How to Manage Busy Schedules: 6 Tips

I have been realizing just how much I have been falling short on most of my day to day tasks. I have been rushing to everything and barley getting things done. I used to be pretty good at managing my time but; along the way when I started to work for myself and got busier with projects, friends, family, and so on, I felt like I was right on the verge of losing my grip. Anyone else feel me?! 

Some people have more to do than others and that is just how it’s always going to be. We can’t be comparing ourselves, our own life will just be passing us by. Which is why these tips are helpful for any lifestyle!! Whether you have 100 things to get done or 20–applying these tips can be a big life changer. Take it from someone who seems to be always running 5 to 15 minutes late. These tips make such a big difference and I can definitely tell when I didn’t apply some of the tips in my day. I am not going to give you 20 or 50 tips. I know there is a lot of information about what you should or shouldn’t do. I am going to simplify it and share with you what has worked for me. 

Tip number 1 

Write out the things you need to get done. Before going to bed or even while you are going to the bathroom (yes, you read that right) write in your phone, planner or whatever you use, to get an idea of what you need to get done for the next few days or week. This will give you an idea of what you can push to a later date or make room for the more important tasks that need to get done. This doesn’t take too long, it should only take about 5-15 minutes, depending on what you have going on. 

Tip number 2 

It is sooooo important to get enough sleep and get an early start. I promise you there is enough hours in the day for you to get what you need done–it just may take some rearranging of your to-do list. When you get enough sleep and feel rested you are able to focus and be more efficient. When we are feeling rested, we will be able to get an early start and have time for the things we need and want to do. 

Tip number 3 

We have got to work smarter not harder–meaning we need to complete our important tasks first. The way I see it, the things that can’t wait to be done after closing hours should be at the top of your list. Once you start nearing 3, 4 or even 5pm (5pm is pushing it) we shouldn’t have urgent or time consuming things to get done. On a side note!! Make sure you add exercise and eating healthy to your list of important tasks. Taking care of yourself physically gives you so many great advantages. Your mental and emotional energy helps you make better decisions. Important tasks are time and energy consuming, which is why we love postponing them but getting a good workout and making time to eat a healthy meal helps you push through any challenges. 

Tip number 4 

Work related tasks together. No, I do not mean multitasking. I mean, when you are cleaning the living room don’t go straight to computer work immediately after. If you are going to spend time cleaning then focus on that until the job is done. This is very generic example, but you can apply the idea to anything. If you are going to write for your blog post, you could also do some research and photo editing–the tasks flow together. This can even be applied when you find yourself just waiting. Don’t waste waiting time. I take advantage of those golden nuggets of time. I check through emails, respond to texts or calls and so on. We can get so much done by applying this tip because we don’t feel like we are doing 100 different things at different moments of the day–resulting in us feeling scattered brained and plain exhausted. Instead our tasks and schedule is flowing. 

Tip number 5 

Turn key tasks into habits. The tasks that need to get done everyday should be habits. These should be no brainers. These habits should be things that are helpful and move you forward. It’s helpful to recognize what your habits are. Most often you will see where you can make some changes. One of the biggest habits we have that is not beneficial to us is TV and gaming time. I write from experience. I love watching my shows and movies, but too much of my time is spent there. When I catch myself complaining about what I didn’t get done and how I still have so much to do I ask myself, how much time did I waste? 

Tip number 6 

Managing your time isn’t about squeezing as much as you can into one day. I used to do this until I realized I was just driving myself crazy. Some things can be postponed and this actually helped me be more efficient with each task. Instead of rushing and trying to get it done, we can focus on getting it done well. Now, I always add ‘buffer time’ between each task. This means to leave 15 minutes to even an hour between tasks. I base my buffer time depending on what the task is. If its a task that I know will take a lot of mental or emotional energy, I try to add about 30 minutes where I can eat a snack, breathe and recharge before going onto my next task. I usually do an hour when I need to eat a meal and give myself the chance to relax and get ready for what is next. Plus, these buffer times help me release any stress and remind me to eat. I’m sure we have all been there when we get so busy we sometimes forget to give ourselves enough time to eat. It may seem better to not have ‘buffer time’ and just stay busy, but that mentality can be the very thing hurting you. 

There is a misconception–that staying busy every hour and minute means you are working hard and going to be super successful. People who are successful and live “busy lives’ are the people who take the time to recharge often.  These people take vacations more often, sleep 7-9 hours, take advantage of their days off and meditate daily. They know if they want to be productive and efficient during their work time, they need to be rested, clear-minded and focused. Your buffer time can be the very thing you need to get to your goals faster. 

There are so many other things you can apply in your day to day, like clear always any clutter, organize your work and home space, create time limits for each task, learn to say no and so on. These 6 tips are what I apply in my day to day to make sure I get things done week by week. 

Let me know in the comments what tips you have to better manage your time. 

Until next time,