Sticking to a schedule is actually the hardest part of time management for anyone who works from home.
It isn’t trying to fit more hours into the day or delegating tasks to others. It’s creating new habits. Being an entrepreneur in and of itself means doing things in an unconventional way, and seems to mean working round the clock, so keeping a schedule feels counterproductive. In truth, it will increase your success. Putting your new schedule in writing will help you stick to it. Pick a few of these methods to try. Then, check back after a month and see if you’ve become better at keeping a schedule. Here are 8 ways writing down your schedule can help you stick to it.
- Dust off your planner. Traditional paper planners are trendy right now. Often people prefer to use them over, or in addition to, technology. The key is to write everything down and to actually refer to it daily. An expensive planner with all of the stickers, washi tape, and gel pens may look organized, but it won’t help you stick to a schedule unless you actually use it.
- Get a big whiteboard. There is no ignoring a giant whiteboard in your office! And it’s so gratifying to erase an item off the board when it’s been completed!
- Monitor your day with time tracking software. Sites like FreshBooks.com enable you to keep track of what you’re doing, from social media usage to household chores. It will soon be clear where you’re wasting time each day and what needs to be cut from your schedule (or outsourced).
- Take advantage of your phone. You’ve got a computer at your disposal at all times, so you might as well use it. Utilize the calendar and alarm functions to keep you on track. If you get an important reminder every time you go to check social media, you’ll have fewer excuses for not getting tasks done.
- Experiment with project management systems. Basecamp, Asana, and Trello (among others) can help you organize your schedule and work with a team, but even if you use them as an individual, you can assign yourself tasks and receive reminders to complete them.
- Use Evernote. Keep track of your schedule, organize notes in one place, and share ideas with others, thanks to this app. It’ll take some getting used to, especially for traditional pen and paper types, but it will become second nature in no time.
- Give Google Calendar a try. You likely already have access to it, since you probably have a Gmail account. It allows you to easily set up different calendars for different aspects of your life, and share family or team calendars with others. You can color code entries, print out the calendar, and even sync it to your phone.
- Take your vision board one step further. Create a contract with yourself by putting your goals in writing. Add your work hours and your plan for how to use those hours to the contract, and then sign it. Writing has a mysterious, yet powerful way of turning dreams into realities.
Goal Setting Books and Inspiration
My favorite inspirational writers are Gretchen Rubin, Laura Vandercamp, Jen Sincero, and Emily Ley. If you need positive thinking or quick-witted motivational sass (like Jen Sincero!), these recommendations will help you get started on your journey.
My Favorite Planners
- How to Organize Your Blog With Purple Trail Content Planner
- Erin Condren Planner: Is the Life Planner For You?
- lake + loft dream.plan.do planner review