Do you find yourself overscheduled, stressed, and in a panic over how you are going to accomplish everything on you schedule?
If so, you might be overscheduling yourself. Sometimes, we get so busy trying to fit everything in –that we forget that the point of a schedule is not to fill every space with something, but rather to give us a way to plan things out –in order to avoid overloading and stress.
As those who overschedule already know, overscheduling only leads to frustration and stress. Often, a number of things on the list don’t get done, and if they do, then something else has to slide.
To reduce some of your stress, and help you to avoid overscheduling, here’s how you can stop jam-packing that planner, and start scheduling for success!
If you tend to overschedule and overbook, then try to make it a habit to start consulting your planner each and every time you are asked to do something new. Regardless of how badly you may want to say yes, make sure your schedule has room for you to take on the new project, and avoid overbooking.
Learn to Say No
Learn to say no! While you might not be able to say no to a task you are required to do, everything else is optional. It’s not healthy to fill your days up to the breaking point. If you’re at the point where things are crowding in and causing you stress, it may be time to make some cuts. Ask yourself if these extra tasks are things that you absolutely must do. If the answer is no, don’t feel guilty about cutting back on some of them.
Include Extra Time
Be realistic –and pad your schedule to give yourself some extra time. Things always take longer than we think, so try to remember to add in time for the commute, lunch breaks, interruptions –both anticipated, and unplanned for –and everything else that might come along. Being realistic is important if you want your schedule to work. While you may be able to fit everything in, you should also remember that you are human, and you need a five-minute break every once in a while!
While prioritizing is a task in and of itself, it’s a job that can save you time in the end. Dividing your day up onto time blocks, and prioritizing the most important –or pressing issues is important. It’s also a good idea to schedule in your most difficult tasks during times where you’ll be at your most productive. It’s also important to schedule in time for personal tasks –downtime, and time with family is important –and should be prioritized.
If you’re too busy, consider outsourcing some of your workload. This is true for your personal life as well as for work. Getting the kids to pitch in with tasks around the home will help free you up, and give them a sense of responsibility at the same time. Hiring someone to do those mundane and dreaded tasks that take up so much of your time is another idea. If administrative work is eating into your day, you could consider hiring an assistant –even a remote assistant, who would help make your life easier, and you more efficient.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
Finally, it is important to remember your goals. Keeping the big picture in mind will help you to prioritize, and choose tasks that will help you to reach your objectives. Before adding a task to your schedule, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Only you can answer that question for yourself, but when it comes down to it, remember –sanity and clarity are priceless.
Remember, overloaded schedules are no one’s fault but our own. Take charge of your schedule and give yourself realistic timeframes to accomplish tasks, and leave yourself some breathing room. Remember, you are in charge of your schedule –it isn’t in charge of you!
Click here for a free sample of Day Designer –the day planner that makes mapping out your day fun, simple, and do-able! Make scheduling a task that you’ll look forward to.