10 Ways to Manage Your Time on a Busy Schedule
Sometimes life decides to throw everything your way at the same time, and this can lead to stress, no social life and little time to relax and get your head together. This can ironically lead to more stress which is not ideal when you’re trying to organise your busy schedule on top of everything else!
Listed below are my Top Ten tips on managing your time on a busy schedule. Don’t feel you have to copy all do all of them and if you have a method or routine you follow I’d love to hear about it! It took me ages to find what worked for me, and I researched and tried many different ways of managing my time before I stuck with these, so be patient with it, and you will find what works for you too.
1. Have a calendar - This is a massive part of my time management, but there are so many different types of calendars these days it can be hard to know where to start. I have a wall calendar which I find helpful, but I tend to use it only to outline important dates and social events as there is not space to include everything I need to do. I have recently found, however, that the calendar on my phone works really well for outlining everything in my day, and even though it means you have to spend 10 minutes every day planning out your next day, it’s really worth it. Google Calendar is also a great way of sheduling everything in your day, especially if you carry your phone or laptop everywhere. Alternatively, having a monthly prinatble is a great way of keeping track of what’s coming up (COMING SOON!).
2. To-Do List - This helps me to prioritise everything and catch up on all my work, but like with calendars, it can be difficult to know where to begin. I lay mine out on a spreadsheet or a table because I find that heavily organising it can help, but the ‘Notes’ app on my phone also works when I am very busy. I recently bought a Pukka Pad To-Do List Planner which is so good for my every-day to-do list.
3. Have a morning and evening routine - Structuring your mornings and evenings is very beneficial when there’s so much to do, and it can help both your productivity and healthy mindset for the day. It has taken me a while to find out what works for me and it has only been recently that I have stuck with something (this was very difficult at first but it has made me a lot more productive and efficient during the day).
4. Eat the frog! - Not literally. But what I mean by this is that it’s really beneficial if you tackle your most difficult or unwanted task(s) first. Get them out of the way during the most productive part of the day (the morning), and then you can look forward to the more enjoyable tasks later.
5. Reward yourself - This doesn’t mean spending lots of money or taking really long breaks, but make sure there is something to look forward to once you finish a task. Even if it’s making yourself a coffee, buying yourself a cookie, or even taking a short walk around the block during your break, this will allow your mind to relax for a minute which is very beneficial to your productivity and health.
6. De-clutter your workspace - It sounds weird, but if you work (or even live) in a tidy environment, it really does help to clear your mind. Messy or cluttered workspaces or bedrooms can lead to stress, depression and unhappiness, so make sure you take the time to declutter your desk or bedroom floor because this will keep you healthy and clear your mind.
7. Minimize distractions - Distractions are everywhere nowadays and are more tempting than ever but make sure that you turn off your phone or block the apps on your laptop whilst you’re working so as not to distract you. Have music or the radio on in the background if it helps but don’t start raving to it when you’re supposed to be working, as this can waste a lot of time that you could have spent on more important things!
8. Try to pre-prepare when possible - It is always good to get ahead, and it can save you a lot of time in the long run. Do important assignments or tasks as soon as you get them so as to stay on top of things, and don’t put large projects aside if you know the deadline is a while off - chances are you’ll forget about it until a few days before it is due, and then go into panic mode meaning you won’t be working to the best of your ability. Also use any small spaces of time you have to do something productive, whatever that may be. It may be tempting to take longer breaks or scroll through social media, but those small chunks of time add up, and you could end up getting lots more done if you use them wisely!
9. Say ‘no’ to things - This is especially hard for me because I like to please people. However, you can never please everyone so if there’s something you have the option to decline and you know you already have a lot of work to handle, you should say ‘no’ so that you can focus on your other tasks, and get them completed to a higher standard. Also be aware that you can delegate tasks if you feel you are struggling, especially if you are working as part of a team.
10. Make social time - This is important for your mental wellbeing, even if it can seem hard to fit it into your busy schedule. Even if you meet up for a coffee with a friend during your lunch break or see your family at the weekend, try to socialise at least once a week (4-5 times a month). A great way to do this is to agree to meet up with someone at a time where you would otherwise be on your phone or watching TV, as socialising can help your mental wellbeing as well as build networks and improve your mindset.
I hope this list helped - sorry it’s so long! Please feel free to contact me for further information or guidance - I’m always happy to help or chat! Let me know your own methods and routines for time management or if you’ve tried any of mine, and if there are any posts, printables, or anything else you want, as I love hearing from you and helping you stay organised and reach your goals. :) x