I don’t know about you – but I can definitely relate to Saved by the Bell Jessie Spano character’s “there’s never any time!” freak out – sans the caffeine pills dependency of course. Between work, relationships, family, health and wellness, socializing and just plain relaxing, it feels like there is just never enough time to fit it all in. I have found that implementing the following tactics has allowed me to feel more in control over my schedule/time in general.
Time Your Tasks
Try and time how long tasks actually take to complete. Most people either grossly over or under estimate how much time completing a task actually takes. Try timing yourself from the start to finish of a project. Knowing you only need to devote 15 minutes to tackling the dishes as opposed to the hour you thought it would take might help motivate you to get started in the first place.
Give Yourself a Time Limit
Along the same lines as giving yourself an adequate amount of time to complete a project, try giving yourself a finite amount of time as well. If you need to write a summary report for example, it will seem daunting to “force” yourself to commit 6 straight hours to it. Try giving yourself just 2 hours of focused attention on only the task at hand and stop at your time limit. Then take a break and move onto something else at hand – you’ll likely be far more productive knowing you have a hard stop and you don’t need to work on this one task for-ev-er.
Be realistic about how much you can fit into your schedule. Everyone has what seems to be a never-ending work and personal to do list, embrace that. You will never be able to accomplish every last thing you set out to do, and that’s perfectly normal and fine. There are truly only so many hours in the day so, be realistic as to what you can accomplish each day without stretching yourself too thin. Even try making a “list of accomplishments” at the end of each day rather than focus on what still remains on your to do list. You’ll likely be shocked at how much you get done day in and day out.
Give Yourself a Break
As long as you are putting in a reasonable amount of time at work and doing even a little to maintain your personal priorities on a daily basis, you’re golden Ponyboy. As hard as it is, don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to do IT ALL, everyday.
Real talk, just this morning I was venting to my husband and best friend that I’m not doing “enough,” so, I think we can all benefit from letting ourselves off the hook a bit.
Photo Credits – Stopwatch: Veri Ivanova; Scheduling Book: Eric Rothermel; Brooklyn Bridge: Brooke Cagle