Learning to balance the various obligations in your life can be challenging. The daily work, school, and homework can pile up, while friends or family may also ask for your help. Spending time to take care of yourself is also something that is not less important. If you have a daily schedule, all of these obligations will seem easier to do. By designing a schedule, you can balance short-term and long-term goals, while helping you prioritize the things that are important in your life.
Method 1 of 4: Designing a Daily Schedule
Step 1. Find out how you usually spend your time
Before you look for ways to optimize your time, take a good look at how you usually do your day-to-day work. If you have to go to school or work, your daily schedule is more or less determined by these activities. Even if you can more freely determine activities in your spare time.
Take a few days to research how you spend your time. Write down what you do every day. Pay close attention to how you spend your free time. Do you play video games or clean the house? Make a list of these activities and the time you spend doing them
Step 2. Estimate the time it will take you to get to school, work, or other errands
Chances are, you spend a fair amount of time on your way to school, work, or other things to do, and to get back home. You need to know this time to be able to organize your daily schedule and complete important tasks. Pay attention to how much time it takes during your typical trip, and allocate time from your daily schedule for your commute from one place to another.
Adjust your daily schedule based on the time of this trip
Step 3. Determine when you are usually most productive
When designing a daily schedule, consider the arrangement of your various jobs within it. Changing the arrangement of work within the schedule may be necessary to maximize your productivity. For example, determine the most productive time for you to work. Also set a time when you're easily distracted by incoming phone calls and emails. You may find that your work productivity is best in the morning, while in the afternoon you start having to answer a lot of phone calls.
Step 4. Pay attention to the effect your habits have on your daily life
Following a daily schedule is largely determined by the effect your habits have on your daily life. Sometimes your habits are so bad that they prevent you from enjoying your time or achieving your goals. On the other hand, certain habits may be necessary so that you can stick to your daily schedule. While you're still trying to schedule time, consider the role your habits play in your daily life.
- For example, you may notice that you are often tired after doing activities you enjoy. After that, you don't have the drive or energy to do anything else, like do something for your long-term goals. On the other hand, you may also spend too much time fulfilling social obligations, leaving no time for self-care. Both of these habits can be equally harmful to your personal happiness. So you need to know the effect of this habit on your life.
- As you begin to notice which habits are holding you back from achieving your goals or getting what you want, look for ways to change them so you can make better use of your time. The trick may be quite simple, such as limiting time in certain activities, such as playing video games. For example, say you will only take time to play a video game after completing important work for a long-term goal. Or maybe you can refuse other people's requests so that you have free time to care for yourself.
Step 5. Reduce wasted time
There may be a lot of time in your daily life that is not useful. Many of them are unavoidable, like the traffic jams you face on your way to the bank at lunch time. Pay attention to your schedule, and find the time that hasn't been used to its fullest. Think of ways to rearrange your schedule to reduce time-wasting activities like this.
If you can't rearrange your activities, consider doing several things at once. You can take a short break on the way to the office by public bus. Then you might be able to drink coffee while reading a novel
Step 6. Plan your daytime activities the night before
Planning your activities the day before is the best option. If you've never made a schedule before, it may take you some time to get used to putting it all together. Don't push yourself to make the perfect schedule on the first day, or even in the first week of trying.
Make a rough plan for tomorrow's schedule of activities by listing all the work you are trying to complete and the time you allocate to each. Give yourself a little leeway while you adjust to this kind of timing
Method 2 of 4: Balancing Short-Term Liabilities with Long-Term
Step 1. Incorporate your long-term goals into your daily activities
While you may already know exactly what you want to do each day, this is actually the most difficult and most important step in learning to stick to a daily schedule. Determining your goals and how to achieve them is not always easy. At the same time, what you want to do at the time may not support your long-term goals. Balancing the two as much as possible is the best option, rather than focusing on only one of them.
- Define your long term goals. Are you looking to get a job or reach a certain career path? Are you certain people you would like to get to know better? Or maybe you want to form a sports team at school? Whatever your goal, writing it down on paper can make you more aware of its existence, rather than just imagining it in your mind.
- Make a step-by-step list of things you can do to start achieving this goal. Set aside time in your schedule to do these steps.
