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When life is busy and full of distractions, it's easy to lose focus rather than completing the tasks that we need to do. Making a personal schedule is a good strategy for success in all aspects of our lives. A personal schedule can keep us motivated, ensure that we get essential tasks completed and help us accomplish our goals. Personal schedules are also valuable aids in helping us make time for personal relationships.
Assess all your personal and professional responsibilities -- including regular job duties or appointments, club meetings and family duties and outings. Include also events or tasks that occur at irregular or infrequent intervals, such as seasonal maintenance for your car or home. A personal schedule should allow you to achieve a balance in your personal and professional lives without neglecting one or the other.
Rank your productivity level and establish a routine. Some parts of your day will be more productive for accomplishing certain tasks. For example, maybe an exercise routine works better for you in the mornings before work. Schedule your most demanding tasks for the part of the day where your productivity level is at its highest. Your less productive times can still be used to complete less demanding tasks.
Make a personal schedule that includes a calendar and a datebook. For example, you can use a physical notebook, such as a commercially produced planning system. Keep a list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks and goals. For example, include your goals for exercise, car maintenance and practice for your sport or musical instrument.
As an alternate or supplement to a physical notebook, build your personal schedule on your tablet computer or smart phone. An electronic device is the best choice only if you're comfortable with technology. If so, a tablet has the advantage of a larger and easier-to-view screen than a smart phone, but it's also bulkier. You may prefer to use your smart phone so you can carry it everywhere more easily. It's a matter of personal preference what method or methods you use.
Refer to your schedule during the day. This will remind you of what needs to be done. When you finish a task or achieve a goal cross it off the list. This will provide a sense of completion and satisfaction.
Take charge and control of your schedule. Learn to be flexible. Your personal schedule is not the Ten Commandments. You should regard it as a tool that helps make your time more productive and efficient and your life more enjoyable.
Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.
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