[Photo credit: Dean Hochman]
What doesn’t get scheduled, very often doesn’t get done. If you want to get things done, reduce your stress and have free time for the things you love, you must schedule absolutely everything into your calendar.
When you take the time to make progress on every area of your life, you become truly happy and fulfilled. In order to be truly organised, you must commit time to every area of your life.
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Before I began scheduling everything into my calendar, I was constantly playing catch up on all the things I had to do. That was because I didn’t have a clear understanding of what exactly I could realistically complete in any given time frame.
There is a huge focus in the western world on helping people to be organised. For years I was taught and attempted various ways to be better organised. I still found however, that I was still stressed out trying to complete everything that I had to do. There was still not enough time in the day, despite being super organised with prioritising my tasks and knowing what I had to do and when.
Time-management is often referred to as self-management. I’m a firm believer in holistic everything. From medicine to work/life balance. You can’t be efficient in one area if another area is not tended to. If you want to be efficient at work, you must spend time working on the other areas of your life too. Similarly, to be truly happy at home, you need to be happy all of the other areas of your life, which are important as well. Being efficient at work requires you manage your life in every other area.
When you take the time to make progress on every area of your life, you become truly happy and fulfilled. In order to be truly organised, you must commit time to every area of your life. Know what is important to you and spend your time accordingly so. However, don’t forget about the areas of your life, which might not be as important to you right now, because they are all important none-the-less.
Create a system for planning ahead. Plan out time for everything in your life and not just the things you ‘have to do’. Plan time to spend on every area of your life. It might take a bit of time to do this but the time you will save, the stress and anxiety you will remove, and your new found efficiency will be well worth it.
Follow these simple strategies for planning your day to reduce your stress and be highly productive
- Enter everything into your calendar: Over the weekend enter everything you know you have to do in the week ahead. Enter absolutely everything into your calendar including sleep, rest, meditation, exercise, time with family, as well as time with friends.
- Check on tomorrow: Each night, check what you have on your calendar for tomorrow. Be ready and prepared. This way you can be proactive if an obstacle appears rather than reactive.
- Update immediately: As soon as an appointment gets created, changed or cancelled throughout the week, update it in your calendar. Don’t wait. You don’t want to forget about an appointment or double book yourself.
- Schedule down time: Make sure you schedule time to rest, relax and spend time with your loved ones each day. Many people only schedule what they must do. They leave the blank time for everything else. This time can be easily chewed up if you don’t actively schedule something in its place. Don’t leave the time to rest, relax and spend time with your loved ones as blank. Put it into your calendar and specifically make a time for it.
- Wind up and wind down: At the start and end of your day, spend 15 minutes meditating and 15 minutes stretching. You will notice a huge reduction in stress and increase in mental clarity from the meditation. The stretching will promote blood flow through the body, loosen muscles, relieve joint pain, allow the nerves to glide through the body more easily and result in you feeling great.
- Daydream: Schedule 15 minutes at the end of your lunch break to go somewhere quiet, away from others and chill out. Pick an object such as a bird, ant or tree and focus on that. Be absorbed into the present. Take notice of the sights, sounds and smells that you wouldn’t normally notice. Your energy and productivity after lunch will skyrocket.
I’ve followed this system for a while now and although I’m still altering the system and practicing sticking to my plan, it has created an abundance of free time from my efficiency, reduced my anxiety and stress, allowed me to get more done in less time and makes me feel incredibly happy.
How do you plan your day? What tips can you share? Let me know in the comments below.
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