Step 2. Separate goals set by yourself from goals set by others
It's a good idea to seek advice from others when setting your goals. However, you need to make sure those goals are in line with your own desires. Your daily schedule may still be filled with obligations that are not in line with your goals.
- For example, did your parents want you to choose a particular career, such as becoming a lawyer or a doctor? While this parental desire is often related to the expectation that their child will live a happy and successful life, this career choice may not be something that will make their child happy and satisfied with their life. Letting them know that their desires may be hindering your independence can be an important first step in making you more comfortable setting your own path in life. The worst choice in life is to live it according to other people's wishes, and never find out what really makes you happy.
- When setting your own long-term goals, look for ways to make these goals match what other people expect of you. You may not be able to avoid all the responsibilities and expectations of others. However, you can start to schedule time to focus more on pursuing your own goals.
Step 3. Prioritize what needs to be done
There are several things on your to-do list that need to be worked on immediately. While other tasks can be postponed. As you organize the flow of your daily activities, set aside time for most of the tasks that need to be done immediately.
You may have some of the same tasks every day, while others only need to be done occasionally. Adjust your schedule so that you can complete those tasks that only need to be done occasionally. You can even plan it in your daily schedule. Set aside time of day as "flexible." You can use this time to complete urgent tasks. And if you don't have any sudden tasks to do that day, you can use them in activities that support your long-term personal goals, like working out at the gym or playing the guitar
Method 3 of 4: Writing Your Schedule
Step 1. Find the best medium to record your schedule
Keeping track of your schedule is one of the best ways you can stick to it. If you can see your schedule easily, you'll get used to checking it regularly. Find the method that works best for you. Then, you can check the schedule if you need to remember what tasks you need to do next.
- Some people prefer to write down the schedule in an agenda book. While others prefer to record it on a laptop or tablet. There are many apps that you can use to create a schedule on your mobile device.
- If you use your computer or phone to keep track of your schedule, you can set an alarm to remind you when you have something important to do.
Step 2. Set your time within 30 minutes
When you start planning your schedule, divide your one day into 30-minute intervals. This time range can be managed to fulfill specific tasks. So you don't have to design your schedule down to every minute.
Step 3. First of all, put the required activities into the schedule
You have certain obligations that must be met at certain times of the day. For example, you have to drop the kids to school at 8 am, then you have to pick them up at 3 pm. Include activities like this in your schedule in advance.
Step 4. Enter the "flexible" time
Once your responsibilities are in your schedule, look for times when you don't have to do certain tasks. You can group time like this as "flexible" time. Now, take a look at your long-term goals and start incorporating support activities into your schedule.
Flexible time can also be used to work on sudden tasks and other activities that are suddenly needed
Step 5. Check your schedule often
While you are still adjusting to your daily schedule, you should check it often. This will help you to remember the activities you have planned, as well as so that you don't lose track of time while working on a task or activity.
Step 6. Adjust your schedule to your needs
As you follow your schedule each day, check that it fits your tasks and activities. Make some adjustments based on the time you spend on various tasks.
Be sure to include long-term goals so you can achieve them
Method 4 of 4: Taking Time for Yourself
Step 1. Find ways to take care of yourself
Scheduling time is not only important for productivity and fulfilling your social obligations. This schedule is also necessary to keep you healthy and happy. Researchers found, for example, that college students who took time to care for themselves were better able to control stress and were more successful at achieving their goals.
Self-care is different for everyone. This could include meditation, napping, playing video games, calling friends, or other activities. Find out which activities make you the happiest and/or reduce your stress
Step 2. Set aside time in your schedule to take care of yourself
Set a specific time to take care of yourself. While you may understand that you need it, you probably won't be taking the time to specifically care for yourself.
Schedule a monthly massage treatment, or make time to play a 30-minute video game every day. Taking time for yourself will make it easier for you to deal with many unpleasant obligations
Step 3. Reward yourself for successfully completing your schedule
Be sure to reward yourself after successfully carrying out daily activities based on your schedule. For example, put your favorite candy in your pocket and let yourself enjoy it when you successfully complete the activities on your schedule. Positive encouragement like this can help you link a functional change in your behavior to something pleasurable.