Motivation drove the need for creating a schedule that would work. I needed a path that encompassed a full plan for my writing (plus all the family things).
I mapped out the perfect system. The moment I hit print on my computer the attacks started. Seeing the plan written out helped me keep the focus to do what I knew needed to be done.
Daylight threw off my plans. Technically it was still dark outside, but thanks to Daylight Saving Time (which I think should be outlawed) the scheduled getting up time was an hour later than normal.
Top that off with the realization that I have to take the mornings off two mornings in a row to take family members to the doctor. It would be easy to just give up and walk away before the schedule even had a chance to try.
Creating a Schedule that Works
- Look at time realistically. As much as I want to write full-time, there is not a full-time left in my day when I school the kids, do chores, and fix meals. I cut back the number of hours that I expect to be able to write.
- Plan downtime. Some of the objectives I set up to reach my writing goals included reading. Every writer needs to make time to read. I planned quiet time in the schedule to have a moment to read some of the books, eBooks, and magazines that have been piling up around the house.
- Leave blanks. Some of the schedules that I have created in the past had every minute planned. One unexpected moment would through off the whole schedule. This time around the only things that are planned definitively are those moments that are must-do projects (like school, meals, and bedtime).
- Be focused. This schedule started with a business plan for my writing and speaking. I used the goals and objectives from that plan to schedule specific times for activities and appointment openings (for future doctor visits). Instead of scheduling a generic work time, I am setting aside time for specific projects. Now there is no time wasted trying to decide WHAT to work on during my scheduled work periods.
- Develop a habit of consistency. The flexibility written into the schedule makes it easier to follow through with the schedule. Sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room can be the perfect moment to catch up on those quick articles or to even organize a schedule to begin making the most of the time that you have.
The key to my new schedule is planning. I took out some time to plan how to do what I knew I needed to be doing. I also organized my space to make doing those tasks a little easier. Along the way, I determined to be consistent and even a little flexible in making this schedule a habit and lifestyle for the family. Creating a schedule that works requires including enough focused flexibility the shift with the changes in life.