Your week is wrapping up and you are probably grateful for the respite of the weekend. Take a moment and have a good look at your schedule for this past week. Are you overbooked? Do you constantly try to fit in meetings, appointments, after school/work activities, errands and all the other bits and bobs that pop up?
If the answer is “yes,” then you may need to trim some excess activities and put your schedule on a diet. Your time is a valuable asset, one that should be cherished. This may sound silly, but it’s true. We are only allotted so much time each day. Do you really want to spend it on unnecessary “obligations”? When you run yourself ragged with endless tasks you’re prone to unnecessary stress, which can have a negative impact on your mind and body.
Now, is this easier said than done? Maybe. BUT, with a little bit of discipline, learning how to prioritize and learning to value your time, it can be done.
How to trim the excess:
- Learn to say “NO.” It may be flattering that you were asked to organize a charity event for your child’s school, or be head of your condo association, BUT, if you truly don’t know where you will fit it in without sacrificing your time and peace of mind, it’s OK to just say NO.
- Organization is key. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most organized person. I tend to keep my “To Do List” in my head and not write it down. This usually ends with me cursing myself for being overbooked and dealing with the new, and unnecessary, stress to my schedule. Not to mention the extra time it takes to sort things out. This is easily avoided by writing down your schedule. This way, you become more aware of what’s on your plate and how long each task/appointment will realistically take.
- Stop putting things off. This can go hand in hand with learning to say “no.” If you put things off because there is no time, they will just reappear somewhere else in your day. If you can’t realistically fit it into your schedule, or it has been put on the back burner more times than you can count, do yourself a favor and purge it from your schedule. Take two seconds and determine its importance. In most cases, it’s not a priority and can be deleted from your “to do list.”
- Learn to PRIORITIZE. Be honest with yourself. What on your schedule is really worth your time? What HAS to be done? What can be done more efficiently?
- Leave time for surprises. Sometimes things just pop up. If your schedule is not busting at the seams these unplanned tasks are much less stressful. And if nothing pops up, then you have some unexpected free time to just take a breath!
This week's challenge: Take a long look at your schedule and trim the unnecessary. I promise you, there's nothing better than the feeling of added time into your everyday life.