Do You Schedule or What? By Elana Clark-Faler, LCSW, CSAT, CST, CGP

Are you a Workaholic?
Being new to recovery, the first thing I ask a client is…”do you have a schedule?” And more importantly, “do you follow it?”

Most clients tell me they keep a schedule on their phone. Looking at a tiny schedule from a phone can be challenging, because you often don’t take in account travel time, meals or other self-care activities.

I encourage folks (who are new to scheduling) to use a paper schedule book that identifies hour to hour slots daily. I encourage folks to use a pencil so they can erase when necessary.

After you’ve gotten your nifty paper schedule, the next thing is to schedule yourself first, before you schedule other activities. Most people schedule their work first, friends and family next and themselves last. This means you have a bunch of demands and little time scheduled for yourself.

When scheduling yourself first make sure to enter in a daily morning routine. This might include getting up before 9 a.m. (highly successful folks get up before 9 a.m., according to the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People). Enter in your exercise, meditation, devotional, 15 mins of journal time, and breakfast. This way you have fuel to begin your day.

Next enter enough travel time to get to your destination early, versus running in at the last minute. Enter your work or school hours, making sure to schedule your meals. I often encourage folks to set a timer (a little chirp or gong noise) to remind yourself to take 3 deep breathes. Making sure to give yourself time to connect and be mindful. If you work 12 – 14 hours a day, make sure to schedule meals and time to walk around the block. I believe it’s important to make your lunch in advance, so you have healthy small meals throughout the day.

Keeping life simple is important. There are many ways to keep life simple and organized. Start your day with a To Do List (that is manageable and achievable). Keep your desk and work environment clean and organized. It’s important to understand that you won’t accomplish everything. Doing a little each day makes a difference.

Elana Clark-Faler
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