There’s a subtle difference between creating a To Do List or using a daily planner and setting an in-depth schedule for your life—but it’s a mindset shift that could have an enormous impact on your productivity and your ability to enjoy your day-to-day life.

One way of thinking, the list-making mode, keeps you living life on the treadmill, responding to interruptions and disruptions, and subject to the most pressing task at any given moment. The other way of thinking, the calendar or appointment model, reduces your To Do List on a regular basis by putting recurring responsibilities on your calendar and automating as many tasks as possible.

Why You Should Toss Your To Do List

Many people consider a To Do List to be a necessity, but the reality is that these daily registers are, at best, inefficient, ineffective, and exhausting. At worst, they are sources of stress and guilt when tasks don’t get completed quickly enough. While a daily To Do List may be able to help you keep track of assignments at work, it’s not a great tool for managing your larger life goals or seeing where and how you’re making progress toward those goals.

Here at LUX Lifestyle Concierge, we fully believe in the life-changing potential of calendaring your life out, both quarterly and annually. Our Calendar Tool is meant to help our clients do just that. A concierge takes inventory of everything on your To Do List, helps you clear out the mental clutter, and moves tasks onto your annual schedule.

How To Set a Schedule for Your Life

The exercise of setting quarterly and annual schedules forces you to think bigger and broader about your life and keeps you focused on the important things—but how do you do it?

Many people are used to managing their finances on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, paying all bills at the beginning of the month, putting investments on auto draft, and reviewing their progress quarterly and annually. Often, though, these same people haven’t ever thought about approaching their time in the same manner. Why not? Time is an even more limited and more valuable resource than money, so why not plan for and protect it in the same way?

Talking to our clients, we’ve discovered that many people fear that putting everything on a calendar will require too much time and effort upfront or that setting a schedule will prevent them from being spontaneous. Neither concern could be further from the truth. In fact, scheduling your life is a basic, three-step process that frees you up to be more spontaneous:

STEP ONE: Schedule Your Consultation

Getting started is the first and most difficult step—though it doesn’t take nearly as long as you would think. You have to find 30 to 45 minutes to sit down and go over your weekly routine, your seasonal concerns, and your lifestyle goals with your personal concierge. During the initial session, your concierge will dig deep to find out where you’re spending time unnecessarily and encourage you to make more time for the things you love, much like a financial advisor would help you trim or reallocate your budget. Even if this is the only step you complete, you will leave your meeting with a fuller, more accurate picture of how you spend your time.

STEP TWO: Set Your Appointments

After the meeting, your concierge will begin scheduling and simplifying your life for you, starting with tasks like regular car maintenance, regular home maintenance, grocery delivery, and subscription services. Whatever is bogging you down or taking up space in your head that we’re able to make automatic. Always forget to replace your air filters? There’s a subscription for that. Always get busy during the holiday season and forget about oil changes? We’ve got it on the calendar and will make sure it gets done. The best thing about the service is that it’s completely tailored to you and develops organically. Don’t feel like you have to schedule everything all at once—even if you automate just ten-percent of your repetitive tasks at first, you’re still making progress and seeing the benefits.

STEP THREE: Review & Rebalance

We recommend an annual review each year to analyze your lifestyle, just as you might review your financial investments in January. Your concierge will help you discover where you’re still spending too much time and where you feel you should be investing more time—and then help you rebalance your time to align with your life goals.

That’s it. The entire process really can be that simple and painless—your life can feel much more manageable with a minimal upfront time investment on your part. Scheduling your life and getting rid of your daily To Do List won’t turn you into a robot, either. Rather, automating mindless, repetitive tasks will create space in your head for bigger, more important things and free you up to say yes to new adventures and opportunities.