When you are juggling multiple responsibilities (work, school, blog, relationships) I find it helpful to get into a routine and develop a daily/weekly schedule for myself. Designating certain days/times of the day to work on particular tasks, helps our mind not have to think as much. It can also help you make the most out of your day so that you can have more time to work on hobbies, spending time with friends/families/significant others. You will notice that when you get into the habit of a daily routine, things tend to go a bit smoother and you will get things done more efficiently.
I personally workout at the same time everyday and on the same days (when my work schedule permits). I cook all my meals for the week on Sundays (bulk cooking saves me so much time during the week). I also leave Saturdays open for relaxing so I can do what ever it is my little heart desires.
Below is an hourly example of what my current schedule looks like for one day of the week:
5:00 am to 6:30 am -Gym
6:30 to 7:30 -Post Workout Meal/Shower/Get Ready
7:30 to 8:30 – Review & post blog entry/Edit & post Youtube Videos
8:30 to 9:00 – Commuting to work
9 to 5:30 – Working my 9-5
5:30 to 6:00 – Commute Home
6 to 6:30 – Eat Dinner
6:30-9:00pm Spend time with the SO (Significant Other)
To start creating your own routine or schedule use the steps below as a guide:
1. Decide when you want your “work” day to start and end. If you want to start mindlessly watching TV at 6:30pm, you will need to design your schedule so that you stop “working” at exactly at 6:30pm.
2. Begin by writing out all your current commitments and daily activities (i.e. classes, organizations/clubs, jobs, laundry, studying, cooking). In most cases this alone might dictate when you can start/stop working.
3. Block out the days and times you work or have class on your calendar first.
4. Do you commute? How long does it take you to get to and from? Block that out next as this deduces from what “free time” you will have.
5. Finally, block out your “free time”. This is the time that is not being occupied by classes, work and commuting.
6. Once you know exactly how many days and hours you have to work with, you can begin specifying what you will use that time for.
For example, you have “free time” from 9am-12pm before your afternoon history class every Tuesday and Thursday. You can decide to designate this time to read for your history and biology classes or work on your calculus and chemistry practice problems.
The key is to pick a date and time and always do these tasks on those days. Eventually what will happen is that this routine will become second nature, your mind will no longer have to exert energy trying to figure out when you will have time to read chapters 1-4 of your biology text-book. If you plan your days correctly, you should feel a little more in control of your schedule.
In my next post I will discuss an efficient way to use and create a to-do list, that you can use in conjunction with your daily schedule.