After identifying blocks of available time in your schedule, the next step is to fill those blocks with tasks of varying urgency. Below is a summary of tips for effective scheduling provided by MindTools.com.*
First, make a list of tasks you absolutely must do to do your job well. Depending on your position, you know the many elements that make up your work day and reviewing that list will help you estimate the time needed and the best time of the day to accomplish a specific task. A “Job Well Done!” will be your reward giving these tasks your priority.
Second, look at your task list and schedule specific time for high-priority tasks that cannot be delegated. It is compulsory to assign these items specific time periods, so they are not forgotten. I find that if I get it down on my schedule, my brain can move to other matters more effectively because I am not wasting brain space trying to “remember” that those tasks are waiting for my attention.
Finally, have a morning and afternoon 30 minute “Today’s Priority” block of time. Every day we face at least one surprise call or event that forces us to shift our attention away from the carefully planned schedule we had set for ourselves. Leaving a small, but daily window for crisis management will be welcomed and effective when the occasion arises.
I have heard it said that if something isn’t on your schedule, it won’t get done. Therefore, I am making every effort to calibrate each day in writing, so I spend less time deciding what I should do. Who knows, I might even get exercising on the schedule!