How To Declutter Your Schedule and Prioritize What Really Matters

declutter your schedule chelsijo.co

April 25, 2023

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Welcome to day one of the Spring Reset Challenge! This is the foundation of everything you do in your life day in and day out. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty on how to declutter your schedule and finally free up some time for things you have been neglecting. 

This four-part series will be jammed packed with life-changing information that will help you lighten your home, schedule and to-do list so that you can finally catch a break and prioritize a little you time.

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

3 Steps to Declutter Your Schedule

So many people complain that they don’t have time for x-y-z. There are things that are nagging at you because those are the things that you want to be spending time on. Trying to fit it all in and figure it out is much simpler than you think. 

For me, most things are just a mathematical equation that you just figure out that 2+2=4. Pretty simple. Your equation to get the answer might include some parentheses and extras, maybe it’s a bit more complicated, and that is okay. We are looking for the really specific puzzle pieces that fit together to give you the schedule you want. 

I’m going to be taking you through 3 major components of how to declutter your schedule in a pretty straightforward way. Be sure to check out the end of this post to see what action steps you need to take to feel prepared and confident as you go into this next season with your schedule.

How an Inventory Can Help You Declutter Your Schedule

This is my sweet sauce. I’ve been taking so many students and clients through this process lately. The best way to declutter your schedule is to complete an inventory. Every single business does audits and inventory. We are going to audit your schedule. We are taking count of your hours. This is supposed to be extremely factual, emotions removed and getting down to the black-and-white of what is actually happening in your calendar.

Step One of Creating an Inventory: Look at the Past 3 Months

In order to create an inventory to declutter your schedule, you need to ask yourself a few questions about the last 3 months or so. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing what you’re doing right now, you know it is not serving you well. I don’t want you to get sucked into the past and go down a rabbit hole. Let’s just look at the last 3 months and ask ourselves what’s working. What am I putting my time into that is working, and what is not? Write as much as you want for this. Get everything out. 

Also, ask yourself what is causing you to stress. What are you showing up to that is really hard? Not hard in a good way, but what is causing you more stress? What is taking too much time? Maybe there are things you love, but they are taking too much time, and you don’t have that extra time in your life right now. Answer all of those questions.

Step Two of Creating an Inventory: Look Forward to the Next 3 Months

Now I want you to look forward. This is another really important part of doing an inventory for your current schedule. I want you to look forward to the next 3 months. I’m not talking about 6-12 months in advance here, just the next 90 or so days. 

Again ask yourself some questions. The first one is what do you need to make time for in the next 3 months? You can write down lofty things, practical things, or both. Also, what are you really hoping to accomplish? Do you have goals, desires, and things that need to get done that you haven’t gotten done in a long time? This leads to the next question, what have you been putting off for far too long? What have you not gotten to over the last 3-6 months? Write that all done. Don’t commit, this is just a brainstorming session. Just because you write it down doesn’t mean you have to do it.

The last question is what is on your heart for the next 3 months. What’s really speaking to you? What have you been dreaming, thinking and hoping of? Those things are really important. Even though you don’t think that they are or that they are possible, again, it is okay. It is okay to put it down on paper, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Just get it down on paper. This is the hardest part.

“What is on your heart for the next 3 months? What have you been dreaming, thinking and hoping of?”

Step Three of Creating an Inventory: Make Changes to Your Schedule

The last section of this inventory is where we take this information and do something with it. We are going to make changes to the schedule. This is where most people fall off the actual get-it-done wagon. Don’t be that person. Be one of the few people who do something with this information. I know how many thousands of people listen to my podcast and read this blog. And I know how many of them take action when I call them to. You need to decide right now if this is important to you. Don’t put it off and say well, now isn’t a good time. Well, when is a good time? This doesn’t have to be an intense, painstaking process.  

Why is this important? Here is the thing, I’ve strategically crafted this series and the homework to get you one step closer to where you want to be with your time and truly be able to ditch your overwhelm. Knowing how to manage your time will get you out of the thick of being overwhelmed and that is what we are doing. I’ve made this as simple as possible, and I promise it will change your life. 

How to Declutter Your Schedule to Reduce Overwhelm

When you take the time to declutter your schedule, you will instantly reduce your overwhelm. Here is how to make these changes in your schedule that I know you will follow through with. I understand that it can be intimidating when you go back and look at the list from the first two steps above for your inventory. It might also realistically have the word “impossible” labelled over it. 

Go through your list and ex out the things that you know you can take out. See what stands out in both the past and future lists. Circle them, highlight them, and make note of them in a way that makes sense to you. The truth is that you may also truly be feeling trapped and stuck and completely unable to control your calendar, your life, your children, and your schedule. Literally everything. You may feel like your life is completely out of control, and you’re living on a whim.

Making a Choice to Declutter Your Schedule

You have complete control over everything you do, and I’m going to show you this. I’m going to show you that you truly have control over the things you feel are completely unable to contain. All of those fires that you are putting out every single day are 100% preventable. Okay – 95% preventable. But nearly all of the things you feel are pulling you in multiple different directions can absolutely be curtailed with your choices. 

