One of the main contributors to daily stress and frustration can be your full calendar. Most times, your schedule can get packed in a matter of minutes, and you can barely find a 30-minute block of time in your day to breathe. I can confidently say this has happened to me a season or two.
However, your day deserves some breathing room because YOU deserve some breathing room!
In this journal entry, you will learn the Ponderlily go-to tips for schedule management and find ways to gain back control of your time!
Create a standing meeting with yourself
If you are like me, you never miss a meeting. Sticking to pre-scheduled plans with a colleague or client is a must. Try the same approach with yourself. Looking to make more time for self-care? Put it in your schedule. While this tip technically is adding another line item to your schedule, it does prevent a draining task to be put in its place. I love this idea for when I am wanting to get back into a routine with working out. The accountability helps me a lot.
Complete a planner audit
Take 30 minutes this week and complete a calendar audit. Combine your work, household, and personal commitments into a primary list of all of the things you have on your plate. Circle what brings you joy, star what has to stay and put a box around the things that you are currently doing, but could maybe eliminate from your schedule. Having a realistic picture of what is on your plate can help with the other tips in this bunch!
Try outsourcing tasks
Take a look at the things you starred and boxed in your calendar audit. Are there any items that you can pass along to someone else? For example, is outsourcing your household cleaning a possibility? For you or your family to make this happen, you may need to adjust the budget a little bit, but think of it this way - time is a valuable resource. If you are bogged down with spending too much time on things that you could really pay someone else to do, it could be a fantastic trade-off.
Things like bookkeeping or inbox management could be great tasks to outsource as well depending on your industry or work set up. Outsourcing provides a way for you to still feel like you have a hand in the task, but at the same time, you don’t necessarily have to keep up with every little step. You can monitor the task’s completion without actually having to complete the job yourself.
Practice and stick to saying 'no'
This may seem like the most obvious of tips in this post, but it is the most effective. And we get it, it's not the easiest thing to do. Eliminating items completely can undoubtedly clear your schedule. It may be a little difficult for you to put into practice, but trust me, saying no gets easier the more times that you do it! You can start with simple things, like committing to book club that you’re not crazy about or that fundraising event that would ultimately book out your day. Over time, your confidence will grow in this area of saying no. If something is not a big YES for me, I say no. Go with your gut on this one too! You know what else helps? If you need to say ‘no’ via email, think about having a template in place that you can copy/paste that you can use and move on. Keep it polite, short, and sweet.
Keep it clear
Empty space in your calendar is a good thing! Don’t feel the need to fill up each hour, minute, second with something. As you start implementing these tips into your lifestyle, you should hopefully start seeing more and more white space in your schedule. Don’t be tempted to fill those spots with other items. Enjoy the gaps between commitments to relax, play catch up on other things, or just enjoy sitting still!
Need yet more tips on how to create a sustainable schedule? Look no further.
Start incorporating these tips and see what happens! It may take a little bit of time to see the return on these practices, but it will be so worth it in the long haul.