If you’ve ever wondered what the point of schedules and planners were, then get comfortable because you’re about to learn why it is imperative that you literally schedule your entire life!
"Schedules are routines, they are the ‘get you going’ mentality that helps you really tackle your day, helping you get one step closer to your goals."
WHY I SCHEDULE EVERYTHING?
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and while I had been living with depressive symptoms since I was 16, in 2017 I began to suffer from long periods of distressing thoughts. This eventually culminated to a severe lack of focus, sleep, and determination, this abrupt change to my normal effected every part of my life - from my work to personal relationships.
I was seeing an excellent therapist at the time who introduced me to the practice of mindfulness, and encouraged me to create routines. Schedules are routines, they are the ‘get you going’ mentality that helps you really tackle your day and your goals one step at a time.
The purpose of scheduling is to bring awareness to where you are spending your time and motivate you to get things done. Awareness gives you confidence, provides clarity, and can help lift a weight off your shoulders that you may not have even known was weighing you down.
The secret to Scheduling your Life is knowing what, when and who (yes who) to schedule.
What I Schedule
Schedule Hygiene Routines
It may seem silly to schedule hygiene but this doesn’t necessarily mean a shower or bath, this may be as small as washing your face or brushing your teeth or brushing your hair – whatever makes you feel like if the FedEx guys comes knocking, you won’t be terrified to open the door.
Schedule Mental health & Self-care practices
If you aren’t thinking about your mental wellness than its not being prioritized. If waking up at 5 am on a Saturday is the only time you’ll get an entire hour of complete silence – then guess what time you wake up. There is this misnomer that practicing self-care is easy but self-care is serious which means practicing good self-care habits can be serious work.
Schedule Physical Activity
If you’re not on the up and up about how activity increases your endorphins then that explains why your one of those people who ‘hate’ exercise. Activity is activity, sitting in one spot, even if it’s comfortable, can make you feel drained. Have you ever been sitting on the couch for 5 hours straight and when you get up you sigh as if you’d just run a marathon?
Schedule Communication (with someone other than your pet)
Communication is brain activity, even watching a non-interactive webinar causes you to speak aloud when you have the answer to a question. This connectivity your craving can be momentarily satisfied but not sustained by substituting a furry face, even if it’s a super cute face – although that doesn’t hurt.
Schedule Alone time
Do something for you all by yourself. There’s no secret that if you live with a family or rarely get a moment to yourself, you may begin to think you’re losing your own identity. Do something that doesn’t call for anyone else’s input. You’re the master of your own domain and you can do whatever you want. Give yourself that feeling, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I promise, you’ll walk around smiling all day and no one will know why.
FIRST STEP IS TO JUST START
You don’t need a ton of fancy supplies to get started; a simple planner, a plain notebook from the dollar section of Target and a pack of pens from the dollar store are all the supplies you need.
Mental Health Awareness
Use your planner, calendar or notebook EVERYDAY! it may seem strange to schedule your weekends or downtime but I’ve had weekends where the only plan I had was to clean up a bit and take a single letter to the mail box.
If procrastinating is something you’ve always struggled with, then creating a daily schedule where you state your morning routine, list a to do list, schedule your lunch and when you’ll prep dinner will increase the likely-hood that you get up and get things done.
Over time with consistency and commitment you’ll feel a consistent satisfaction that actually gives you the motivation to keep going. On low days, sometimes a short walk to the mail box can begin a chain reaction towards a day of productivity instead of a day of sloth.
Prioritize your sanity
There’s no right or wrong way to organize your life. What's important is that your sanity, happiness and responsibility are able to work in harmony. If you need to add ‘call Karen’ to your 2 PM on a Saturday, or ‘make time to paint’ - then do it. It may seem strange to other people but you know that you’re not going to waste valuable time doing something that doesn’t benefit you.
"Making time to plan your week will give you that motivation to get things done and remind you to work on connections that are important to you."
Scheduling and planning are just a few of the skills I’ve learned over the years. The invaluable tools and techniques I’ve learned and how I use them can be found each month in the Long Way Round blog.
*Daily routine sample
Vintage planner photo, Mental Health scrabble photo, and Desk clock photo from Pixabay.com
Boy playing basketball photo from Wix.com
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