Too Busy? It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Schedule

too busy woman checking watch

One of the common concerns that my clients talk about is not having enough time.  They are working very hard and feeling very, very busy.  We often discover that they are operating in a time warp that is not based in reality.

Here is a process that will help you evaluate your relationship with time and begin to use it wisely:

1. Start by exploring and writing down what you value most in life.  Common core values include things like family, success, happiness, service, inner peace, religious beliefs, or love.  (Contact me if you would like a free list of sample values to work with.)

2. Make a list of all of the things that you spend time on or that call for your attention. (Appointments, meetings, things you do for your children, work, connecting with others, playing on Facebook, watching TV, organizations you belong to, housework, and more)  When it feels complete, take a moment to look over your list.  How does it make you feel?

3. Now, for the fun part.  Cross off everything on the list.  Everything! (Do it in a way that you can still see what was written beneath.) You do not “have to” do any of these things. Take a moment to absorb this.   It’s a clean sweep.  There is nothing left on your schedule or to do list.

4. Set an intention for creating a stress-free schedule that will serve you and your life.

5. Create a new list that only includes things that are in alignment with your values and supports the life you want to create.   Be careful not to add everything back.  This is your priority list.  Everything else is an option to plug in only if it feels meaningful, is in alignment, and you have plenty of time.  There is one exception.  If you have not included time for yourself on the list, please add it now.

6. Double check the list for illusions like the ones below:

  • Keeping you and your children busy with multiple after school activities may seem in alignment with your family values, but could really be limiting your special times together.
  • Spending a lot of time working on a website or marketing in social media may seem like a necessary use of your time, but it could be preventing you from getting out and connecting with potential clients.

7. Review your new list.  It should be much, much shorter than the original and feel in alignment with who you are and what you want.  It should feel more peaceful and leave space for spontaneity and magic.

8. Plug your new list into your schedule.

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

Don’t forget to leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

5 thoughts on “Too Busy? It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Schedule

  1. Eydie Stumpf says:

    Great system for creating your idea schedule. I like to schedule in my free time first. Weekend getaways, day trips, dinner with friends, socializing, etc. Then I create my list of to-do’s based on priority, time-sensitivity, etc. I also remove all distractions from my office. No TV, radio, phone on vibrate, and social sites take a back seat….and sometimes I go so far as posting a sign on my door – DO NOT DISTURB…(unless your bleeding or having trouble breathing).

    Aligning work with your values is key. Don’t ever do what is not congruent with who you are and your beliefs.

    Thanks for your tips, Eydie 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    This is a great list and something I need to do better. While I’m job hunting you’d think I’d get so much more done since I dont have to go to work, but without that scheduling I get nothing done. I’ve started trying to schedule my days even done to when I’ll eat to help me be productive while I’m looking for a job.

    • Linda Luke says:

      Being in between jobs is a golden opportunity to rest, refresh, and get things done so you will feel ready for your new work. Sometimes your body and mind need rest and other times you can step into a project you would love to have done. Is there something you can get excited about doing? That would probably be the area to focus on. I hope the schedule works for you and also wonder if there is a way you can be gentle with yourself and still be more productive.

  3. Flora Morris Brown says:

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for sharing this process for using time more wisely. When I was a super mom I began the practice of putting dates for pampering myself and attending events I enjoyed first on my blank calendar. I discovered that the myriad of kids’ activities and household duties got done, but treating myself well would slip through the cracks if I didn’t commit to dates. A few times over the years I had to move my dates around, but I always honored them.

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