Today I'd like to talk to you about your evening schedule. Do you have one? Do you need one? How do you start one? These are all questions that I'm truly asking you. You may have one without even knowing that you have one.
So, why is it so important to have an evening schedule? Well, my friend, this small thing will save you loads of time the next day! Ahh, Whaaa!!! Yep, it's true. You can save up to 2 hours a day by having one.
Drop the mic.
Now pick it back up, because I wasn't finished.
Setting up an evening schedule will save you loads of time. Since you know that I have ZERO extra time in my days I need all of the help I can get.
This post is going to be packed to the top with tons of super useful information to have you on the road to having an awesome evening schedule. Stay tuned to the end because, you are my favorite, and I've put a bonus together for you!
So lets start off with, do you have an evening schedule, do you need one, and finally how do you start one?
If you don't have an evening schedule you really need to have one. Like I said before this simple schedule will save you loads of time. I mean seriously, like an extra 2 hours a day! Don't worry yourself if you feel lost because you are in the right place! I'm going to walk you through step by step on how to set one up for yourself.
By the end of this post you will have all of the tools you need to start this!
Before I implemented an evening schedule I was lost every single day.
My house was a mess.
I was unorganized.
I didn't have enough time to do anything.
Resentment filled me and my mind.
I was overwhelmed and was rebelling.
So what changed?
I was sick and tired of feeling overwhelmed, resentful, unorganized, and completely lost. Does any of this sound familiar?
My life felt chaotic. This was not what I wanted.
I'm not sure if you've heard my story before, without going into a long drawn out post about me and my story, let's just say I wanted it all and I was completely determined to get it.
What I mean by wanting it all is, I wanted the career, to be an active wife, to be an active mother, to volunteer for worthy non profits, and of course the picket fence (which I'm still working on :)).
Sure I could have just lived with the way things were but, I wasn't as happy as I knew I could be. It was time for me to create the life I was determined to have.
Instead of walking into the same brick wall, it was time to change my route.
I literally tripled the amount of things that I did each evening and had time left over at the end of the day. I was able to spend more time with my husband, daughters, and start half marathon training.
Now it is time to walk you through my step by step process.
So lets talk about how I went about it.
First, I created goals for myself.
This was important to me. I sat down and wrote out my goal for this process. Why I was doing this, what I expected out of this process, how I was going to do this, and when I was going to do it.
I pulled out a piece of paper and asked myself...
- Why I was doing this.
- What my expectations were.
- How I was going to do this.
- When I was going to do this.
It is important to be clear and precise in this exercise. Be vague will only overwhelm you or not motivate you.
This is what I came up with.
Why I was doing this:
To organize me and my home. I wanted to create more time for myself and become more motivated.
What are my expectations?
My expectations were to make a clear and easy schedule that I can stick to.
How am I going to accomplish this?
I'm going to create a list of everything I need and want to get done each evening. I'm going to do a time audit of my evenings. Then, I'm going to prioritize my tasks. Finally, I'm going to put everything into an easy schedule that I can follow.
When am I going to do this?
Each evening starting at 7:30 pm. I'm going to give myself 2 hours to complete my schedule.
Now it was time for me to get crackin'
I created and completed my goals sheet it was time to make a list of everything I needed and wanted to get done each evening. Grabbing a sheet of paper, I started a list.
Start by drawing a line down the center, one column needs to do, the other column wants to do. Then start filling that puppy out.
Next, I did a time audit.
I started timing myself on every little task I did in the evening. I knew I couldn't be successful with time auditing my entire life all at once because I would have been completely overwhelmed.
I was sticking to my goals sheet and only taking care of my evening schedule.
I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down what I did and the time it took. I also carried my phone around with me and would set a stop watch.
Next, I set priorities.
I grabbed my list of everything I needed and wanted to get done and then grabbed 3 different colored highlighters (yellow, pink, and orange) and went to work.
I'm a visual person. This is how I learn, how I work, basically how I do everything.
I designated yellow as extremely important. Then, I assigned pink as important. Finally I made orange my not important color.
This little exercise allowed me to set up boundaries for myself. I was assigning importance to each task so I could set my schedule accordingly.
Below is an example of what that looked like.
It's time to make a plan.
Start out by putting your top 3 extremely important tasks (marked in yellow) on a list. Then, grab 2 of the important tasks (marked in pink). Next, add 1 non important task (marked in orange). Continue down this way until you run out of items.
One thing to think about is batching like items together. For example, if you have on your list, clean up after dinner and clean the kitchen, then they should be batched together. This will save you loads of time!
Give yourself a time limit.
How long do you want your evening schedule to be? I've chosen 2 hours for my schedule. If you want more or less time, it up to you to make that decision.
Below is a photo of an example of what that plan would look like.
It's time for your final draft!
Now it is time to finalize your schedule. I like to make this in a google sheet. Start out by creating a time slot. I like making 15 minute increment time slots. Then you start filling in your schedule.
As time goes on, as I have found, your schedule ends up becoming second nature, and a lot quicker. Since you are used to doing each of these items each night you'll breeze through them.
Where is the time savings?
Here it is before I set up my evening schedule I was lucky to get the kitchen cleaned up after dinner. Now I'm able to pick up the house, clean the kitchen, prep for tomorrow, and have a nicely structured evening. That has lead to a productive morning.
As you were able to see in the photos I showed you, my productivity tripled.
I started my evenings out basically sitting around wasting time. Instead of being a doer I was being a wisher.
I was sitting around wishing that I could have a highly productive evening. Now, I am a doer. Doing all of those things that need to be done.
Here's an example of what my schedule is:
- 7:30-clean up after dinner (clean kitchen and dining room)
- 7:45-sweep floors
- 8:00-do a quick clean up of the house (put shoes away, put away blankets, etc.)
- 8:30-pack lunches, get coffee ready, prep breakfast, gather everything needed for the next day
- 9:00-make sure kids are going to bed, final email check, planning time
- 9:30-unplug nightly routine time (read, meditate, anything to wind down)
- 10:00-in bed and asleep
Each evening I'm prepping for the next day by making sure the house is clean and I'm all ready to hit the ground running in the morning.
By creating a nicely organized and productive evening my mornings don't feel rushed.
Instead of pulling out pieces of paper and creating your schedule. I've done the hard work for you. I've put together The Organized Busy Mom Workbook for you. All you have to do is download, print, and create your own Organized Busy Mom action plan. Once you fill this out you will see your evenings become so extremely productive!
Inside this workbook there are 8 things that I think will help any busy mom become more organized. Each tip as a worksheet so you can create an action plan today.
Do you have an evening schedule? Are there things that you already do? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day. Your support truly means a lot.