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Rethinking How You Schedule

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Becoming a Scheduling Expert
Unlike swimmers, time is the one resource that we can’t buy. And how many of us find ourselves wasting time or using it ineffectively?! Most mama’s + working babes know that schedules help us to think about what we need to achieve in a day, week, or month. It keeps us on track! We wouldn’t be where we are now without some awesome scheduling and planning! With school starting for so many this month we thought it was time to rethink how we schedule, so today we want to talk about what’s in {or not in} our schedules and how we can become even better scheduling experts. 
Identify Available Time
So you have your cute planner {or digital, which can still be super cute} and you’re ready to plan out your days and weeks to come. The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out the time you want to make available for anything. Decide beforehand which hours you are “unavailable.” Many people make this 10:00pm-6:00am, since they’re sleeping during those hours. Just make sure you know your own availability so you give yourself time to rest. How much time you spend at each activity or event will reflect your personal goals in life. So make sure they are in alignment!
The Essentials
Next, schedule in the essentials. These are the actions + events you must absolutely do + attend to. These essentials will look different for everybody. Some of us would never miss a doctor’s appointment or work, but it all depends on your own life situation. These are also typically events or tasks that cannot be rescheduled or moved due to any circumstance (although for emergencies, even work can be rescheduled in most situations). So after you’ve established your availability, go ahead and fill in the essentials as a foundation for the rest of your schedule.     
High-Priority Activities
Review your to-do list and schedule in the activities + events that are urgent or high-priority. These could be anything from projects to appointments. The difference between high-priority activities and essentials are that the high priority items can be rescheduled, but they do need to get done. To push it a step further, arrange these for the times of the day when you are the most productive. Mama’s find this time to be before their kiddos wake up, or after they go to bed. Whatever your situation, make sure you schedule in high-priority activities after you’ve figured out your availability and essentials. 
Becoming a Scheduling Expert
Contingency Time
As you are filling in these essential and high-priority activities, also prepare yourself for the contingencies of life: emergencies. You can’t exactly schedule these in advance, but it’s good to plan for emergencies and those unexpected things that come up all too often. They are definitely unpredictable, but keep them in mind for when you’re making your schedule. For example, if you have scheduled in time for a project, on the side of your schedule, make a note of another time you could do it just in case something happens. But still leave that project as a high-priority item so you get it done!     
Discretionary Time
Also known as free time, discretionary time is the space available to you to do whatever the heck you want! We love discretionary time! After you’ve filled in essentials, high-priority activities, and prepared yourself for whatever else life throws at you, you can start filling in time to do whatever floats your boat. This could be lunch with friends, a movie with the fam, or getting your hair done {although, that may be in the essential category for some of us}. Again, depending on your life situation, discretionary time could be filled with fun things or productive activities. It’s totally up to you! Just make sure this is the last part of your scheduling plan so you don’t miss those essential and high-priority activities.
Evaluate Your Activities
This is usually the step in scheduling that people don’t realize they should do; evaluate your schedule and the activities you have listed. Go back through steps two through four and question whether all of these activities are absolutely necessary. It may be that some things can be delegated to someone else or tackled in a more time-efficient way. For example, if you need to do laundry and work on writing a book, do them at the same time instead of scheduling two separate time-frames. Or if dishes need to be done and the dog bathed, ask your roommate or love to do the dishes while you take on the doggo. Whatever your situation, it’s good to evaluate how you’re using your time to see if you can be more efficient with your efforts. Time is valuable after all and can’t be bought!
Life can get a little chaotic, but it helps to take a step back, breath deeply, and then schedule things out using these steps. Having your days organized with help to alleviate any stress you may be feeling and even help  you sleep better, so it’s definitely worth it! Plus, if you schedule in “me time” and meet that appointment with yourself, you’ll be even more prepared to take on anything life throws your way. What other tricks do you have that help you be a master scheduler? Comment below if you’ve got more steps to add to the list. We’d love to hear your ideas! 
xoxo,
Kortni Jeane + Team  

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