Getting things done can bring such a great feeling of accomplishment, but it can also be overwhelming if the task seems insurmountable to you. Sometimes, the days just don’t seem long enough to do everything we want to do. When that happens, worry can set in, but it really doesn’t have to!
You can do more than you ever thought was possible, and in less time, too – giving yourself time to relax and really enjoy life!
It all begins with a solid foundation of time management and scheduling. It’s okay if you’re not an efficient time manager right now; you can learn to be. It just takes a little bit of practice and you’ll soon be getting more and more done.
When you see how much you’re accomplishing, you’ll most likely work even harder during your busy times, and enjoy those down times more thoroughly.
These scheduling strategies will help you become an expert manager of your time:
1. Schedule your life for maximum benefit. You can avoid procrastination and the big stressed-out rush to meet a deadline by scheduling each day and using just a bit of self-discipline to stick to your schedule. It usually helps to break things down into smaller tasks. For example, do you have a big presentation coming up at work in two weeks? Don’t try to do it all the night before it’s due. Start now. Working for just a half hour each day can help you get that presentation done with plenty of time to spare.
By scheduling your day according to your priorities, you can better utilize the time that you might otherwise have wasted doing unproductive things – like watching television or waiting for the next item on your to-do list to come to you.
2. Disallow doubts from getting in your way. That little voice in the back of your mind that tells you, “It’s too much work,” or “It’s not going to happen,” doesn’t know what it’s talking about! You can do anything – or at least, almost anything – you set your mind to. Keep that thought in mind as you go through your day. The more you think it – or even say it out loud – the more you’ll internalize and believe it.
When you remind yourself how much you’re capable of doing, you’ll work harder so you can reap the rewards of being done with work. No matter how you reward yourself, make it a point to do so regularly. Finished that presentation? Take the evening off and watch your favorite movie! Whatever reward works for you is a good one – as long as it is healthy and the work’s done first.
3. Recognize when you’re getting anxious and why. Sometimes, in an effort to get more done, you’ll find that you aren’t getting the time for yourself that you’d hoped for. When this happens, stop and reassess your schedule. Are you following your agenda? Are you productive during your scheduled working times? Are you meeting your goals? Where can you make changes for better success?
Do you concentrate and get your work done during your working hours? If not, you may find that you still have to work when you should be relaxing. This is a vicious circle that leaves you feeling anxious, while getting nowhere.
4. Eliminate your stressors while building in stress relief. Think about the following as you go about your workday:
By focusing during working hours, you’ll complete each task much sooner. Get your drudgery tasks out of the way as quickly as possible to make more time for more enjoyable tasks. Work time is for work only – so avoid distractions. Ringing phones and other issues can stop you from accomplishing your work. Forward calls to your voice mail and establish “do not disturb” times. You’ll be amazed at how much work you can get done without distractions!
If you complete your tasks early, keep working until your schedule says it’s time to stop. Perhaps you can tackle some work for the next day to get ahead. Being a little ahead gives you the flexibility to take care of inevitable emergencies without falling behind in productivity.
Recognize when you need a break. People are not machines so be sure your schedule reflect that. Realistic break times should ideally be part of even the busiest schedule.
By planning your time wisely, you’ll accomplish more and be able to reap the many benefits of true relaxation when you’re done. It’s well worth the effort!
Copyright © 2012 Chantal Beaupre