles you have. Write out the tasks you generally do in a week for each one of the roles. 2. What are your priorities? When you’re learning to plan you need to know where your priorities are. You need to know how you want to make that person/thing a priority. If you said you want to make your husband a priority, what would that look like? Maybe it means date night once a week and spend every night for 30 minutes together before bed. Just figure out what your priorities are and how often you want to spend making the person/thing a priority.
Setting Up Your First Time Block ScheduleWhat you’re going to do is to group like things together and form a time block for them. You will weave these things into your schedule along with your priorities and appointments. So we need to create the blocks and add them to the schedule. 1. Add your priorities to your time block schedule The first thing you always schedule is your priority time blocks. Whatever you wrote down previously for priorities needs to be added to your calendar in time blocks. When you add your priorities to your schedule first, you are giving them priority over the other things you have in life and saying they’re the most important. 2. Add in your appointments The next thing you want to do is to add your appointments to the calendar in time blocks. Don’t just write out the time you think you’ll be in the appointment, you need to add the time it takes to get there and get back home (or work). 3. Add downtime This one is hard for most moms. You don’t ever schedule in down time. You don’t think you have time for down time. You think taking downtime will mean you won’t be able to get everything done. You feel guilty when you sit down to catch your breath because you think you’re being lazy and you have too much to do. Let me just break something down for you. You’re not exempt from needing to take breaks. You need to rest and recharge. You can’t operate on an empty tank.
Planning is a skill. This is great news because it means you can practice and get better. Anyone can get better at planning. You don’t have to be born with a natural tendency to plan. You don’t have to have a type-A personality.
You don’t have to be born with a love of planning. You can just plan. Planning will help you work on the tasks that matter to you and get them done?
Want to take this work to the next level? Be sure to grab our free Create a Smarter Schedule workbook. After completing the Create a Smarter Schedule, you’ll be able to make your busy schedule a little more manageable. The best part is it’s totally free. You can grab access to this life-changing workbook by clicking HERE.