Those choices might not be easy. You might have to have hard conversations, withdraw yourself from commitments you took on that you shouldn’t have. Or, in the opposite direction, you may need to step into a role that you don’t really want to step up into you. Maybe you need to do something in your home or business in order to make sure the next 3 months of your life look the way that you want them to and how you know that they need to look.

Example of a Choice You May Have to Make

A great example of this is the bedtime routine for your kids. You might know that that is exactly where the problem lies. You’re going to have to step up and get your discipline pants on and have dinner cooked at the right time in order for them to get in the bath and bed and have some downtime, and turn out the lights. You need to figure out how to parent positively so that you stop the weining, complaining, yelling, and timeouts. You stop all of it and figure out how to get bedtime under control. That might be sickening and terribly hard – that is okay. You can step into that one thing at a time. There are so many other examples we can go through but you need to tackle one item at a time.

3 Tips to Declutter Your Schedule 

Start by Making Simple Swaps

When you look at your inventory can you see where you can swap out things? Can you swap out watching tv for a work block or swap out scrolling your phone for more sleep? When you look at what you need to do less of and what you need to do more of, what needs to come off of your schedule. Start with simple replacements. Look where you can pull something out and put something else in. 

I hope that when you sit there, you truly do remove the emotions from this entire thing so that those puzzle pieces start to rise and lift up off of the page. They just start swapping themselves. Let’s do this without getting worked up about it or overcomplicating it.

Replace Fun With Fun

If you are removing something super substantial off of your calendar that affects the whole family and it is something that you are going to miss, make sure that you have a really powerful replacement for it that you can look forward to. 

A real-life example was that I just took choir out of my schedule. I made it happen the last quarter, but I just know I can’t make it happen this quarter. I do not have the bandwidth to do it right now, so I must replace it and had to decide what I was going to replace it with. For me, it was simply being a happy mom and wife and not being stressed. Being able to rest and be well.

That is very important for what I am currently called to do in my life. Although I really feel called to be doing extra circulars that I love, I had to sit down and think of the number one priority here. That is where you will have to stop and look at your own types of fun. For us as adults, fun looks different; sometimes, it’s not a fully equal replacement. 

Another example for the kids could be as simple as saying we aren’t doing dance and baseball this season because we want to spend more time together this season. You need to figure out what works best for your family. You can make those executive decisions even if it doesn’t work for the kiddos. Make sure that you are using really powerful language when you make these replacements in your schedule so that your kids understand why you are doing it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Do This One Time Block at a Time.

I hope that by now, you’re already using my 5 block time block method. If you are not, you can grab the workbook here. You are allowed to focus on your AM block, make little simple swaps there, and then let the rest of the day be what it is. If you can get that one thing down, you are going to really provide some cushion and relief in a small segment of your day that will have a huge domino effect on everything else you do. 

This doesn’t have to be daunting. You can go as big or small as you want. The point is to stop turning a blind eye to the issue that you are having by saying yes to all of the extra things that aren’t or shouldn’t be your first priority. 

Be Honest About Where Your Time Goes

As you do this inventory, I really want you to look at where your time goes and be honest with yourself. Don’t sugarcoat stuff and make excuses for things; allow yourself to see your life right now for exactly what it is. Facts are so much easier to navigate than emotions. Even though, as women, we are emotional creatures and feel like we can navigate them really well – it doesn’t matter. Facts are still way easier to sort through than emotions are. Give yourself permission to be removed from what every single answer means. 

Let’s lighten your calendar as you head into summer because that is what you will need when your kids are home 24/7. We will spend the next few months pouring our time into things that matter. Me and you both. Get your house cleaned, workouts, sleep, meal prep, show up to your work consistently, play with your kids and forget where your phone is. That is such a magical thing, and this is totally possible for you starting right now.

Get Started Decluttering Your Schedule and Kiss Overwhelm Goodbye

Your first step is to complete your inventory with the steps above. Then, name one thing that is in your current schedule that you are going to stop doing. What do you need to stop doing? Can you commit to one thing you are getting rid of on your schedule based on this inventory that you did? 

Head over to our Facebook Community and let us know the one thing you will stop doing. When you name it out loud, you put it into the world, and you will make it happen. 

declutter your schedule chelsijo.co

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 5 time blocks you mentioned above?

The first thing you need to know is what your priorities are. You want to know what tasks you need to get into your week. Use my priorities workbook to really flesh this out. Once you understand what you are trying to accomplish each week, then you need to learn how to put it all in your schedule. Download my time blocking workbook and I can walk you through figuring that out, too!

If you want a more detailed structure or help with knowing how much time you need for your business, join the Academy. I will walk you through all of the things to take you from overwhelm to confidence.

how inventory can help declutter your schedule chelsijo.co
3 tips to declutter your schedule chelsijo.co

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