Making a schedule is the first step to a life of peace and success, and keeping it is the second step. (To get a sneak peek at how I organize my time, check out Part I in this series.)
Once I’ve done my morning processing, I use these strategies to stick to my ideal schedule and complete the most critical tasks:
In the afternoon, I take a quick assessment of how many hours I have left and what needs to be done to hit my ending goal. This could mean moving on to a new project, pushing to complete an assignment, or revising my expectations for the day.
To really ensure I stick to my end time, I try to schedule activities right after work. It could be something as simple as a scheduled phone call, a walk with a friend, or going to a networking event. Knowing that I will cause inconvenience to someone else by working late really helps me stop myself. (My clients who have trouble starting work in the morning use this trick at the beginning of their day.)
As a final level of reinforcement, I time block out my evening. Like Tim Ferriss says in The 4-Hour Workweek, you have to clearly define what you will do to fill the void created by working fewer hours. For me that means inviting friends over for dinner or planning a specific projects like entering receipts in my budget or doing laundry. By giving myself a clear objective, I remind myself that working beyond my set schedule comes at a cost. If I procrastinate or over commit, I’m acutely aware that I’m keeping myself from doing other activities. This motivates me to plan my time and my responsibilities so I can stick to 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and then stop—guilt free!
You can move forward on important projects and keep up on mundane task by setting a schedule that works for you and then strengthening these new habits (kind of like training muscles with consistent lifting). If you need help with this process, contact me about a Schedule Makeover.
You don’t need to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or guilty any more!
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is a time coach & professional speaker who helps men and women who are overwhelmed and frustrated because they want to achieve a life of peace and productivity but are struggling to make it happen.
For more insight on how to move forward, feel peaceful and create a life of love, meaning and purpose, check out ScheduleMakeover.com
Elizabeth has been featured in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and on NBC, and is happy to be interviewed for your broadcast or publication.