Sometimes we need a little help with schedule management. We have the best intentions to get up earlier and get ahead of the traffic. We try our best to remember every meeting and every task. We even challenge ourselves to get to bed earlier so that we can get more rest.
Despite these best intentions, however, a little big thing called life happens.
We oversleep and there is an accident on your commute. We forget to attend a meeting because we were not at our desk when the notification popped up. We forget to run that errand at lunch because the day just got away from us. Alas, when we get home, there are tons of things that we need to do before we can go to bed.
It is okay when this happens because we are all human and tomorrow is another day to try again. Here are a few schedule management tips to help you get it right and seize your day.
- Start a day early. Hopefully, you are not surprised that your day should really start the night before. Planning your day down to the tiniest detail can go a long way in helping you to save time the next morning. For example, I place my coffee mug and k-cup right next to the Keurig the night before. It seems like a small and simple thing, but nothing is more frustrating when you are heading out in the morning and you cannot find your coffee mug. What is worst is when that coffee mug is sitting in the sink waiting to be washed. Of course, laying out your clothes, your workbag, your lunch bag, and doing anything else you can do the night before is less that you have to concern yourself with the next morning.
- Write it out. Let’s face it, we cannot remember everything all the time. We are all human and sometimes we forget. You cannot go wrong with this schedule management tip. Writing down what you have to do for your day will guarantee that you know exactly what your day entails. Unless you forget to write it down, of course. I am sure you have all heard the quotes and sayings about writing down your goals. There is one quote in particular by Steve Maraboli that states, “If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal – you have a wish.” The same concept applies. I have a habit of putting reminders in my phone and I always say, if it’s not in my phone, it doesn’t exist. I do not know I have to do it. And that’s so true. It is also helpful to give timeslots to your task so that you allot only the time necessary for each.
- Prioritize the big stuff. Okay, so what is the big stuff? Getting to work on time obviously because you probably want your paycheck. Some agencies are flexible with this but for the most part, you do not want to consistently arrive late for work. It does not look good. So, yes that is important. But remember what I said about being human. Being human means we need to sleep and eat; and if either of those things is neglected, we get burnt out. Most people do not have a problem remembering lunch. I know that I do not because I look forward to this time to myself. However, the very busy folks can find themselves well into the afternoon without realizing the lunch hour has come and gone. Planning to eat is important. Even if you eat at your desk, which I suggest you do not do, eating is important to fuel your body and give it the energy it needs to get through the rest of the workday. Sleeping is equally important because your body needs to recuperate each night. Make a point of scheduling your bedtime so that at the end of the day, no matter what you may or may not have accomplished, you get a decent amount of sleep because you cannot productively seize the day if you are tired.
There are many useful apps and tools that help with schedule management. However, when none of those are available, remembering these three tips will be all the help you need to manage your schedule and seize your day.
Rita Lucas is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She is a writer and author who works with the federal government as a management analyst and project manager. As a writer, she helps small business and non-profit organizations promote their mission and brand; and as an author, she has published several titles that promote self-development. As a government employee, Rita has worked in the field of human resources for 11 years and has volunteered for leadership positions with veteran-focused and millennial-centric organizations. Rita holds a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in publishing. She is a new mom and resides in Maryland with her family. You can read her posts here.