How to Maintain a Schedule

Anyone else seem to not be able to work lately?

You are not alone. I had my routine down to a tee, but then when work announced last Thursay that it would be closed for at least two weeks, suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands.

Going to work for me, even though it was repetitive, gave me something to do other than looking at a empty page. Most of my ideas come from work, because walking around doing repetitive things, such as doing the go-backs or folding, gave me time to think and organize my thoughts and what I wanted to do when I was off work.

Now of course I don’t have work or the physical activity that it gave me. So, like many others, I am finding myself just staring at a empty page or knowing I should be doing something productive or useful, but can’t seem to let myself do it.

It also doesn’t help the panic surrounding the situation. Naturally as a intervert, I don’t go out very often. But having that freedom taken away, not have the few social interactions I do have, such as church and choir, have made me feel trapped. Isn’t ironic when we have to go out we rather go home and when we are stuck at home due to natural events or a virus, we want to go out?

The purpose of this post is to help myself and others to maintain a sense of routine. There are sections for work and for children.

So without further ado, let us begin.

Wake up at the same Time you normally do

I know it is tempting to sleep in, because why not, work is off or very lightened. But when we do go back to our normal routines, it will be hard to kick off vacation habits. Also, if you are in the habit now of getting up at a certain time, then why lose it? Even though I don’t have work, I am still getting up around five or six in the morning. At this time in the morning, I am very productive and creative. If I sleep in, I would lose this time of productivity, as I am not so creative or productive later in the day.

Have the same Routine as you do if you were going to Work.

Let’s day that you have the typically nine to five job. So block out that time as you normally do as if you are at work. Use internet blockers so that you are not tempted to visit the news or Facebook for the hundredth millionth time. Only allow for a few intereptions, such as talking to your children or spouse. Remind everyone that you need to be working at this time, and have them help you to be held accountable. If you have children with you, tell them that if they allow you to do your work, you can offer to do something fun in the evening. So everyone will be rewarded.

Plan the day in Advance

Now that you are going to work the same or nearly the same hours at home, you should also plan your day in advance. If you usually cook dinner in the morning before heading to work, continue to do so. It will allow you not to worry about one more thing. The key here is to still use your keystone habits that you have already developed, so that when things do go back to normal, you wouldn’t have to adjust again. So whatever you can do that will make your day run more soothingly, do it.

Use Calendar Blocking

Start planning weekly. Put down everything that you need to do in a week. This includes grocery shopping, daily household chores, meal planning and cooking. Once everything is written down, get out a calendar and start deciding what time to block off for each activity. Use a good time management suite, such as Airtable, Todoist, Norton, etc.

I personally use three time management apps called, Norton, ClickUp, and Todoist. The reason that I have three is because have three separate personal work categories, such as writing my novels, blogging, and random activities. So, I use Todoist to do anything related to my novel writing. I like this program t because it has a week in advance spread. So I can break down the chapters and scenes that I want to accomplish between daily and weekly. I use Norton for any random tasks, such as doing finances, renewing books at the library, anything random that might come up doing the day. Then I use ClickUp for my blogs, such as scheduling blog post, taking pictures for Instagram posts, anything basically to maintain all my blogs.

You may be asking why three, when one program would suffice. I am the kind of person that likes to break tasks into smaller tasks. So if I were to use one program, it would be a very lengthly to-do list. I personally get turned off if I have more than four items on my to-dos . So I recently decided to break up my tasks based on category. Now I feel less overwhelmed, as I have fewer tasks in each of the programs, than I do in one.

I will be doing a detailed blog post on this, as I am still learning and navigating. It has been less than a month, so I have a lot of learning to do.

But when you have everything organized and planned, then everything flows so much easier. I do all my novel writing in the morning, then usually blogging, (though sometimes I have a great idea(s) for blog post later in the afternoon), then musical instruments and languages, then cleaning in the afternoon. With this structure, I have no fear of forgetting an item and I know exactly what I should be doing every day. So I highly suggest to try calendar blocking, especially during this time.

For Children

Have your children stick to much of the same routine for school as possible. For instance, if your child is in school from nine to three everyday, have them stick to the same schedule. Have them turn off all social media and put away their phones. If able, try to work along side your child. Have them mark what they need help with and when work is finished for the day, have a hour of review. If you have more than one child then break it up between you and your spouse.

Have them help with Household Chores

Get your children to help with household chores. Now is a good time to teach good housekeeping skills. In addition to being a good time teaching, the household chores will go by so much faster with everyone helping.

And lastly, remember to give yourself grace during this period. It will take some adjustment. Remember to help each other, especially if you have young or school aged children with you. It will become better with time. Praying that all of you will continue to stay healthy and that we will get though this difficult time.

As always, have a great week,


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