Setting up a schedule for success
Before establishing the project schedule, it is imperative to have a list of tasks to be accomplished, that is as exhaustive as possible, to schedule them and to have an estimate of the workload for each of them.
To do this, it is necessary to be sure to have clearly identified the project objectives, as seen by the client, in order to define the scope as precisely as possible. The division must be as fine as possible. Do not hesitate to divide each task into one or more sub-tasks. This will improve the visibility of the actions to be implemented.
Once the tasks have been divided, they can be placed chronologically in the project, in order of completion, taking into account any interdependencies and therefore their scheduling.
Myths about setting up a schedule
Schedule is time consuming. WRONG!
This misconception likely stems from the same group of people who think that schedule means locking down every part of the schedule for “productivity” reasons.
Well that probably means you need to schedule more than most of us.
Schedule is not difficult. Schedule doesn’t take time management. All you need is a few minutes each day to think about how and when you will do something.
How long it takes to specify is up to you, but I’d say usually no more than 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the beginning, what matters is that you start.
Schedule requires perfect execution. WRONG!
Perfection is not the most important thing. And it’s not necessary to be a successful planner.
In fact, I think that’s probably the thing holding you back the most. When scheduled, you want to save time and energy.
What happens when you try to create the «perfect schedule »?
It becomes harder than it has to be. They took more time than necessary. In the end, you have no guarantee that your plan is actually perfect. It feels perfect.
Simple, effective and uncomplicated. That’s what the plan is supposed to do, nothing more. Schedule is a skill that you will find easier over time.
But it’s never going to be perfect, trust me when I say you’ll never need it.
Tips and advice for creating a schedule that makes you feel successful
Prioritize your tasks
Now that you have distinguished the different types of tasks, you can begin to prioritize them. Start by making a to-do list to make things easier.
Once you set your priorities, you can stay on focus on the most important tasks first. Likewise, you can put off less important items on your to-do list until more important items are completed.
Plan your day
Always reserve an energetic time (morning in most cases) for your most important tasks (i.e. active tasks).
Since you have less energy in the afternoon, it’s always a good idea to acknowledge and respond to emails and messages (i.e. your reactive tasks) at this time of day.
Narrow down your to-do list
Sometimes your to-do list is too long to be done in one day, so they get pushed to the next day.
Plus, an unfinished to-do list can demotivate you and affect your productivity planner.
In fact, you should limit your daily to-do list to a maximum of 3 to 5 items.