4 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Schedule
Making a schedule is easy. Sticking to it is what often doesn't stick. Things come up, distractions derail you, and there's always that pesky procrastination that can turn a well-meaning planned out day into a free for all.
Creating and sticking to a schedule can not only make you feel less stressed, but you'll have the capacity to get more done with your precious time. As per The Order Expert, "Keeping to your schedule is all about maintaining balance." Be mindful of what you have to do and what you want to do, and do your best to include all you can in your schedule with realistic expectations.
There is only so much time in the day, so space out your to-dos with a little wiggle room, and don't try to cram everything in to one day. Just because there are many tasks on your schedule doesn't mean you'll be able to complete them successfully if you overload yourself. Once you "maintain balance," you'll get better and better at planning and sticking to your schedule. Here are some tips to help you abide by your schedule and get all your tasks and goals accomplished by bedtime.
1. Schedule Everything in One Place
You will have the best luck sticking to your schedule if you actually know what's on it. If you post a reminder in your smartphone, jot a meeting time onto your wall calendar, and leave a sticky note on the side of your computer, you'll have a hard time knowing what's what and when to do it.
As per Entrepreneur, "Not only will it save time to only have to check one calendar but it will also help ensure that you are not double booking or missing any meetings." And be sure you include both work-related and personal business in the same place, to be sure your professional plans jive with what you've got going on during your free time.
It doesn't matter if you prefer an old fashioned Rolodex, to store your plans in the cloud, or you like using apps. Just find one secure scheduling spot and stick with it.
2. Think Outside the 9 to 5
If you find yourself overbooked during the work day, don't limit your scheduling hours to the "conventional" ones. If you're an early bird, for example, plan some of your activities as soon as you wake up. If you are already up and at 'em, you'll be the type to see what's planned and get right on it.
Of course you won't be able to plan meetings with co-workers during these off-hours, but this extra time is ideal for working on a personal project, fitting in exercise, or studying for your Master's. You will free up more of the workday hours for your meetings, emailing, and other job-related functions.
You'll get a lot more done with your day, and you'll look forward to following your schedule again in order to keep the momentum going in the future.
3. Review the Night Before
Just like you did back in school to prep for an exam, review your schedule the night before to get your head in the game before the bustle of the next day begins. As The Order Expert notes, "This is a great way to gently introduce your schedule into your subconscious. When you review your schedule again in the morning, your appointments will seem very familiar and manageable."
Reviewing beforehand will also allow you to work out the kinks and decide if what you've got scheduled is a realistic workload and if each task is slotted in for the best time for what you need to do in order to complete it.
4. Learn to Say "No"
A major reason lots of people cannot stick to their schedule is because they fall victim to interrupters and interruptions that cause them to break from their plans. Sometimes there's simply no way around it, but in other cases, people just don't want to say "no."
If you don't feel like your attendance in a meeting is beneficial, opt out. You don't have to answer every email as it pops into your inbox. You don't have to break for an hour lunch with co-workers if you'd prefer to eat quickly at your desk. You don't have to go for drinks with friends after work if it will cut into a pre-planned activity. All the little interferences and disturbances add up and you won't get the time back. It's OK to say no if you feel it's appropriate and won't compromise your job or your personal life.
Just remember, if you do get pulled away from your schedule, don't give up if things fall off track. Get to your next assignment or finish off the job you were doing. Reorganize a bit and you will make it through. And with a schedule laid out in an organized fashion, you will be able to assess what's most important in order to revise wisely.
Are you scheduling and need to find a way to get more done with your time? Check PayPath's 7 ways to do more in less time.
Looking for a job? In addition to encountering those annoying never-ending job interviews you may find yourself face-to-face with an artificial intelligence bot.
Companies worldwide increasingly use artificial intelligence tools and analytics in employment decision-making – from parsing through resumes and screening candidates to automated assessments and digital interviews. But recent studies claim that AI does more harm than good.
While AI screening tools were developed to save companies time and money, they’ve been criticized for placing women and people of color at a disadvantage. The problem is that many companies lack appreciable diversity in their data set, making it impossible for an algorithm to know how people from underrepresented groups have performed in the past. As a result, the algorithm will be biased toward the data available and compare future candidates to that archetype.
The City’s Automated Employment Decision Tools (AEDT) law is designed to offset the potential misuse of AI and protect job candidates against discrimination. It was enforced on July 5th, 2023 in New York City - with other cities and states expected to gradually follow suit. Employers must now inform applicants when and how they encounter AI. Furthermore, companies have to commission a third-party audit of the AI software used, and publish a summary of the results to prove that their systems aren’t racist or sexist. Job applicants are able to request information regarding what data is collected and analyzed by the AI. Violations of the law can result in fines of up to $1,500.
Replacing Human Hiring Decisions
However, should a job applicant want to opt-out of such impersonal judgement by a bot, the new law's scope is quite limited.
