The Scheduling Mistakes You’re Making and How to Avoid Them.

Here’s the exact process I use to how I plan out my time to get more accomplished and feel in control.  

Scheduling has a twofold impact, it makes you more productive, and reduces your stress. These are the levers in life I am constantly optimizing for. Getting good at this process will help you achieve your goals. If you have struggled with this, you aren’t alone, and I am going to share some tips on how to implement this practice sustainably.  

"Unfortunately, even though many people have good intentions, they miss out on these mistakes.

If you struggle with this practice, you are likely making these mistakes.

  • Making one schedule and think life will go according to plan indefinitely
  • Making a schedule that’s too rigid
  • Trying to accomplish too much
  • Getting discouraged when you don’t follow it perfectly.

I’ll be the first to admit, I struggled with these same challenges.

Here's how, to overcome them, step by step.

Plan your week

This will help you face the anxiety you might have on a Sunday, and help you stay on track.

I use a simple template, that divides days into thirds. I enter out everything I want to accomplish for the week and try to put one main thing into each block.  

Plan your next day, at the end of the workday

Not every day goes according to plan, that’s part of life.  

In step one, you have a game plan for the week. You should also boil that plan into a plan for the day. Include everything you need and want to do in chronological order. This makes it easy to follow and eliminates you making decisions or figuring out “what now” during the day. The more decisions we make, the more mental capacity we exhaust, so make it easy on yourself.

Check out this video, for my step by step scheduling process.

Don’t be too rigid

I read a blog about how Kirk Cousins (QB of the Vikings) lives his life in a spreadsheet of 15-minute increments.

I thought this was the coolest idea and tried it out, I had every second accounted for, packed in a ton of activities, and failed miserably. I felt like both a failure and completely constricted in my day. Lesson learned: the best schedule is one you can follow.

Don’t try to do it all

The other trap that I have fallen into is thinking that having a schedule means I will suddenly be able to do everything I write on a piece of paper.

While it helps you get more accomplished, there are limits on what you can do in a day. If your day is completely loaded every day, you never finish. You’ll start to feel dread and your schedule becomes a way of making you feel like a failure each day.

Progress, not perfection

If you expect your plan to be perfect, then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Things change, emergencies happen, and you aren’t going to perfectly accomplish everything. This is a process that takes time, and you will continually learn what works and what doesn’t. You will be amazed at the progress you make in accomplishing your goals as well as feeling in control.

Remember, the best schedule is the one that works for you. Be honest with your strengths, and even being more intentional and disciplined with just an hour of your day is a huge win.