5 Tips on List-Making and Scheduling

I have something to confess… I’m a scheduling, organizing, list-making freak.
Sometimes I spend more time making a schedule than I do actually following it. I regularly sort and re-sort my cupboards (hey, I live in an apartment and want to make the most of the space I have!) Every night I make a list of the things I have to do the next day. Sometimes, after I turn the lights out, I remember something I need to do and I am SURE if I don’t put it on that list I’ll forget. So I get out of bed and write it down, just in case.

Half the time I only get 7 out of 10 things done on that list and follow the schedule 3 out of 5 days. “Well then, what’s the point of those lists and schedules?” You ask.

Back when I first got married I didn’t write any lists or follow a schedule. I tried to remember the things I had to do. My memory sucks. I found myself remembering to do things past the deadline and sometimes I ran out of clothes because I didn’t get the laundry done. I started to get frustrated, nothing was getting done!
“I think I know what the problem is,” I told my husband (he had to listen to me complain about it) “I need a schedule!”
And now I get 7 out of 10 things done 3 out of 5 days a week!

Photo by EvelynGiggles Some Rights Reserved

Here are some scheduling lessons I’ve learned:

1-Be realistic. The key to a list/schedule is knowing your limits and how much time it takes to do things. If you know you can only get three things done tomorrow, don’t count on five. If you get three things done and, hey, you have more time! By all means, do five.

2-Give yourself wiggle room. If you know something is going to take you an hour count on an extra ten minutes. Scrubbing the shower might take longer than you realize.

3- Always do the most important things first. If you HAVE to pay that bill today, do that first, don’t re-organize the pantry. You might get carried away and the bill won’t be paid.

4- Don’t get discouraged. Know that there is a possibility that the baby might get sick or you could have to take a phone call. If nothing on your list is done, just try again the next day.

5-Take breaks. If you don’t put aside some time to relax you might burn yourself out before getting things done. Just make sure you make it a set time. If you decide to relax and surf the web, you might end up doing it an hour longer than you meant to.

You might ask where my authority on this subject come from, I have a mother who has managed to homeschool all nine of her children and has a business helping people organize their houses. She is the master of schedule making! I’ve learned a thing or two from her.