It’s easy to get overwhelmed in today’s world of information overload and never-ending to-do lists. Schedules get filled up quickly with tasks, meetings, and other responsibilities.
If you need planner ideas and ways to clear up your calendar, there are plenty of options available. When it comes to planner organization ideas and decluttering your schedule, you’ll want to follow a clear process.
1. Acknowledge That Your Current Process Isn’t Working
When working on how to organize your schedule, one of the first steps should be recognizing that something is off with your current workflow. You’ll need to accept there’s a problem in the current system.
While we live in a world of limitless possibilities, we as individuals have limited time and resources. Take a moment to acknowledge the problems clutter is causing in your day-to-day life. This stage of the process will help you be aware of the specific aspects you need to change.
The more honest you are with yourself, the more beneficial the rest of these planner ideas will be to improving and decluttering your schedule.
2. Identify Your Goal for Decluttering
It’s time to find the why. As you jump into your planner organization, it’s a good idea to set clear objectives. Take inventory of your priorities and put specific milestones behind each one. These can be related to your time management, reducing stress, improving productivity, and enhancing your creativity.
Determine the benefits that will come from taking the time to declutter and use them for motivation. Outline these goals and even write them down so you can feel the accomplishment of crossing each item off your list as it’s completed.
3. Make a Plan & Set a Timeline
Among the most important steps for how to organize your schedule, you should align your goals with a clear plan of action. Don’t try to do it all at once. This will lead to burnout and ultimately failure in improving your planner.
Instead, make small changes at a time that will help you gradually feel that you’re making progress. Take some time every day to work on your schedule. Take individual items off your calendar and see what happens. Do some tests. Experiment with changes to see what works for you.
The more you plan out this process, the easier it will be to follow planner section ideas as they come up.
4. Remove “Fluff” from Your Schedule
The term “fluff” refers to any tasks that are irrelevant to your day-to-day success. They’re the timewasters that aren’t helping your productivity on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
The most effective way to remove fluff is to learn to say “no” to tasks, unnecessary recurring meetings, etc that aren’t beneficial to your schedule. Set boundaries for what you’re willing to do during the day. As part of this process, plan ahead to recognize when you can say “yes” and when you should say “no”.
5. See What You Can Do Less Often
Repetition is great for improving yourself and your skills but it can also be detrimental to your overall productivity. There may be tasks you’re doing more often than you need to or meetings that you’re having too often. Cut back on these items and adjust the frequency.
Time allocation is one of the biggest challenges faced by workers today.
Seek out ways to automate processes whenever possible. Use team communication channels like Slack to cut back on meetings and make it easier to share necessary information.
6. Batch Your Work into Similar Tasks
One of the most common planner ideas to declutter your schedule is to combine your workload into similar tasks. To start this process, you’ll want to organize and prioritize a list of your responsibilities. From there, you can identify the function of each task and batch them into standard workflows.
The more you can break down large projects into smaller milestones, the more manageable your days will feel during the week.
7. Create Time Blocks in Your Day
Going back to priorities, it’s a good idea to set blocks on your schedule that are designated for specific duties throughout the day. Setting recurring reminders on your calendar is a great way to avoid forgetting essential tasks that need to be completed. You’ll keep up with your responsibilities and get into a routine.
Set proper expectations for yourself with specific tasks, including when you should be finished with your work day. Give yourself about 30 to 45 minutes at the end of each day to review your work and finish up.
8. Use Time Tracking Software to Maintain Organization
Integrating an efficient time tracker into your process is a great way to help you audit your time. As you determine how long certain jobs are taking, you can use these audits to remove any tasks that are out of alignment.
The more emphasis you place on being intentional with your time, the easier it will be to declutter your schedule.
9. Look For Outsourcing Opportunities
One of the best planner ideas to clear your calendar is to ask for help. Ask yourself which of your tasks you can outsource to other people, whether they’re within your organization or a freelancer. Work with people who can take on tasks you don’t need to be doing.
Some of the most commonly outsourced tasks include:
- Customer service
- IT and computer programming
- Data entry
Manage These Planner Ideas Based on Importance
If you want to declutter your schedule, a good place to start is with the most urgent responsibilities on your list. Organize your tasks based on urgency and use these suggestions to streamline your processes.
As you learn how to organize your schedule, eBillity can help you keep track of your time. Sign up for our free 14-day trial to see how time trackers can boost your productivity and declutter your calendar.