What causes stress? Anxieties about time management. How will you get it all done? Alleviate stress and be more prepared, calm and excited about your week by doing a few simple things each day. Here are some simple tips to help you get more efficient, and feel more prepared, quick.
- If you have not done so already, you need to keep an agenda or binder that accurately shows your time. I was taught by one of my coaches to use an agenda with one day on each page, and to use my own hand to write in it (versus typing everything into a computer). Writing with your own hand is very powerful. You can print daily calendar sheets from Outlook and keep them in a binder if you are anxious to get started right now.
- Write down everything that you need to do each day in the appropriate time slots, and then include the stuff you want to do (there is a difference). Need: get groceries. Want: go to yoga class. Although I could see myself arguing for need on the yoga class…
- Use the notes section to write down all of the projects that you are working on, or tasks that need completing. Things like “book dentist appt” or “finish writing article for yoga journal” or “look up easy easter crafts to keep my kids busy, and me sane, while they are on Easter break”.
- Cross off tasks as you complete them, or put check marks beside them. Do what feels right for you. If you do not complete a task on the day you had it written on, just keep moving it forward to future days. Eventually you will do it. When things come up suddenly, you will need to assess how to prioritize it based on everything else you have going on. Only make changes to your existing schedule if what comes up is an absolute emergency, or is something of extreme importance to you. You may be able to tackle it the next day, so do your best to stay focused on your original plan. But be sure to write everything down as it comes up so you never forget a thing.
- Look at your week and see where the tasks you need to complete might best fit in. If you drop your kids off right by a registry office, perhaps you can squeeze in your vehicle registration renewal when you drop them off, then get groceries, pick up your mail, and get the coffee that you earned. Work smart, not hard. There is always time to do what you need to do, but you need to plan for it.
- Every day, at the end of the day, review your day, and then look at the next day. Create a plan in your mind of what you would like to get done based on the time you have, and then write that down. Seeing your next day all laid out for you can really ease the anxieties of a busy lifestyle. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with everything you need to do, but when you see it all written down, you will know that it is achievable.
- On Sundays, review your week, and plan everything accordingly. You will sleep much better on Sunday night knowing that you have a plan that is scheduled to suit your needs.
Allow for some flexibility in your schedule, but if you want to take on the world, you have got to be accountable to yourself and your schedule. Plan it, then do it! You have full control over your time, and your stress.
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