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Advanced Planning: 5 Steps to Schedule Success

Master advanced planning with our guide. Learn 5 key steps to successful scheduling, boost productivity, manage time, and prioritize tasks effectively.

June 20, 2024

Workflow organisation for ADHD

How do you figure out which tasks to schedule and which not to schedule? Which ones are important, and which ones are not so important? Where, after all, do you find the time to think about your task list, and where do you take the time to adjust it?

Knowing how to have a planned schedule for your time and schedule is a separate art, but it is not so difficult to learn. This article will tell you how to do it, but first, let's talk about why we need it.  

Four reasons to build your schedule:

Scheduling allows us to utilize our evolutionary patterns productively

Surprisingly, 51% of people spend at least two hours a day planning repetitive tasks. The frontal cortex, or neocortex, is responsible for planning tasks. It is the neocortex that gives us the ability to organize our time and come up with new goals.

The neocortex takes the helm if we have tasks that need to be accomplished. It starts the same "mental gumption" that doesn't stop. We think about the best time to perform each task. We think constantly, in the background, often spending more time choosing the time to solve the task than on its fulfillment. If each task has its own time and day, the frontal cortex is not "overloaded.» We can focus our resources on productively solving problems in the allotted time rather than thinking about what they are and when exactly to do them. Feel the difference?

The neocortex is a part of the brain that took about two million years to develop; it's what's called the "young brain." It's found in other mammalian species but much more complex in humans. Thanks to the neocortex, we can sense the passage of time, a fantastic option we can use to our advantage or allow to control us. When we create and follow a schedule, we utilize our evolutionary advantage over other species.

Scheduling makes us happier

We do millions of things every day—okay, not millions, but many things, most of them unnoticeable. It’s hard to track what we’ve done without a schedule. There's no anchoring when you see the "done" checkmark next to the list of tasks and no dopamine release.

Dopamine is the reward hormone for getting things done—but not for any, just the one we've marked for ourselves. It’s a reward hormone that allows us to build habits and also helps us fight procrastination. The more often we receive encouragement from our body to complete tasks through a dopamine burst; the easier it is for us to take on essential tasks. Also, the more dopamine we get, the happier we feel. By following our schedule, we can make ourselves happier.

Scheduling helps with work-life balance

The lack of a schedule is not about the freedom to manage your time but about how to borrow it from your personal life, sleep, sports, proper nutrition, and other areas. A clear, understandable schedule allows us to distribute our time so that we have enough for everything. When there is no systematization, we relax. We can spend five times more time on a simple task than necessary. As a result, we realize that the day has passed, nothing has been done, and there is no time left for anything else.

Having a well-thought-out personal schedule allows us to realize ourselves in all critical areas while avoiding overwork.  

Scheduling helps lower stress levels

One of the most stressful factors in the workplace is feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. But it's worth implementing a schedule that outlines specific steps and areas of responsibility for each employee as stress levels and anxiety drop dramatically. Performing particular tasks in a suitable timeframe avoids last-minute rushes and deadlines. Schedulers that feature teamwork, such as Voiset, greatly help with this. For an even more efficient planning experience, check out Voiset's auto-planning feature, which helps you manage your schedule seamlessly.

Of course, these are not all the benefits of having a schedule. We will dwell on this topic in more detail in one of the following articles, but now we will tell you about specific steps that will help you organize your life.  

Five easy steps to plan your schedule

5 Steps to Schedule Success

Make a to-do list

A detailed to-do list is a critical point in the itinerary of your daily life. Take into account both professional and personal plans. Every aspect of your life needs time; if you don't invest it, the balance is out of balance. Write out long-term and short-term goals, and based on these, identify the specific steps you need to take to achieve them.

Moderation is essential when making a to-do list. If the schedule is too full, it will become challenging to follow, often impossible without burnout.  

Remember that the to-do list you create should reflect your strengths and weaknesses and fit your profession. Also, feel free to adjust your tasks. Over time, some tasks that once seemed critically important may no longer be so, and those that weren't even on your to-do list may become priorities. By periodically reviewing your daily to-do list, feel free to make changes based on your workload, priorities, and ability to delegate.

Once you have your to-do list, identify which tasks are recurring. For example, you might immediately add going to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday and having a morning meeting every Monday to your list. Recurring tasks are the skeleton of your schedule, and new ones will be added to them.

Prioritize the tasks

You may be surprised at how much there is to do when you find yourself with dozens of things to do. And you may automatically want to cross off some of them as unpleasant. Or you may want to add "unimportant" to them. This is a peculiarity of our psyche: we tend to avoid everything unpleasant. So we may put off going to the dentist for weeks or months, even though it was a priority. Also, don’t think about how quickly a task can be completed when prioritizing.

At this point, it's essential to honestly identify which tasks are a priority for you. Label the importance as "low," "medium," "high," or "urgent."

The result of this step is that you will have a list in front of you of what is "burning" and really needs your attention as soon as possible. By giving this attention to the highest priority tasks, you will not only reduce your stress levels but also receive a powerful reward from your body in the form of a hefty dose of dopamine.

Over time, tasks can change in priority, and those that are unimportant may move to the "urgent" section. So, monitoring your to-do list and adjusting your priorities periodically pays. When to perform tasks that are not prioritized is up to you. You can evenly distribute them among the days of the week or allocate a day to deal with them all at once. Or maybe after a while, you will remove them from your to-do list altogether.

Set deadlines

Almost every non-repeatable task should have a deadline. A strict time frame creates the necessary internal pressure, that «magic kick» that helps us complete things. The neocortex we discussed above is activated when there is a deadline. It won't let us take a task and put it off so quickly. Otherwise, we'll feel uncomfortable, feel anxious, think about that task before bed, etc. Not doing a task with a specific deadline sometimes takes more body resources than doing it already.

Deadlines are crucial for those prone to procrastination (although, hand on heart, who isn't?). You can set deadlines for work-related tasks and personal ones. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, build muscle mass, write a book, or paint, having deadlines will also help you achieve the necessary results.

Allow yourself the randomness of life

You're full of energy and have planned your schedule for the month ahead with today's hunger in mind. But what would happen if tomorrow you had an opportunity to make a big deal that required a business trip to another part of the world? And there, on the spot, you "met" acclimatization, because of which personal plans had to be canceled and work meetings - postponed? Life is unpredictable, and making room in your schedule for such changes is a huge bonus.

Remember that we determine the schedule, not the schedule that defines our lives. We create our schedules to help ourselves achieve our most important goals in life, not to stress over things that don't have a "done" checkmark next to them. So don't push yourself too hard. Leave room for uncertainty, so-called «buffer time»—the time you can spend as you see fit. Change your schedule to fit your goals and objectives if something unpredictable happens. For those dealing with ADHD, organizing a flexible and adaptable schedule can be even more crucial. Discover effective methods for managing workflow with ADHD in this article.

Use AI-Powered Scheduling Tools

With the Voiset scheduler, creating a schedule has become no more complicated than recording a voice message in Messenger.

It's an AI-powered scheduling tools that helps you save your most valuable resource - time. You can use Voiset to schedule both personal tasks and work tasks. You can create workspaces to control project work and add team members. Track the completion of each task, and if you need to make a note, build it with text or voice input. Later, you can trust AI to distribute tasks in your schedule: AI will analyze your workload and suggest the best day to complete them.

How exactly can Voiset help you? You can create a task with voice input.

Сreate a task with voice input in 33 languages

Add a task while waiting for your partner before a meeting, driving, or on the treadmill. Voiset can easily recognize your speech and translate it into another language. It takes seconds to enter a task.

You can choose the person who performs the task. We don't always create tasks; we often delegate them.

Voiset allows you to assign an executor and track the fact that the task has been completed. You will have an analytical basis for evaluating the productivity of each employee.

It's easy to see which day is the busiest. Voiset has a visual identification of each day's workload: green shows low workload, orange shows medium workload, and red shows high workload.

But the great thing about Voiset is that it becomes your manager. Dictate your thoughts without setting dates for tasks or prioritizing them. Voiset will track when you have a lot of notes and suggest that you move them to tasks on the most convenient dates.

You'll have an assistant to keep you from burning out because your schedule is too tight. It will also remind you that in half an hour, you need to complete an urgent task and show you how many things you have done today. You will see how much time you have and feel the satisfaction that contributes to new successes. All in all, if your neocortex could choose, Voiset would be recommended!

Voiset, based on artificial intelligence, gives you a lot of flexibility in planning your day. You can see each of your tasks and their deadlines, see how busy tomorrow will be, and if you need to adjust your day, you can add a new task in just seconds!

Voiset is a planner that will free up your time while reducing stress. You'll be able to mark each of your completed tasks, which means you'll feel justifiably proud of yourself. Isn't that great?

Seamlessly create tasks using voice commands, let AI schedule your day, and ensure you never miss a deadline.

Try Voiset for free now