If you’ve ever thought why sticking to a schedule eludes you, then this is a must-read. We look at 7 really effective (and easy) ways to make following any sort of schedule so much easier. Whether you try one idea or them all, you may be surprised at the fantastic results you get!
They are EVERYWHERE in our lives.
We have schedules for chores, cleaning, work, fitness, daily life and LOADS more.
And they can be overwhelming to say the least.
Trying to keep up with the ideal way of doing things, and the version of our week/day/month that we feel we should work to – can be exhausting.
Not to mention feeling like a failure if we don’t manage to stick to it diligently…..
So – I wanted to look today at ways to make sticking to a schedule easier, in the hope that it makes your life easier as a result – because we all ultimately want a more simple life, right!
HOW TO STICK TO A SCHEDULE – 7 EASY WAYS
#1 USE 1 DIARY
I’ve lost track of the number of people who carry around a personal diary, and then use a work diary as well.
Or a family who have a wall planner for family events / appointments etc…. and a separate diary for personal stuff.
It’s no wonder that we always feel busy and pushed/pulled in different directions – let alone have a chance of sticking to a schedule of any type.
If you get into the habit of having one diary for everything – then you stand much more chance of getting things done without overwhelm setting in.
You are, after all, only one person – so it stands to reason that you have one set amount of time available – and to be able to see that at a glance, all in one place – just makes sense.
Yes, you may want to have copies of things on the wall planner at home – but EVERYTHING related to you and your time needs to be shown in one diary – so you can clearly see what’s going on.
That way, when it comes to sticking to any type of schedule, you will be able to see where you CAN have time to do the tasks – and whether there will be any potential timing issues, before they arise.
#2 PLAN BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING
Now you’ve got one diary, the next thing is to make it a habit to look at that diary each evening and morning – and KEEP IT UP TO DATE every day.
When you can take 5 minutes to see what’s happening tomorrow, and in future days – and 5 minutes in the morning before the day starts – then you’re much more likely to be able to fit all that you have planned into your day.
Having a schedule that doesn’t fit with your life means that you don’t stand ANY chance of sticking to it – and that’s where most of our frustrations appear from.
#3 CREATE THE RIGHT SCHEDULE FOR YOU
Maybe it’s time to re-think your schedule and make sure it’s right for you.
It sounds obvious, but all too often we find that we are trying to make other peoples schedules work for us – and as we are all unique with unique circumstances, this is a recipe for disaster most of the time.
It’s why I very rarely talk specifics of my own cleaning schedule, meal planning schedule etc… here on the blog – because it is ALWAYS more effective to create your own versions of what works – and that’s what you should focus on.
Ask yourself whether you’ve created a schedule that was truly based around the time you have available, OR whether you have copied someone elses’ and are just hoping it will be able to fit into your life. Do the changes required to make it work for you, and life will get that much easier immediately.
Some changes you may want to consider are: –
- Get help – whether paid or from a family member
- Lessen the quantity of tasks – Do you REALLY need to do things as often as you’re trying to do them?
- Remove tasks altogether – Do you REALLY need to do things at all – or are you doing them because you feel you should?
#4 BE PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE
When you’re trying to stick to any type of schedule, it’s all too easy to be knocked off track by LIFE.
And of course – sometimes these things really are more important than sticking to your schedule – like if a child fell ill or your friend needed help of some sort.
BUT – there are many, many, MANY times when we can use life stuff as excuses for straying from what we had planned – and then wonder why we can’t keep to our schedule.
We start to blame our lives for the lack of time, the lack of energy, and the lack of – everything….
The answer? it’s to start being PROactive and really focus on what we need to do, instead of being REactive and get distracted by other things.
Only when we clearly see ourselves being swayed from our schedules will we be able to move back on course, and make that schedule work.
It’s down to us – so no more excuses!
#5 DO WHAT YOU CAN
As I said in number 4 – life does happen. It’s inevitable.
As such – know that things rarely go to plan, and within your schedule allow some wriggle room.
Have some space for things to take longer than you really need, have some days where you can catch up if necessary etc…
Plan for the inevitable – so you can do what you can – whatever happens.
#6 DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
If, though, life really gets in the way – maybe you’re ill or work goes crazy etc… – then don’t beat yourself up about it.
The worst thing to do is feel life you’ve failed, because that negative mindset will work against you every time.
Also worth remembering here is that your schedule should be looked at as your IDEAL, rather than your absolute. You CAN still get loads done even if you haven’t managed to do every little thing.
After all – if you’ve followed tip #5 then you’ll have got some wriggle room to catch up – and if not, then look back at #3 and check that you’re not trying to follow a schedule that you’d NEVER be able to complete.
Don’t beat yourself up – just keep tweaking until it works for you.
#7 START AGAIN TOMORROW
We have a tendency to beat ourselves up for not sticking to our schedules, and then start to think ‘well – it doesn’t matter anymore’ – and stop trying.
The trick is to know that your schedule is realistic, and then keep going back to it until it becomes more habitual and you don’t have to think about it as much any more.
If you have a bad day – just start again tomorrow.
If you have another bad day – start the day after that.
Each new day is a new beginning – and can be the start of something fantastic if you give it a chance!
There you have it – 7 ways to make sticking to a schedule easier.
Next time you’re looking at a schedule for any part of your life, take a look at this list, implement as much as you can, and your schedule will be a lot more manageable right from the start.
You’ll have more confidence that you’ll be able to stick with it for the longer haul, and you’ll be thankful you spent a bit of time at the start making sure it will work for you, and giving yourself some grace to go with the flow as and when life happens.
If you want to get started on making a schedule that works for you – then a cleaning schedule is a great place to start. We all need one, and it can be so free-ing to get it written down so we know what to do and when – THIS POST will help you to do just that – step by step.