People will always tell you to seize the day, but you can only do so if you have a clear idea on what you want to do and how you should spend your precious time on. The difference between successful people and people who continuously fail is that successful people always account for the time they have in a day. People who keep track of their time have a higher chance of accomplishing their tasks and achieving their goals within the right time.
Thus, a schedule is a useful aid to use to help you better manage your time. It helps you have an overview of what you need to do for the day, week, or month. A schedule can help you stay accountable with how you spend your time within a day. At the end of day, seeing that you have completed what you have scheduled for the day can help you in feeling accomplished and motivated.
Although a schedule is a useful tool, it can only be effective when it is made the right way. Therefore, it should have all the essential elements that will help in ensuring an individual’s success. Listed below are some of the elements that a schedule should include:
1. Heading: The heading of the schedule should immediately tell you what it is for. It should also remind you why it is extremely important that you complete the tasks in the schedule and within a certain time frame. For example, a weekly schedule will tell you that the written tasks should be done within the week; otherwise, you will be behind schedule.
2. Date: Although you have a reminder as to the time frame of the schedule, including the specific date when the tasks should be done allows you to have a better understanding how your day will go. More than that, including specific dates keeps you aware of the time and how far you have gone through your schedule. In a daily schedule you need to specify the date so that you are constantly aware when certain tasks should be done to avoid repetition of the same tasks or activities within the same week.
3. Time: Since you only spend about 15 hours awake within the day, it is important to indicate the specific time when tasks are supposed to be carried out. Doing this ensures that there is no conflict with appointments and other tasks and activities that you need to do. This also helps you to better manage your time at the same time helping you stay motivated in spending your time more productively.
4. Tasks: The main purpose of your schedule is to give you an overview of how you are going to spend your time within a day, week, or month. Thus, it is important and extremely necessary to include the tasks that you should complete. Your schedule should allow you to list down the tasks you need to complete along with the time/s you will be spending for each task. It is also important that it is flexible enough to adjust to certain delays that you may encounter along the way.
5. Action/Method: Depending on what the schedule will be used for, indicating the necessary action or method necessary to complete each task can be helpful. For example, a cleaning schedule includes an action/method segment because it helps in making sure the write method was used and so that there can be a comparison between the current and previous methods used; this helps in increasing productivity and effectiveness in the future.
6. Delegation: In some cases, the tasks cannot be completed by just one person. In an event schedule tasks are delegated to specific individuals to ensure they are completed efficiently. When a team is involved, a schedule should take into account the delegation of every member so that tasks can be done faster and this ensures you have a record on who worked on what.
7. Milestone tracker: Including a milestone tracker will help you to stay inspired and motivated. At the end of the day, when you review your schedule, seeing a remark indicating your success will help you keep track of your milestones. In return, this helps have a reference as the development of each task and helps you know what you need to do next.
You should create a schedule that corresponds to your timeline for the day, week, or month. If you do not consider how your usually spend your day, the schedule can become ineffective and useless. However, it is also important to note that there should be a compromise and a better prioritization of what you should do. To help make sure you create an effective schedule, here is an easy guide that you can refer to:
1. Choose what scheduling tool to use: A schedule can only serve its purpose when you are constantly aware of its presence. Thus, it is best to choose a scheduling tool that offers more convenience for you. A traditional pen and paper schedule can be effective when you are the type who actually likes to manually write and constantly brings a notebook or journal. If you are the type to rely more on technological gadgets, it is best to choose apps that can be opened through your smart phone, tablet, and computer like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, etc.
2. Determine the tasks: Once you have decided on what scheduling tool to use, determine what tasks need to be done. For example, in an hourly schedule you can easily determine what tasks needs to be done on a certain time; you can set a single task between 10 A.M. to 11 A.M. and so on. Remember to only include tasks that you can do within the time frame you have already set.
3. Plot and sequence tasks in the schedule: Since you can only do so much in one day, it is important that you know how to logically sequence your tasks. If goals and/or objectives needs to follow a certain process or procedure, it is always best to sequence your tasks the way they should be. You need to consider what tasks are the prerequisite of the others so that there is a logical arrangement. Doing this ensures that the goal/objective you have already set can be efficiently accomplished.
4. Delegate tasks, if necessary: In a construction schedule, it’s impossible to let one person do all the work; it requires a team effort. If necessary for you, you need to effectively delegate the tasks and make sure people who handle delicate tasks are the experts for it. Delegating allows tasks to be completed simultaneously contrary to waiting for one task to be completed before proceeding to another.
5. Allot enough time for tasks: Once tasks are determined and sequenced properly you should immediately allot time for each task in your schedule. You need to logically and systematically estimate how much each time will consume to make sure you make room for any inconvenience that may occur. If some tasks have been done before, it will be easier for you to determine how much time to allot for its execution. However, should the task be new to your or people on your team, it is best to spare more time to consider any inconvenient factors.
6. Proofread and edit accordingly: Once you have organized all the aspects of your schedule, make sure there are no errors and mistakes. Remember that the schedule can serves as your guide and reminder on how you should tackle your day. But aside from that it can also serve as a reference for future or a similar purpose. Thus, it is important that time blocks, names, and other information are edited to reflect the actual information regarding the execution of said tasks.
Even if you have a schedule with you as your guide, your success is still not guaranteed; the only thing that can ensure success is accountability and perseverance. However, a schedule is still a great tool to use to keep you reminded of the tasks you need to do. To help make sure your schedule is effective, here are some additional tips you can refer to:
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about schedules:
A schedule allows you to list down tasks that you need to accomplish within a certain time frame. It is a useful tool that can serve as a reminder and a motivator; it reminds you of what you need to do on a certain time of the day and motivate you to keep going through its reflection of what has been completed.
Some of the advantages of keeping a schedule is as follows: