Last week I shared this picture on Facebook of “back to school” supplies at Target. I had snapped the shot just after July 4th, and I was explaining (read: venting) that I felt it was far too early to bring this stuff out.
I was quickly reminded, however, that not everyone begins school at the end of August (or after Labor Day). And in fact, many people go back to school in the next few weeks. 📚
How to Create a Schedule and Follow it
Keeping that in mind, I decided I’d better start sharing some of my favorite back-to-school strategies to get ourselves organized and ready for fall.
Today, I’m starting with my three favorite ways to create a schedule and stick with it.
Whether you’re preparing your kids for their first day back, you’re a teacher getting ready for school yourself, or you’re a 9-5er transitioning from summer to fall mode, this post is for you.
It’s time to create a schedule and get organized.
Back to School Organization
When we head back to school, however, things change slightly. Our schedules grow a bit more rigid, we return to our usual bedtime routines, and regularly scheduled practices, concerts, and after-school activities fill our calendars.
While this shift can feel overwhelming at first, by taking the time to create a schedule (and sticking with it!), it’s much easier to make that transition.
And that, my friends, is what I’m here to share with you today: my top 3 strategies to create a schedule you can keep.
Are you ready? Let’s do this! 🙌
Create a To-Do List
It’s no secret that I’m a lover of to-do lists. Honestly, there are times when I have a to-do list for my to-do lists. 😂 But in all seriousness, I love these lists because they clearly lay out everything I need to accomplish.
So as you create a schedule and get yourself organized, the first thing I recommend is making your own list of tasks both big and small. What do you need to get done?
Start with a broad overview of your month. Highlight upcoming meetings, appointments, practices, and other events that you must attend. In this list, you might also include any long-term goals toward which you’re working.
Next, look at the week ahead of you, take your list, and start mapping out your tasks. What events are coming up? What’s due at work or school? Where are you making time for family and friends? When are you practicing self-care?
Now it’s time to make a list of everything you need to complete for the upcoming day. (And as a friendly reminder, make sure there’s time for relaxation and self-care in there as well!)
Once you’ve made your lists, block out your day according to how much time each activity needs. Then, use this information to map out your itinerary. By scheduling your high-priority activities first, you know you’ll get the most essential tasks accomplished, and you can work everything else in around them.
Use a Daily Planner
Once you have your monthly, weekly, and daily to-do lists, it’s time to incorporate them into your daily planner. Start by recording all of your scheduled events in one place.
It’s up to you whether you use a bullet journal, your favorite planner, or an organizational app on your phone. The essential thing is to use the same planner for all your scheduling needs.
This ensures that your appointments, meetings, due dates, and kids’ practices are all easily accessible in the same place. Additionally, it helps prevent over-booking – yes!
(Want to learn more about my favorite organizational tool? Check out my post about bullet journaling here!)
Create a Schedule That’s Realistic
I cannot stress this point enough: Don’t create a schedule that you can’t realistically keep. Period. If you do, you’re only setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.
To create a realistic schedule, make sure that you give yourself plenty of “wiggle room” in between activities; this is especially true if you have to travel from one event or appointment to the next.
I don’t know about you, but watching the clock and gripping the steering wheel of my car while stressing about whether I’ll make it on time is NOT my idea of fun.
Additionally, make sure you allow yourself breaks throughout the day. We all need moments to rest and recharge, so leave time for it! If you create a schedule that’s too busy, it will leave you feeling exhausted, which can impact both your performance and your health.
Remember, self-care every day. Listen to your body, and take a break when you need it.
[bctt tweet=”Remember, self-care every day. Listen to your body, and take a break when you need it. #SelfCare #SlowDown #TimeToRest” username=”BusyBeingPaula”]
So as you begin your transition back to school, set yourself up for success. Create a schedule that you can realistically follow with these 3 easy steps:
- Plan out your monthly, weekly, and daily to-do lists.
- Map out your lists in ONE organizational tool.
- Don’t overbook yourself; be realistic about time constraints, commute times, and the importance of downtime. Listen to your body.
Ready to create a schedule you can keep? Download this free time blocking template and get on track today!
Are you ready for back to school? How do you create a schedule you can keep? Are you a fan of routine or do you prefer to “go with the flow?” Let me know below! (Hey, that rhymed!)