How to Create a Healthy Daily Schedule

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What many people don’t know is that our peace of mind is closely tied to our daily schedule. It can work as a framework that not only allocates time to each and every aspect of work and personal life but creates a sense of structure and routine, the kind that brings balance to an otherwise messy reality.
Another benefit of having a daily schedule is that it can put everything into perspective and help you to evaluate where you’re putting too much time, or in some cases, not enough of it. Perhaps your days are heaped in meetings with little purpose, or you’ve left no room for activities you’re passionate about or the people you care for. When your days are laid out clearly, you can begin to see any discrepancies or interferences and begin to make any necessary modifications.
The healthiest schedules are never going to be the ones jam-packed with events and meetings, even though many people feel the busier they are the better off they are. The truth is, a smartly designed schedule is your key to success, not a hectic one.
Some of us are naturally inclined to organize every minute of the day, let’s call these people the teachers’ pets or the A-type personalities of the world. But for those of us who are less coordinated or fail to upkeep that kind of persona, it can be helpful when looking to train yourself or attain certain organizational attributes.
So, if you fall under the latter group, what can you do to create a healthy and balanced daily schedule? Well, to be honest, plenty. Here are some guiding steps to assist:

1. Find a platform or use a template

Either you’re a paper person or a digital person, and when it comes to daily schedules, you can create one using either method. Though it’s much simpler to link calendars and cross-check plans going digital, and far more efficient. You can use lists, spreadsheets, phone apps, calendars and more. So, find a platform or use a template that’s easy to use and run with it.

2. Start with your typical tasks

Begin by writing down or typing out your usual daily tasks, everything from taking the dog for a walk to weekly catchups. From there, you can expand and plot out where each item fits and when. Are you more productive in the morning? Leave space for the harder tasks then and push any meetings or less urgent tasks to the afternoon. Once you have a general outline, you can fill in the gaps – hoping there are some to fill!

3. Keep it neat

We all know an untidy schedule can lead to mishaps, including crossed meetings or missed deadlines. So, build your schedule in such a way that it’s easy to update and clear to understand. And keep it in one place.
Don’t forget: colours are your best friend and detail is your ally.

4. Leave space for travel and emergencies

Life would be much easier if we didn’t have any interruptions. But you can most certainly guarantee them periodically. So, when you’re plotting out how everything fits, make sure to leave room for travel times and traffic, as well as gaps in between for surprise invites or last-minute obligations.

5. Set a reminder to update your schedule

Set a regular reminder in your phone or calendar, somewhere you’ll see it, to update your schedule on a weekly basis. Fridays are typically great for this, as that day of the week can be a bit slower, and you can prepare for the upcoming week, leaving your weekend less stressful. The more you do this, the more it will become a habit. It may be difficult at first, but your future self will thank you.

6. Leave space for fitness and personal time

When we think of a daily schedule, we usually think of work; however, its purpose isn’t solely work-based. It’s meant to help you allocate time towards your personal initiatives too. So, don’t forget to leave time slots dedicated to fitness, socializing and personal interests. They are just as important, arguably even more important.

7. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

Did we say prioritize too much? Yes, yes we did. This element is so valuable to a healthy daily schedule, that you can hardly dismiss it. Once you have all your tasks and meetings laid out, rate them from most important to least important and order them accordingly. For the ones that fall under the most important category, decipher them from the rest and put them at the top of the list.

Digital Organizing Platforms

Thanks to modern technology, there is an abundance of tools and apps available that aid you in your organizational endeavours. Here are a few of the best ones available:

TimeIvy

TimeIvy is ideal for prioritizing. If you need a little guidance highlighting your important tasks or are trying to find more time in your day, this app can help you discern where all of your time is going and if any is being wasted. It works as a subtle nudge and a productivity aid, so if you’re mindless browsing is taking up too much time, you can clearly see its effects.

Structured

They market themselves as ‘an app for people who need structure’ and as you can tell from the name, they do exactly that, conveniently I might add. Here, you can plan every element of your day and set reminders all on one central phone.

Google Tasks

If you use Gmail, this app is ideal, as they sync to do’s and tasks across multiple devices and integrate them into your Google Calendar and/or Gmail.

OnlyCal

This one is excellent for syncing calendars. So, if you organize your daily schedule in the form of calendars and have your personal and work ones stored separately, this tool is great for linking them all together. Even if you have your daily schedule on a different platform, this can be a helpful reference, so you’re not looking in multiple places.
It’s not just finding a daily schedule that works for you, it’s also managing and maintaining one. So, don’t be afraid to try different things. If something isn’t working or motivating you enough, try something else. Once you have a way of tracking and updating your daily schedule that suits your needs and lifestyle, you are off to the races. And you’ll be surprised to see just how much it positively impacts your life and the relationships that surround you.
These changes, while perhaps subtle at first, will begin to shape your routine and help you to make better, healthier choices. The kind that helps you project manage your own life, and ultimately, grow, evolve, and thrive.
It may feel like a heavy or tiresome task upfront, but it truly does help your peace of mind, and eventually, you’ll find that it was worth every ounce of effort.
 

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