Balance is quite the discussion for so many people. Our lives become so busy, filled with great things, but often all of the busyness of our lives can take on a life of their own, and quickly we sense we are out of kilter. Going back to memories of my mother and her careful planning of her days, i have always taken great value in planning my days, even if it is a rough sketch of what must be done. But I am always looking for life hacks that will improve my time management, and my effectiveness. Here are a few things I have learned from recent reading:
1. Take time daily to plan your day. That is an informal 10-15 minutes jotting down a list of what needs to be accomplished. Getting the list on paper accomplished a couple things – a. it frees my mind up to focus on getting things done, b. gives me a list to check off items as they are completed, and it gives a record of what has been accomplished.
2. Take a deep breath, and then prioritize the list as:
- Must be done today
- Should be done by end of week
- Optional, and would be great to get it done.
3. Set deadlines on urgent things
4. Tackle small things first…. that gives a sense of completion, and satisfaction that something has been accomplished.
5. Refer back to your previous days as needed for trends, planning in the future, etc.
I have tried to set up a schedule for certain functions on certain days, and that can work well, as long as life does not jump in with surprises, and challenges. Monday had always been my laundry night, however i find myself modifying my plans to accomplish laundry when i can…. between other things, just because life can be unpredictable on Mondays.
Planning is just one of the tools that works as well as I utilize it. If you are not a planner, consider spending 1 month of daily taking 15 minutes at the beginning of the day to pencil down what you have to accomplish, and then check your list off as you accomplish it. After 30 days if you still have doubts about the effectiveness of planning perhaps it is not your style for living. I would love to hear your tips and thoughts on planning…. and keeping your life in order. Please drop a comment below.