How to Start Making a Good Schedule

This post is part one of a two part series about schedules. 

Do you  ever wonder how anyone can keep track of a social life, a job, homework, an Instagram of 300 followers, and a blog, while getting good grades and staying organized and unfrazzled at the end of the day?

It sounds monumentally difficult!

However, if you 1) write everything down and 2) make sure you schedule your time realistically, you can do all of the above, and maybe even more!

The first step to being unfrazzled about your schedule is to make sure you know everything that is going on. I use the bullet journal system, set up by Ryder Carroll. (Disclaimer: my bullet journal is not nearly as complex in setup as the system Ryder designed. I'm even more reductionist than he is!) My favorite part of this system is the brain dump - where you take everything that you need to do or be aware of and write it all down on a piece of paper or in a notebook. This includes everything from essay projects to laundry to your mom's birthday! Then you start sorting through it all.

My favorite way to sort through my brain dump list is to assign priorities to all of the items.

  • First are highest priority items. These are things I have to get done today. Usually this list includes things like shower (because for some reason I forget to if I don't write it down - yikes) and assignments that are due the next day.
  • Second are mid-priority items. These are things I have to get done within the next three days. Things like laundry, shopping, and assignments due in the not-so-immediate future make this list.
  • Third are low priority items. These I don't usually pay attention to until I have time to, or until they get bumped up to a higher priority list. Things like buying a laptop case, detail planning a spring break trip, and trying out a new supplement usually fall into this list - things I don't really need to do but want to.

Sometimes I write down items that fall outside of these lists. These I usually put into a reminders category, because things like "eat a vegetable"  aren't really a one-and-done type of action. 

Then I take the first two priority lists and sort them into categories. This helps me make sure I'm living a balanced life while focusing on the things that are most important to me. Generally, my categories are:

  • School (reading, class, and future planning)
  • Work 
  • Friends (having fun and being there for them if they need me)
  • Personal Management (exercise, laundry, staying organized)
  • Faith and Spirituality (going to church, praying, spiritual reading, and making sure I'm ok to do everything else in my life)

This combination of priorities and categories really helps me to stay on top of everything I have to do! It also allows for flexibility if a crisis comes up, because this type of sorting means that the priorities always get attention first.

Next time, I'll be writing about how to schedule time realistically, making sure you have plenty of time to do everything you need to do and want to do, and I'll have a printable to show you my system so you can use it if you want!

Wishing you all the success in the world,

Catherine