Creating a schedule that works for you

 

Next include any work, school, or other appointments that have an established time frame. Make sure you include travel time and preparation time. You do need some cushion built in for traffic and other snags. It doesn't matter what time you leave work-your schedule should show the time you actually arrive at home. I had trouble picking my sons up after school because I forgot what time school let out-all that was important to me was what time the bus dropped them off.

Now you can look at your "to-do" list and start filling in the blanks. You may not be able to fit in everything that you think you should be doing. Keep a list of the "extra" items so you can do those if you find any unexpected free time. (It does happen-not to me, but*) Remember that you don't have to do everything. If you weren't actually getting it done before, it won't hurt things if you don't get it done as often as you would like. Start with realistic goals for your time and energy.

As you work with the schedule, you may discover that some items take more or less time than you had scheduled. Be sure to write that down immediately for the next schedule. You will probably notice a problem eventually-you forgot the time it takes to get across time at rush hour or you scheduled the middle of a project before the beginning (I can't be the only one who does that, can I?) Make a note so you can correct it before there is a problem next time.

Look for ways to group tasks together. Are there tasks that require the same tools? Do them all together so you don't have to spend time getting out and putting away your tools. Are there tasks that you could get done while you are out running errands? Put them together on your schedule. Are there tasks that could be done together in one room? Put as many as possible together on your schedule. Even if you have to break up some of these routines-stop for lunch, answer the phone, run to an appointment-it is easier to remember what you were doing and get back to it if you have grouped your chores.

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