Welcome to day three! I'm so glad you are following along! Today, we wil get started on something practical. If you haven't done yesterday's exercise, then please read that first. It will be very helpful in the rest of the series.
Alright, onto today's task! This is one that I am in desperate need of in my life: a schedule. Obviously, not every day is going to be exactly the same. Even every week will have major differences. But having a general schedule for the everyday can be a great help.
As a recent college grad, I have first hand knowledge of how a disheveled schedule can really mess up productivity and happiness. In college, my schedule was all over the place. Every day was a different class schedule, work schedule, and activity schedule. This summer was a little more organized, but things still got thrown off because we were living with my in-laws. When we moved to Oregon, I was determined to get my schedule under control. I've had a really difficult time following through, but I figured, no time like the present to start!
First, figure out the bare bones of your schedule for each day of the week. The initial thing to determine are the time you go to sleep every day and the time you wake up. These may be different for every day of the week depending on your work or events schedule, but pinning these down is key. Over sleeping or under sleeping can really put a damper on your day. If you can set a specific time for going to bed and waking up, a natural schedule will start to occur.
My recent sleep schedule problem can be summed up pretty easily:
The other things that need to be nailed down are general meal times, work schedules, weekly events, school schedules for your kids or yourself, and anything else that is already a part of your schedule.
For example, my weekly schedule does not actually consist of a job yet, despite my constant search. But, I do have a time that I want to be up at in the morning, I have multiple small groups/Bible studies that I attend each week, and my husband's work schedule greatly affects when and what I do. Those are permanent things on my schedule.
The next step to filling out your schedule is looking at your words from yesterday's exercise. These will determine what you should be spending your "free" time on. I know many schedules don't consist of much true free time, but there is always some time to be filled.
Rather than attempt to explain it, I will show you how I used my five words to add some activities to my schedule:
Godly - I need to carve out some time in my schedule for personal devotion and for studying and reflecting on the lessons learned at church and in small groups.
Healthy - I need to make sure to set aside some time almost every day for some sort of exercise. Recently, I've been playing Zumba Rush on the Kinect in the mornings, but I'm also considering adding in a work out that helps me take my time and really focus on building muscle.
Creative - I need to make sure I have regular time set aside for both my sewing/crafting and writing hobbies. Rather than just do each of these things when I feel like it, naming a specific time and day where I "force" myself to do them will make me better at them and produce more content in each.
Productive: I need to make sure that I stay on top of both daily chores and longer-term projects. I currently have a pile of clothes that need ironing, magazine clippings that need organizing, and a dishwasher that needs emptying. So rather than waste time watching tv or surfing the internet, I should be doing those. I also need to carve out a time each day for writing blog posts and catching up on emails and comments. I have a tendency to be very sporadic in my posting times and that needs to change.
Family-Oriented: If I had children, this time would be devoted to them, attending their events, reading to them, spending extra time with them. In my case, though, my family is mainly just my husband. We try to take time each night to just relax and spend it with each other, not letting work or hobbies get in the way.
These tips may seem obvious, but looking at what is truly important to you can really help get your schedule on track. I know that when I physically write out my schedule and keep myself accountable to it, I am much more likely to get done what I need to. Yes, there will be days that I won't exercise, or there will be times when something comes up and I am not able to spend an hour writing. But, overall, I know that my schedule will remain there for the days when I need it and that my life will be more fulfilling because of it.
Source: Happiness Is...
What are some of your tips to sticking with a regular schedule? What are some of the benefits or negatives you find from having a schedule?