When you’re able to get things done, it brings such a great feeling of accomplishment. Yet sometimes, it doesn’t seem there’s enough time to do everything you want to do.
When tasks and projects seem insurmountable, feelings of overwhelm take over. But with a little restructuring, you can kick your overwhelm to the curb.
You can do more in less time than you ever thought possible while giving yourself time to relax and really enjoy life!
It all begins with a solid foundation of proper time management and scheduling. If that’s something you don’t identify with as your strong point, that’s okay. It’s actually pretty easy to learn. It just takes a little bit of practice and you'll soon be getting more and more done.
When you see how much more you can accomplish in less time, you'll work even harder during your busy times, and enjoy those down times more thoroughly.
Use these scheduling strategies to help you become an expert manager of your time:
1. Schedule your life for maximum benefit. You can overcome a habit of procrastination and the big stressed-out rush to meet a deadline by scheduling each day and using just a bit of self-discipline to stick to your schedule.
Start by breaking things down into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a big project coming up, don't try to do it the night before. Start now. Working for just a half hour each day can help you get that presentation done with plenty of time to spare.
Schedule your day according to your priorities. You can better utilize your time by prioritizing your tasks and going after the most important first. When you do, you’ll find that you’ll reduce your stress, feel accomplished, and carve out more time for yourself.
It’s not always easy to put aside the more enjoyable or less important tasks, but when you knock out your bigger responsibilities first, you open yourself to more freedom and flow...and much less worry. That equates to higher feelings of accomplishment and happiness.
2. Disallow doubts from getting in your way. That little voice in the back of your mind that tells you, "It's too much work," or "I don’t want to do this...I’ll work on it later when I’m in the mood," isn’t helping you!
You can do anything you set your mind to. Keep a positive mindset as you go through your day. The more you encourage and motivate yourself, the more you'll internalize and believe it.
When you remind yourself how much you're capable of doing, you'll work harder so you can reap the rewards of being done with work.
No matter how you reward yourself, make it a point to do so regularly. Finished that project? Take the evening off and watch your favorite movie! Whatever reward works for you is a good one - as long as the work's done first.
3. Recognize when you're getting stressed and why. Sometimes, in an effort to get more done, you'll find that you aren't getting the time for yourself that you'd hoped for. When this happens, your body will let you know by sending a stress signal. That’s when you know it’s time to stop and reassess your schedule.
Ask yourself a few key questions: Are you following your agenda? Are you productive during your scheduled working times? Are you meeting your goals? Where can you make changes for better success? Do you concentrate and get your work done during your working hours?
If not, you’ll find yourself still having to work when you should be relaxing. This becomes a vicious circle that leaves you feeling stressed, unaccomplished, and wears down your self-confidence.
4. Eliminate your stressors while building in stress relief. Think about the following as you go about your workday:
By staying focused during working hours, you'll complete each task much sooner. Get your drudgery tasks out of the way as quickly as possible to make more time for more enjoyable tasks.
Work time is for work only - so avoid distractions. Ringing phones, email, social media, and other issues can stop you from accomplishing your work. Forward calls to your voice mail and establish "do not disturb" times. You'll be amazed at how much work you can get done without distractions!
If you complete your tasks early, keep working until your schedule says it's time to stop. Perhaps you can tackle some work for the next day to get ahead. Being a little ahead gives you the flexibility to take care of inevitable emergencies without falling behind in productivity.
Recognize when you need a break. People are not machines so your schedule should reflect that. Realistic break times should be part of even the busiest schedule. And don’t forget to self-care.
Hopefully the work you do is important to you, but remember it’s not everything. Feeling accomplished increases ten-fold when you honor values and aspects in all areas of your life, not just your work.
By planning your time wisely, you'll accomplish more and be able to reap the many benefits of true relaxation when you're done. It's well worth the effort!