Most people would agree that schedules rule their lives in one way or another. Whether it’s your children’s school schedule, your work schedule, or even maintaining your house – it can be exhausting at times. Especially in this current season, our ‘new normal’ schedules have flipped upside down. For most people, they have lived a day in and day out a certain way for ten, twenty, even thirty years. And in 2020, they’ve been forced to rearrange things and might even have to rearrange them again. There are several ways you can hack your schedule to work better for you. Here are four ways to work smarter not harder!
Think of Your Schedule like a Game
Sit down with a pen and paper calendar, preferably the whole month at a glance. When you start filling in your schedule, you’ll see it looks somewhat like a game and you can begin to think of it like one. For example, in poker, you weigh the odds of success, then risk your sense of comfort in order to pursue an uncertain but rewarding outcome. Odds are the “tangible factors that comprise your chances of winning a hand, based on what cards you have and your position in the hand […] Knowing the odds, together with a strong tactical plan is a winning combination,” points out the Global Poker School.
Just as it can lead to victory at the card table, that same approach is useful in modifying your schedule. What odds are working against you? What are you procrastinating each day or week that you could quickly accomplish or eliminate all together? Once you figure these out, work to make a change.
Decide What to Cut
Take inventory of your schedule and see what areas can either be combined for efficiency or need to be cut altogether. It’s also important to prioritize certain areas based on your core values and what you want out of life. For example, if you see that you are spending an hour going to the grocery store several times per week which means less time for family, try to combine that into one larger trip or look into food delivery options.
Cutting unnecessary errands can really help add time to other areas that are higher on your priority list. If you like running errands and value that time, try to save time in other areas such as social media usage or chores around the house.
Learn to Delegate
Not one person can successfully be in charge of everything. For many people, it’s extremely hard to delegate certain areas of their life. Once you learn what can and should be delegated, it’s a game-changer. When looking at your schedule – are there things you are holding on to that could easily be passed on to someone else?
Although it might require some investment of time or money on your part, it can alleviate your pain points. For example, you might absolutely dread cleaning your house each week, but you haven’t even considered hiring help for that. It’s time to start delegating and investing in parts of your life that you dread.
Another great example – you never have time to run errands on your own or grab lunch with a friend because you’re too busy with the kids each day. Consider hiring a babysitter for a few hours per day, each week. Even though it’s an investment on your part, you’ll be gaining time in your schedule to allocate to what makes you happy or what you need.
There are plenty of ways to hack your schedule to work better for you. It just takes some time, creativity and resources! Don’t be afraid to start today and then check your progress next month – you likely won’t regret it!