Artist Retreat Day 6: Crafting an Ideal Schedule
Ah, the mythical unicorn for small business owners (and even more unreachable for mompreneurs): the ideal working schedule. If you’ve achieved this nirvana of productivity already, I am proud of you and quite envious. But it’s more than time for me to move my ideas off of an Excel spreadsheet I never look at and into the tangible realm.
I’ve tried planner after planner, system after system, and where I usually end up is that my timing needs are too project-specific to accurately account for, and then the whole system goes to heck, papers pile up everywhere in my office, and my accounting hasn’t been done in ages… you get the idea.
So I need a to do list that is flexible to accommodate project work, but structured enough that I can adhere to it without doing a ton of extra thinking every week. I need it to be easy to use, not take up too much of my precious worktime to fill in, and I need it to include enough of the repeated minutia that is can be an accurate representation of what actually needs to be done.
Oh, and it has to look nice. Because I am a designer and therefore yes, that does matter.
I spent some time last week being realistic about my schedule – what I have been ignoring, what I have been spending too much of my precious time on, and I decided that one way to stay on task was to develop a consistent weekly schedule of small tasks. I also wanted to think about tasks I can check off while monitoring my son, to make sure that when naptime starts I am putting the pedal to the floor on tasks I can only do while he is asleep and off my plate.
I also wanted to save myself some repeated writing – every day I write a little “emails” header to try and catch up on the people I know are waiting to hear from me – if I can save that time every day, so much the better! Only having three lines helps too, because once I get started mentally listing the people who need to hear from me, the list quickly gets overwhelming – I am hoping this helps keep it short, sweet, and DONE.
My plan is to laminate this sheet, and write on it with a dry erase marker to keep on target. If something doesn’t get done, I can just carry it over to the next day!
In case you think this printable sounds like just what you need, I’ve got a blank to-do list here for you to try! If you’d like to type up your repeated tasks like mine ( I wish I were joking, but when I dislike my own handwriting on a list I avoid looking at it, which defeats the purpose) feel free to modify it in the editing program of your choice.