How do you keep up with your busy schedule? Here are a few tips from the experts.
There’s no way around it. People these days are busy, busy, busy. With long work hours, household chores, errands, and social events, it’s no wonder you’ve got little down time. If you’ve got kids, your schedule is even more hectic. Between kids’ games, practices, rehearsals, play dates, homework assignments, and doctor’s appointments, life is full.
It can be hard keeping up, and sometimes you may feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water. You’re forgetting important dates, frequently late to appointments, or just feeling run down and ready for a vacation. When you think about your full week ahead, here are a few things that can help you stay organized so you keep your sanity.
Make a List
One thing that can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed with a hectic schedule is making a list. At the beginning of each day or week, take a few minutes to write down everything you hope to accomplish. Add to the list as new things pop in your head. With a list, you can focus your brainpower on getting things done instead of racking your brain and stressing about trying to remember everything you have to do. If it helps, write your list in order of priority or put stars next to the most urgent tasks.
Use a Daily Planner
At the beginning of each year, purchase a calendar or daily planner. If it helps, make it stylish or pretty. If you prefer to do everything on your phone, use a calendar app. A functional planner will have space for writing lists, notes, and your daily schedule. As each new month, week, and day begins, check your calendar for what’s ahead. But remember: a calendar will do you no good if you don’t write in it. Keep it with you and as soon as you schedule an appointment, hear of an event, or commit to a date, write it down. Online calendars let you color-code entries for different people, types of events, or priority of events. Take advantage of these options to have a quick glimpse at what’s ahead.
Your smartphone can do wonders at helping to keep you organized. There are apps to make to-do lists, checklists, and grocery lists; apps to keep your calendars, remind you of upcoming events, journal things you want to remember, track your bank account, and send you alerts. Remember, your phone is a tool. When it starts to become more of a hassle or when it adds to your emotional stress, it may be time to set it aside. Until then, use it wisely and watch your stress levels diminish.
Divide Your Days
Whether at home or at work, you may find it helpful to assign each of your weekly duties a specific day of the week. By doing this, you won’t procrastinate until the day before a project is due, not wait until Saturday to do all your household chores, or try to fit all your errands into one afternoon. Monday could be the day you handle bills, Tuesday the day you do laundry, Wednesday your grocery day, and so on.
Your mind and body need times of rest and refreshment. Don’t let your schedule get so full you don’t have any time to yourself or time with your family. To make this happen you may need to schedule times of relaxation on your calendar, learn to say “No” to avoid overcommitting, or cut things out of your schedule. Without some down time, stress builds and your busy schedule becomes a burden instead of a full life.