Wondering how to manage a busy day? We all have those super busy days, the ones we know are coming and sometimes wonder how we are going to make it out alive… okay that’s an exaggeration, but you know the type of busy I mean… super busy.
And if you’re not busy enough already you can pretty much guarantee that little things will pop up to add to your to-do list.
Getting on top and staying on top of everything can definitely be a challenge when your attention is needed in 5 different places at once and it seems that every email needs a reply asap.
That’s why it’s important to stay organized and have things in place to ease the stress, make things easier, and make sure you stay ahead.
Here are eight ways to stay ahead of a super busy day
1. Make Your Bed
This might sound like an obvious one… or you’re re-checking the title of this post in case you’ve clicked the wrong one. Making your bed in the morning is the simplest way to cross a task of your to-do list already. By the time you’re up you’ve already had one small achievement baby making your bed and then you’re ready to take on the next task whatever that might be. Don’t believe me? Try it and see how your day goes! A simple trick could be the key if you’re asking yourself how to manage a busy day.
2. Start Early
Getting up early and starting your day before everyone else really does make you more productive. Many successful people get up early and complete the important tasks before 9 am. By the time the rest of the world is starting work at 9, you’ve already achieved so much. This really gives you a boost and helps with motivation for the rest of the day!
3. Make a to-do list the day before
This is probably the first idea that jumps into everyone’s head. Sitting down at the end of your day and writing a to-do list for tomorrow can help massively. You can use the Getting Stuff Done planner to help you layout your perfect day. Not only can you go to bed and relax, knowing all your tasks are written down and you don’t have anything to remember, but seeing tasks written down on paper can help when it comes to prioritizing and working out what order to do things in. Yep, this is how to manage a busy day.
4. Break down big tasks into smaller ones
Sometimes a big task can seem intimidating. For example, a task which you know requires a lot of work or one forcing you to step outside of your comfort zone. Tasks like this always seem to end up being pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
Completing small tasks can feel like more of an achievement and it feels like you’re getting more done when you’re ticking off small tasks that you’re flying through. So why not turn those big tasks into smaller ones? Having a list of smaller tasks can also help you decide which you need to complete first and which can be delegated to someone else.
5. Keep things tidy
When you’ve got a to-do list the length of your arm there’s nothing worse than scrambling through papers to find that post-it you made a note on last week. Keeping things tidy not only makes it easier to find stuff, but it saves time and makes you feel more organized in general. And organized people can easily tick off all those to-do list tasks.
6. Take Regular Breaks
On super busy days you might think that taking your usual breaks isn’t possible but on these days it’s much more important to take regular breaks.
Taking short breaks in between tasks helps your brain to ‘switch between tasks’ and also gives you a much-needed breather. So whether it’s a wander around the house, or making a cup of tea, make sure you plan your breaks into your day. You’ll achieve so much more and avoid burnout.
7. Use the Pomodoro Timer
You might have heard of the Pomodoro timer… most people have… but how many actually use it on a busy day? My guess is not a lot, people tend to want to just get on with tasks without any structure to the day.
Using the Pomodoro timer can help you focus on tasks for a short period of time followed by a short break. It’s been proven to improve focus… and with better focus, you can get through your to-do list much quicker and get ahead of your day.
8. Don’t take on more than you can handle
Sometimes saying no can be hard. But when you’ve got tasks coming out of your ears, you need to add ‘no’ to your vocabulary. If you know you’ve got a super busy day, don’t take on more tasks – if tasks are ‘allocated’ to you, speak to the allocator, and explain your workload. It’s better to pass work to someone who can get it done than someone super busy and less likely to have time to do it. Hopefully, this will help you learn how to manage a busy day.
Written by Karen