In order to increase your productivity, you need to declutter your schedule. The first step is to complete a time audit then create a zero-based schedule. I’ll show you how.
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This post is Day #11 of our 25-Day Productivity Challenge! You can find the entire round-up HERE. Make sure you pin this post so you can find it later and don’t forget to take action!
Why you need to declutter your schedule
If you’re busy, but not productive, then you likely have a schedule that’s overfilled with tasks that don’t really matter or don’t have priority.
The way your personality plays into this is interesting. Check out Day #9’s challenge on how you respond to expectations. For example, if you’re an Obliger, you will feel pressure to always say yes to everyone’s demands on your schedule – to the point of burnout!
Some of us have overfilled schedules because we haven’t narrowed down our goals (see Day #2) or we haven’t figured out what’s really our priority in this season (see Day #1).
All of these topics play into each other, so if you’ve been following along with our 25 Day Productivity Challenge, now is the time to work on decluttering your schedule so that you can be more productive this year!
How to do a time audit
Did you do a time audit in Day #6 when we discussed time blocking?
You can download a printable time blocking sheet, then go ahead and keep track of where you spend your time during a typical week. Write in everything. Before you make a zero-based schedule, you have to know how you are already spending your time.
If you already complete this task earlier in the week, then go ahead and skip to creating a zero-based schedule.
How a zero-based schedule works
Zero-based schedules work just like zero-based budgets. Here it is in a nutshell.
With a zero-based budget, you take everything off the expenses list and analyze each line item that you want to include. You are not starting with a baseline of what you’ve always spent. Each item has to be reevaluated thoroughly and approved. Increased spending in one area has to be compensated by decreased spending in another area, because the amount of money is always finite.
Similarly, take everything off your family calendar. Start with a blank slate.
Then slowly put things back on based on your WHY and your family’s priorities in this season. Make every activity and time commitment earn its way back on.
Which things are essential to fit your family priorities in this season? Put them on the calendar first.
Do you have babies or toddlers? Your current season will dictate your capabilities and priorities. Your schedule should reflect that. Don’t compare your season of life to a homeschool mom with all teenagers in the house. It will not be the same!
Are you dealing with health issues or are you a caregiver for someone? Adjust your schedule accordingly. Don’t assume that you will be able to handle everything you’ve always done.
Okay, once the essentials are in, decide how much mental, emotional, and physical room is left for additional commitments.
But as soon as your limit has been reached, don’t feel guilty for saying no. This planned neglect is all about healthy boundaries.
Control your schedule. Don’t let it control you.
Join us tomorrow as we declutter one hot spot!