[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
At the end of every month, I like to schedule tasks and appointments for the next month in my calendar. It’s no secret scheduling tasks into your calendar is a smart move to avoid procrastination. You just need to schedule time in your calendar to accomplish whatever task it is that needs to be done.
When scheduling tasks, you need to know a few things if you want to balance your work-life schedule. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll complete your scheduled tasks. At some point in life, you may be not able to tick off every task you have in a month. Life happens, and that is totally fine.
In this post, I offer several tips to help you with scheduling tasks into your calendar at home, work, or school. You’ll definitely want to keep this information handy when you’re getting ready to schedule tasks into your calendar.
Scheduling Tasks Into Your Calendar
Create clearly defined tasks
Having a clearly defined task will allow you to perform your work with ease. Therefore, you should be extremely clear about what it is you want to accomplish. You read your scheduled task, understand fully what it is you have to do, and you won’t waste your time and energy interpreting vague tasks.
A clearly defined task helps you move quickly from one task to another because the path you’ve laid out for yourself is clear. Take care to specify the exact home, work, school, or personal task you’d like to complete. You won’t get frustrated or upset by a lack of planning.
If you still don’t understand what is a clearly defined task, here are some examples:
- Poorly: run errand from mom – Clearly: pick up clothes from a store.
- Poorly: translation tasks – Clearly: translating 750 words from chapter one.
- Poorly: budgeting – Clearly: update expenses trackers.
Have a break time between tasks
When you’re working on tasks back to back, your mind and body need time to rest. Let’s say that I usually start working at 9 A.M. by writing a long article, or translating a novel followed by decluttering some papers, it’s a wise idea to add in some break time between tasks. Of course, this break time will vary depending on how long you’ve been working on a task or whether the task is mentally/physically challenging.
While there’s no rule on how long you can get for break time between scheduled tasks, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to recharge. You can drink a cup of coffee, read a book, or just sit quietly. You’ll be refreshed to work on your next task.
Be generous in time estimations
Have you ever asked yourself, “How long did it take me to finish that task?”
When scheduling tasks, you need to be generous with your time estimations. Even if you overestimate the amount of time it takes you to complete a scheduled task, you’ll still have a bit of wiggle room. A generous time will help you to deal with distractions, and unforeseen interruptions, and still, get things done.
To set a generous time estimation, ask yourself the question above and consider all those times you’ve worked on a similar task. For instance, it took me 3-4 hours to write 1,000 words long content and 3 hours to subtitle a 30-minute long video. After all, the last thing you want in your schedule is for you to constantly scramble to finish all the tasks you’ve set out for yourself!
Create a list of recurring tasks
As a blogger, I have a list of recurring tasks, such as a daily-weekly-monthly blogging routine. I also keep a list of weekly and monthly budgeting. It only takes a few moments to put together a recurring list of must-do tasks. The best part is: all you have to do is pull out your list whenever you’re getting ready to schedule your calendar.
Treat your scheduled tasks as a priority
If you simply schedule tasks into your calendar, that doesn’t mean the task will be magically completed on its own. Sometimes we fall into a trap of procrastination or lack of motivation to get things done. I’ve been there so many times and I can tell you, it would be extremely silly of you to waste time you’ve scheduled for yourself.
Scheduling tasks into your calendar is the equivalent of scheduling an appointment with yourself. You’ve carefully selected the day, time, and location for you to “meet” with yourself in order to finish a certain task. Make the commitment to show up, sit down, and do your work at the appointed time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re researching potential clients for your next project or doing your blogging routine.
Reschedule uncompleted tasks
As we all know, things happen in life. You may be able to accomplish every single task listed in your calendar without fail, but some are not. When you’re not able to complete a certain task, you need to have a method or way of reviewing uncompleted tasks.
Get your calendar and work your way through each uncompleted task, one by one. You can ask yourself, “How can I make this task easier to complete”, “What makes me unable to complete this task today?”, or “Ho much time should I schedule for this task in the next month?”.
Which of these scheduling tasks did you find to be the most helpful? Leave a comment below!