The first question you maybe ask yourself is: Isn’t it more efficient to actually work than to plan your work? I think this opinion is not 100% right. But let me explain. In some cases it would be faster to quickly get a task done without planning it all day long. For example if a coworker asks you to help him for a moment or if something occurs spontaneously you should do it right now and not in a slot of your schedule for the week. But you have to make sure that these kind of tasks won’t be so time-consuming that you can’t realise your normal work or your projects. If so you should have a time slot or a day of your week reserved for this.
In fact a work schedule is nearly always a great idea! It helps you to be organized and quickly get your jobs done. But how to create a schedule and in which case do I really need a schedule?
If you don’t have so many tasks to do or tasks you can finish very fast it could be useful for you to have a “to do list” instead of a work schedule. Here you can collect all your tasks and can make sure you won’t forget some of them. It’s a good overview of what you have to do but it’s not sorted very well and it could occur that there are some tasks you don’t want to do. And because of that you will do other tasks first and other tasks won’t be done for a long time. A work schedule prevents you from something like this!
Make sure the time you schedule for the tasks is realistic, also make sure to plan for breaks, vacations and weekends. Even if you plan to do nothing you can plan the time after doing nothing in a realistic way.
Here you can see an example of a work schedule for a week with a project as the main task:
|8:00-9:00||Answering E-Mails||Answering E-Mails||Answering E-Mails||Answering E-Mails||Answering E-Mails||X||X|
|9:00-10:00||Meeting for the new project||Coding Backend||Coding Front End||Fixing Bugs/Errors||Writing reports||X||X|
|10:00-11:00||Meeting for the new project||Coding Backend||Coding Front End||Fixing Bugs/Errors||Writing reports||X||X|
|11:00-12:00||Make a list of what you need for the project||Testing||Testing||Fixing Bugs/Errors||X||X|
|13:00-14:00||Search for the best way to realize the project||Meeting to Discuss the Front End||Testing the Application||X||X|
|14:00-15:00||Search for the best way to realize the project||Meeting to Discuss the Front End||Documentation of the progress||X||X|
|15:00-16:00||Search for the best way to realize the project||Change the Discussed things||Documentation of the progress||X||X|
|16:00-17:00||Discuss the ways to realize it||Change the Discussed things||Schedule for the next week||X||X|
As you can see the week is full of different tasks. But there are several free spaces on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, this guarantees you some space for things that take longer than approximated or for unexpected tasks. To have such a schedule will really help you to plan other meetings or deadlines that appear.
Always plan with mile stones that are important for you.
If you can plan in further periods it could be useful to have a schedule for the next month or even for the next year.
That’s why creating a schedule should be part of your Workflow.
Check out some other posts in the Workflow Category! There can find a lot of advices to improve your Workflow. As a result you get your work done faster and the quality of your work will improve too.