Scheduling your day is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps you to use your time more efficiently. By planning out your day, you can make sure that you are using your time in the most productive way possible.
Second, scheduling your day can help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by all the things that you need to do. When you have a plan for your day, it is easier to focus on each task and not feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions.
Finally, scheduling your day can help you to stick to your goals. If you know what you need to do each day, you are more likely to actually do it. Having a plan gives you a roadmap to follow, which can make it much easier to stay on track.
You may be surprised at how much scheduling your day can help you to get things done and avoid feeling stressed out. Give it a shot and see for yourself!
Tips to Schedule Your Day
First thing in the morning, decide what you want to accomplish today. Estimate how much time it will take and decide at what time you are going to do whatever it is you are going to do. Make notes or draw a quick mindmap for this.
As you block out time during your day to accomplish various tasks, ensure you give yourself at least 15–20-minute breaks after about an hour of work. Respect the break time… don’t get carried away with your work if it’s time for a break. Remember that a break doesn’t mean scrolling on social media or watching some Netflix. These can be considered entertainment. Don’t confuse entertainment with rest. A break means taking a walk, playing with your dog, doing some meditation or a Yog Nidra, or simply staring out of your window. Anything in which your brain is not actively engaged.
This downtime that you give your brain refreshes it, and allows it to consolidate whatever you have done so far. Many times, when you return to your work after this break, you might be pleasantly surprised at the amazing ideas that suddenly pop into your head. Breaks make you work smarter.
I would truly suggest not more than 5 hours of work each day. I have done 9 or 10-hour days and I find that if I give myself just 4-5 hours each day of deep work, I get much more done, feel much less tired and really enjoy my leisure time.
Schedule 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise every day. Exercise gives you a great body. And a relaxed healthy body can come up with much better ideas and do a lot more work than a stressed-out tired one. Besides, did you know that regular exercise signals your brain to create new neurons?! Exercise can make you smarter!
Ensure you are sleeping 8 hours or more each night. We have written a full book about this. It’s called Sleep Your Way to Success. Deleting enough good quality sleep from your routine could perhaps be the most disastrous thing you could do to yourself.
If something is going to take less than 10 minutes to do, do it right away. Otherwise, schedule the more critical things first.
Have 30 minutes at the start of the day to strategize and create action plans for the bigger goals of your life. If already planned, then take that time to review and see how you are doing.
Make time for meditation. 30 minutes of meditation every day can skyrocket your productivity and creativity. These 30 minutes could be the best investment of time you could do for yourself through the day. Here is a link to an online guided meditation with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar if you have not yet learned to meditate.
When you have many things to do, just write them all out. Writing out things that you need to get done helps your brain big time. Now, the brain stops trying to remember all those things that need to get done, because it knows you have written them out – and it knows where to find that file.
This frees up your brain power for more productive, creative stuff.
Batch process admin stuff like replying to whatsapp messages or emails. Just as you do your laundry all together and not first one sock, then a shirt, then a kurta, then another sock… Don’t keep checking your email and messages. It’s a complete waste of time, and gives you a false sense of accomplishment – read the chapter on Dancing with Dopamine in our book Sleep Your Way to Success for more on this. The quagmire of whatsapp, social media or email will suck your energy and sidetrack you from your task at hand.
Though I agree that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how to schedule your day, as each person has different needs and priorities. Too often people feel exhausted in the evening. They have been soooo busy. Yet they feel they have accomplished hardly anything. Take a little bit of time out in the morning and use the tips I have listed here to bring some order to your day. It will greatly help you accomplish much more than you ever thought possible. When you retire to bed in the night, you know you’ve had a wonderful productive day.