Feeling overwhelmed is often confused with responsibility or hard work when it actually quite often are poor time management skills. Of course it might happen from time to time that we have to face more tasks than we are used to, but our everyday life can be easily manageable to a sustainable level. Be honest with yourself: how much time daily do you really spend being productive?
There are few tips how to divide and manage your schedule getting the most out of one day. It is not always better to work hard or without breaks, because the brain and the body both need to be rested and well nourished to deliver the best performance. Unlike robots, human beings of all ages need to take breaks or switch activities roughly each thirty minutes. Shorter intensive spans of activity usually bring better results.
Your body responds well to routine. If you, for example, go to bed at ten o’clock every day, your brain will start shutting down right before and you will sleep better. The same goes for exercise, meals or anything else. Your brain can concentrate for around thirty minutes before it starts getting tired. The span of concentration can be prolonged by practice – breaks or switches between physical and mental activity are still essential in-between them though. You can use an alarm clock or an online timer to help you divide your day into units of productivity or rest. It is necessary to assign to one specific activity and dedicate to it fully until the time is up. It is advisable to start with twenty-minute spans and gradually reach up to forty minutes of full concentration.
Avoid cluttering your brain. Make lists of tasks, use your calendar, stick few post-its on a visible spot. There is no need to remember everything, because it would only disturb you. You can choose from infinite amount of mediums and apps to help you organize your day. Do not be ashamed to take a note of even the smallest things such as vacuuming the floors or putting up a painting. Prioritize your tasks and begin with most important ones, so you do not have to worry about them later. It feels great to watch the pace of your progress as you tick the tasks off your list.
You do not have to do everything. Nobody will judge you. It is completely okay to say no and it is completely okay to ask for help or to delegate a task to someone else. Your priority should be living a sustainable fulfilling life. Doing a good job and feeling successful is a part of it. It works better for you and for the whole society too when each individual is doing their part responsibly and well. It is okay to refuse activities that collide with your plan. And this goes both ways when comes to your personal and professional life – they should be in balance. Focus on the quality.
Multitask (but only if possible)
Sometimes it is possible to carry out more activities at one moment. You can check your emails or listen to the news during your daily commute. You can skip a gym and take your children for a bike trip instead to combine fitness and family time. Physical activities can be accompanied by listening to a text in a foreign language for instance. Get creative and find what fits you the most.
Think about activities you do mindlessly and try to avoid them as procrastination. You can put anything you want into your plan as long as it fits there – if you like relaxing by staring at a wall, go ahead and enjoy it. Plan your time in such a manner that will not make you feel guilty for doing too little or tired from doing too much. Meditation, breaks and enough sleep are essential for your mental and physical health.