How To Schedule Your Day and Be More Productive

The ongoing global pandemic has led many companies to rely on remote work for the foreseeable future. The result has become a major workforce shift that—depending on the employer—allows for more flexibility in a person’s schedule, including what hours they work, when they take breaks and what else they can accomplish during the workday while at home.

While some employers may be resistant to remote work because of minimal supervision, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that 37% of jobs can be performed entirely from home. This data may actually be an opportunity for employees to more effectively structure a work-life balance that makes sense for their personal and professional lives.

How to make an effective daily schedule in 5 steps
  1. Start your day with your most important work.
  2. Map out your perfect daily schedule according to your personal “productivity curve”
  3. Use “time blocking” to switch from being reactive to in control of your time.
  4. Set your availability to the minimum you can (10–15 minutes)

How To Schedule Your Day For Optimal Productivity

How to schedule your day

The key to successfully scheduling your day relates to focus, routine and time management. Follow these five steps to help make scheduling your day easy and effective:

1. Understand your motivation and your method

As to method, select one scheduling apparatus and use that as the one place you track your daily scheduling routine, be it a daily planner or a scheduling app. A digital calendar or a program that syncs between your phone, computers and other electronics can be useful if you travel or work from multiple devices. Scroll to the bottom of this article for a list of manual scheduling techniques.

2. Create a morning routine

3. Organize and prioritize tasks

Write down your tasks for each day, then order them by priority, organizing them in a way that maximizes your chances of completing the most important ones. To prioritize the items on your schedule, choose a realistic number of big tasks—no more than three—that you want or need to complete that day. Keep your workload reasonable to give yourself the best chance of achieving your daily goals. Put these important tasks at the top of your list, and organize the rest of your schedule around them.

Place high-priority, challenging or time-consuming activities at the beginning of the day when you are likely to be most productive. If you feel less energetic and motivated in the middle of the afternoon, schedule low-priority or maintenance tasks, such as returning phone calls or filing papers, for that time of day.

4. Schedule tasks

Schedule a start and end time for each task based on how long you expect it to take. Overestimate the amount of time you plan to spend on an activity by 25%. For example, if you need two hours to complete a project, reserve two and a half hours on your daily schedule. This extra time ensures you can finish your work on time, even if interruptions occur. During high-priority activities, turn off your phone and email notifications or wear noise-canceling headphones to prevent distractions from causing you to get off-schedule.

When scheduling tasks, also consider factors such as travel and preparation time. Schedule breaks and meals for yourself. Allow for discretionary time as well to make room for the unexpected throughout the day for unexpected events.

5. Reevaluate your schedule

At the end of a day or week, reassess your daily schedule to find ways to use your time more effectively. Ask yourself the following questions so you can more accurately schedule your day in the future:

Why is scheduling your day important?

Scheduling your day helps you plan your days activities so you can use your time efficiently and accomplish your goals. A daily schedule can help you:

Types of daily schedules

Professionals have developed a variety of scheduling techniques depending on their work styles, office policies and personalities. Here are five types of daily schedules:

Experiment with different scheduling methods to find one or a combination of techniques that helps you to maximize your productivity.

Tips for scheduling your day

When first setting out to organize your daily tasks and goals, having so many options might be overwhelming. Regardless of your chosen method, the following tips can help you keep control of your day’s tasks. When keeping a schedule, remember to:


What is daily scheduling?

A schedule is a plan that gives a list of events or tasks and the times at which each one should happen or be done.

How do I schedule my work day?

Other Strategies for Increasing Productivity

Why scheduling your day is important?

Scheduling helps you think about what you want to achieve in a day, week or month, and it keeps you on track to accomplish your goals.

How do you schedule an office in a day?

Make it a routine. Begin your day with the same morning routine daily, be it exercise, meditation, leisure reading or whatever your morning regimen requires, then block out your day. Scheduling your day should be part of this routine, starting each day on track. Adjust when necessary.

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