While the law specifies that instructions for requesting an alternative selection process must be included in the AI screening disclosure, companies aren't actually required to use other screening methods. Not to mention that the law only applies to AI in hiring and not any other employment decisions. It also wouldn't apply if the AI, for example, flags candidates with relevant experience, but a human then reviews all applications, making the ultimate hiring decision.
Some civil rights advocates and public interest groups argue that the law isn’t extensive enough and that it’s even unenforceable. On the other hand, businesses say that it’s impractical, costly, and burdensome, and that independent audits aren’t feasible.
Responsible use of AI in hiring
Although this law may be a good first attempt to assign more regulatory guardrails around AI, it remains to be seen if it ensures the responsible use of AI in hiring processes. At the end of the day, perhaps recruiting talent should remain a human-made decision.
The good news is that AI can help companies without harming potential job candidates in many ways – such as connecting new employees with internal organizational information and company benefits during onboarding. Or helping employees to do their jobs more effectively rather than replacing them.
There’s all this talk about solo travel. And for good reason — no wasting precious time waiting for others to get their act together, take the plans out of the group chat and actually buy the tickets. Going solo, you can be spontaneous. You can plan your trips according to your precise tastes. You can hop on any flight and fly awayyyyyy.
But what if each time you flew you’d get a free ticket? That’s what you get with the Southwest Companion Pass.
Award status, upgrades, lounge access — there are many perks in the frequent flier game. But one of the coveted holy grails is the Southwest Companion Pass.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Companion Pass is part of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. You get to choose one person to be your “companion,” and they fly with you for free (plus some taxes and fees) on every flight. That’s right. Two for the price of one. That’s half off each ticket if you split it! Whether you’re flying with a partner, family member, friend, or anyone else, they can tag along for free.
And it gets better: once you earn the pass, you can reap the rewards for that full calendar year … AND the next. That’s why people go mad trying to earn a companion pass during the early months of the year. The sooner you qualify, the longer you can use it.
There are also no blackout dates. There are no limits. And if you didn’t purchase the ticket (think: work travel, your companion, or a generous benefactor), there are no restrictions! As long as you’re the one on the plane, your companion can also … be on the plane.
You can also switch out your designated companion 3x a year. So, no need to stay in a relationship simply to get the most out of your companion pass! Ghost and fly away — with a whole new companion!
If this sounds too good to be true — it’s not. But there is one small catch. It’s kinda tough to earn this mega reward.
How to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass?
You can qualify for the pass in one of two ways:
- Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights
- Earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.
Clearly, this is no small feat — especially if you’re trying to qualify ASAP.
So how do you actually earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
Don’t worry, there’s a path to earning this amazing reward without climbing on 100 flights or spending an exorbitant amount of money.
Earning 135K reward points may seem completely impossible, but it’s easier than it sounds. Simply sign up for a Southwest Credit Card and turn those spending habits into a rapid rewards account. Through the Rewards Priority Credit Card, earn points when using local transit and commuting, plus score major points and miles whenever you spend.
Stay with me here. This is not some scheme to get you into credit card debt. Many airline cards come with potential savings, giantic rewards, awarding you points, and cashback with every purchase you make that can be redeemed for travel. And often they can come with passive sign-up bonuses. If you spend a specific amount of money within a certain timeframe of opening the card, you can be in for a windfall of points.
Now that’s where the companion pass comes in:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest has three personal cards and a business card. Each of these cards offers rewards between 30K-80K points. In the past, people could open two cards and get a bonus that granted enough points to almost meet the minimum. However, with new restrictions on personal cards, you can only get one bonus every 24 months. Boo!
However, this doesn’t apply to business cards. If you’re eligible, have good credit, and not likely to spiral into insane credit card debt, you can open a business card and a personal card, and accrue 100K+ points. The Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card will get you points after you spend money in no time.
Now to earn the rest of them.
The secret to gaining these credit card points is to plan your card sign-ups around big purchases. Just before a recent move, I opened a card . . . and the rewards came rolling in — a small balm to ease the pain of how exorbitant moving can be.
Put everyday spend — especially big purchases or bulk items — on your Southwest credit card and watch your award points quickly add up. Typically, you earn 1 point per $1 spent on your Southwest card and 2 points per $1 on actual Southwest purchases.
But there are other ways to earn points, including:
- Flying Southwest: Booking travel on Southwest earns more points. The cost of this travel will be worth it with your companion pass
- Shopping from Rapid Rewards Partners: Purchases with Southwest’s “Home & Lifestyle” and “Shop and Dine” Partners also earn Companion Pass qualifying points. While you shouldn’t make gratuitous purchases, browse Southwest’s partners to see if you could earn extra points for items you'd be purchasing anyway. All this, simply from enrolling in their Dining Program and shopping with their partners.
So there you have it! And since it’s almost Spring, get to earning and soon you’ll be flying two for the price of one!