When you’re busy, even looking for tips for managing a busy schedule can waste valuable time. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting stuff done, if you’re so bogged down by a million little tasks, you’re never going to focus on getting one thing done. But when you’re already busy, it’s incredibly hard to fight your way out and focus on one single task. Don’t worry,
1. Create a strategy.
If you have a mountain of work to do you need a strategy. Sit down with a piece of paper and a couple of colored pens, write out what you need to do, and create a visual timetable. It’s easier to create a spreadsheet, but sometimes putting it down on paper and taking the time to write everything gives you a satisfying feeling of control.
2. Avoid perfectionism.
It’s great to be a perfectionist but if you’re still working on something after a long period of time in the quest for perfection, it’s time to stop. Remember, done is better than perfect. Perfectionism sucks up your time and causes the standards of everything you’re doing to fall. As long as what you’re doing is good, it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece.
3. Understand stress.
Stress can reveal itself in all kinds of ways, you might not even think you’re suffering from it and then find you’re suddenly feeling depressed or under the weather. Doctors recommend mindfulness to combat stress or keeping a diary that tracks how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, what you’re doing, and who you’re with every day.
One of the things I always tend to do is suddenly think about everything that’s looming over me and then panic, massively. Don’t do that. Instead, see it in chunks, don’t start thinking about one thing until the other one is complete. It’s also a good idea to do some stress prevention activities. Yoga, running, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques can help you keep your stress levels in check. We love using relaxation sprays and a warming eye mask to shut out the world.
4. Be honest.
One thing I have learned, though, is to always communicate. If you’re stressed or overwhelmed or for some reason can’t keep to your time schedule, tell someone. There’s a huge chance someone else can pick up the slack for you, and if not, at least everyone around you knows what to expect. As long as you’re constantly honest about what you’re doing and the pressure you’re under, there will be no nasty surprises. Surprising, but communicating about your workload is one of the most effective tips for managing a busy schedule.
5. Learn the difference between being busy and being effective.
Most of the time we think it’s good to be busy, but are you busy doing what you need to? Is your business contributing to the stress of your workload? It’s a good idea to start saying no to things that aren’t on your list and deciding whether you’re solidly focusing on what you need to do or busy doing multiple things.
6. Track your time.
Use a planner like The Project Book to track the hours in the day and how you’re actually using them, you can block off certain areas of your day for different deadlines, or be stricter on yourself if you find yourself procrastinating. Plus, it also has a neat project planning section that will help you break bigger tasks down into small, manageable ones.