A Plea for Realistic Schedules

A familiar tug starts building in my stomach, getting stronger as the day goes on.

I look at my worklist.

  • Clear out emails
  • Finish writing that blog post
  • Check-in on social media
  • Oh yeah, and watch that important video that’s going to give me all the answers to marketing to my newsletter
  • There’s also that list of things I never get to, that really needs to get done… probably today.

I’m failing.

I’m behind.

I’m rushing and doing a terrible job… at everything.

I won’t find success today.

That tug in my stomach has turned into a full-blown pull. It grows into a heat of anxiety and tremor of guilt.

I won’t find success today.

Is this you? Is this how you feel about working? Maybe about home tasks too? It’s heart breaking really. That you think the problem is with you. That you think you’re behind and failing.

It’s not, you know. The problem is not with you.

That nasty feeling of constantly striving to catch up to your to do list is not about your ability to do things.

The problem is your schedule. Your task list, doesn’t line up with the time you actually have.

It doesn’t account for the important conversations with your son about school or the dishes in the sink.

It doesn’t factor in the work meeting or online course that adds value to your business.

The good news is, you control that schedule.

The better news is, creating a realistic one is easy.

How to create a realistic schedule

Create a once-a-week planning habit. Planning one week at a time is especially helpful when you’re managing both a family and a work schedule. Pick a day over the weekend, I like Sunday evening when the fun is winding down and the house is quiet.

Start with what’s already set. Pull out the family calendar, look at any appointments or activities that you’ve already committed to.

Factor in self-care. How much time are you spending on exercise, reading, or other enriching activities? (If the answer to this is zero… it might be time to rethink your priorities.)

Decide on how many hours you’ll have to work. The closer you can get to an accurate number the easier it will be to create a realistic task list for work.

Pick your main goals for the week. If you’ve completed a priority map (part of the Out of Overwhelm program), this will be easy because you’ve already broken down your goals. If not, think of what the next crucial step in your business is.

Compare your goals with your work hours. Now is the time to be really honest with yourself. When you look at your task list and your available work hours, how do you feel? Is there enough time or do you need to prioritize your tasks to make sure the most important ones get finished? Do you need to delete a task or delegate it? Can you ask for help to move around some family obligations?

The goal for this process is to create a task list that lines up with the schedule you have. This is where your realistic schedule is born.

Starting with a realistic schedule opens up opportunities to feel successful and see progress.

Do you have a realistic schedule for this week? If not, stop what you’re doing right now, grab a piece of paper, and create one for the rest of the week. (If it’s Friday, create one for the rest of today.)

Bonus step… add some planning time to your weekend to make starting this habit as easy as possible.

Could you use a little accountability? Join the Facebook Group and share your experience with creating a schedule that fits your life.