Actually Make (and Stick To) a Schedule With These 3 Steps

Making a schedule can feel overwhelming enough, but sticking to it is even harder. Do you ever wonder if there’s a simple way to be productive while also enjoying your schedule? Thankfully, making a consistent schedule can actually be fun. If you want to create a schedule that’s enjoyable, doable, and makes you feel accomplished, implement these three steps.

  1. Be flexible ​ . Life is crazy (especially right now), so make your schedule reflect that by allocating time for random things to pop up. If every minute of your day is planned out, you’ll feel overwhelmed and like you failed if you have to take care of a last-minute need. Your schedule should be flexible and incorporate extra room to breathe. One simple way to streamline your schedule is to differentiate between necessary tasks and optional tasks. This takes time and intentionality, but it’s definitely worth it. Maybe make a separate list for optional things you’d like to get done but aren’t necessary. Perhaps put a little star by the things that you need to accomplish each day. By simply differentiating between what’s on your schedule (“have to” items) and what you might do in the future (“might do” items), your schedule will be more manageable and you’ll be better able to consistently keep it.
  2. Keep your schedule in a way that’s fun and integrated into your daily life ​ . Many people love to keep a paper planner filled with upbeat stickers and aesthetically pleasing doodles. If this sounds like you, check out ​Simplified​ or another beautiful and simple planner like it. Perhaps you forget to use a paper planner more often than not, and you thrive with technology. In this case, try using ​Google Calendar​ or a similar app that you can easily put your plans into. Whatever medium you choose, make it something that you enjoy and that naturally fits into your life. When your planner is fun and easy to use, you’ll want to use it more. This will build your consistency, and before you know it you’ll be following your schedule each day.
  3. Reward yourself ​ . It’s challenging enough to make and stick to a schedule, so be sure to incorporate some rewards into your day. These don’t have to be elaborate or extensive in order to be effective. Maybe that’s getting coffee with a friend, taking 10 minutes to go for a walk or do some rejuvenating stretches, or taking time to read your favorite book or order your favorite pizza in the evening. Pick something fun to look forward to at the end of the day, and incorporate fun things throughout your day as well. When you see a schedule sprinkled with things that make you smile, you’ll be excited to start working on it.

Making and keeping a schedule may sound daunting, but by making it flexible, fun, integrated into your life, and rewarding, you’ll be well on your way to a consistent and productive routine. What will you accomplish today, and how will you sprinkle fun into it?

By Carissa Joy Burns

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