Are you someone that struggles with keeping a schedule? You hear me say schedule and you say ” Ick! Nevermind, this just got boring. ”  I feel you. I used to feel a bit rebellious about schedules myself. Then I learned something that changed everything. A schedule does not have to be a prison!

Here’s where it all goes wrong. You make your schedule. Every available space is filled with ” Well, first I HAVE to do this, then I HAVE to that… Before your first day is over you’ve given up and started up a video game. And why not? Who wants to do all these things that you HAVE to do? Not me.

Here’s the trick to making a schedule. Set up your schedule to have the day that you actually WANT to have! What’s the best possible day that you could have, practically speaking? And being practical is a must. Obviously,  a margarita on the beach would be better than going to work. But your life is not a beach vacation. Going to work gives you a roof and food. And accomplishing your goals WILL feel better than endless beach time. I promise.

So let’s dive in. How can you make a schedule you actually WANT to stick to?

The Secret to Creating the Perfect Schedule

So maybe 60% of your day has to be responsible. Maybe more. You have to complete these tasks to feed your family, keep a roof over your head, keep your relationships healthy, etc. While this is work and perhaps stress, it is also keeping your life stable. Stability is the platform you work from to get closer and closer to your ideal life. Remember that when you think of your responsibilities. What do you gain from doing this work?

When people first set out to make a schedule, they tend to be strict with themselves. Time to buckle down, Self! You crack the whip . . . and then you procrastinate. And then you crack the whip harder! And then you procrastinate more. How do we break this cycle?

You can break the cycle by asking yourself ” What’s the right ratio of work to reward? ” Ask your self that, like you are someone you have to negotiate with.  Role play like you are both the boss and the employee of your life (which you are). In a typical employee/employer relationship, you negotiate a salary. The employer agrees to PAY for the effort and time of the employee. Everyone deserves compensation for their efforts.

As the boss of your life, you say to yourself ” OK, self. I need you to go to work tomorrow. ” Your employee-self answers ” Ok. What are you going to do for me that makes it likely that I will show up for work tomorrow? ”

Think about this. What can you do to compensate yourself for your hard work and effort? Maybe this means you do the work, but you agree to take a break and play a video game or read a novel or go for a walk. There has to be a balance between work and reward or you will always give up on your goals and avoid the work. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

schedule bullet journal

This is so important I can’t emphasize it enough!  What can you do to compensate yourself? Negotiate with YOU! Don’t treat yourself like a slave! Treat yourself like a friend, someone whose time and effort you value.  Treat yourself like you are someone you want to share a good life with – after all,  you really are in this together. Working against yourself, like we so often do, is a recipe for failure.

That’s how you make your ideal schedule! Plan a day you’d LIKE to have! Don’t boss yourself around!  Negotiate the best day you can have while still taking care of what you need to.

Negotiate with YOU! Don’t treat yourself like a slave! Treat yourself like a friend, someone whose time and effort you value.


Here’s an example from my own journal.  I knew I needed a better schedule. I have a lot I wanted to accomplish but I was feeling overwhelmed and weighed down. In order to find my perfect schedule, I first laid out everything that happens on a typical day that I CAN’T control. The things I have to take care of no matter what.

Then I compared those tasks and events with how I feel during the day. I took account of my energy levels to try and isolate hurt points. You know, those moments in the day when everything feels impossible and you want to give up and have a glass of wine. Tracking my natural energy rhythms during the day is one way that I can be nice to myself. For instance – don’t schedule a workout when you feel the most tired. It’s just not going to happen! And then you’ll never achieve your fitness goals! Its the little things like that that make a big difference in life.

After I analyzed the info this spread gave me – I have the most energy in the afternoon, the hours between 5:30 and 8:30 are a no- mans- land of chaos, etc – I was ready to create a better schedule. A schedule where I both get things accomplished AND stay happy.  Where I can fit everything in without tearing my hair out.

ideal schedule bullet journal

Here I’ve scheduled in several breaks for me to feel happy during the day as well as get things done. Now I know I won’t necessarily follow this every day. Emergencies will happen, things will go wrong, etc. But if I do this even half of the time, I’ve improved 50% of my days. That means I’ve improved half of my life! Think of the impact that can have on your productivity and your overall satisfaction in life!

I hope you’ll give this idea a try! Looking for more ideas on creating a better day and a better you? Check out these posts below!

How to Organize Your Entire Life

Time Blocking: Get More Done with Less Stress

What’s Your Planner Personality?


  1. Thank you!
    This makes so much sense. I struggle with my goals because they seem unachievable so I feel bad about myself for not getting stuff done, and then nothing gets done because I’m having a pity party in bed with chocolate 😉

    How did you track your energy levels? Did you just track one day or did you track a week to see a good pattern?

    I love your site and how you untangle things so they’re manageable and easy to understand!

    • Hi Nicole, I’m so glad you liked it!
      I kept track for a little over a week. Some things were obvious from the start, like how I’ve never been a morning person, etc. You start with what you know and work your way up 😊.

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