Do you ever feel your head is spinning from all the task you have to do and everything feels just to much? Do you always feel like there is something you have to do so you feel constant stress? Say no more, I know the feeling. Through trial and error I’m able to share 6 tips which will help you become a natural planner so you can get some peace!
Fight the chaos
We are all guilty of it: procrastination. Some more than others, but I’m fairly certain there is not one person in the world who never says “I’ll get to that later”. Sometimes it’s because we are tired, other times it’s because we don’t feel like it or maybe because we’re busy with something more fun.
For the larger part of my life I fell into the professional procrastinators category: everything last-minute, total chaos and double appointments in my calendar. When my head is chaos my house is chaos as well, so that gave me even more tasks to do. I felt rushed every single minute of the day and even in bed I experienced a lot of stress. Time for a change! With the following 6 strategies I’ve become more of a natural planner and feel so much more relaxed. I’m pretty sure they will help you too!
Buy a planner and plan éverything
Treat yourself to a pretty planner you love and start planning literally everything. This might sound a but too much, but it truly works. By planning both your professional as your private life in your calendar (and being honest with about how much time you think you will spend on it) you create peace, space and direction in your week.
By planning everything you get an insight into why you often feel rushed or still working late at night because you couldn’t finish everything on time. It’s easier to delegate your tasks and therefor gives you peace.
You don’t have to plan minute to minute, a nice clear overview for the entire week is enough. Make sure you keep your planner with you at all times, wether its digital or on paper, so you never have to double-check or make double appointments.
Set priorities and delegate
Ask yourself what’s important. What should happen now, what can wait? Work in order of importance. It is good to have a clear view of where your priorities are.
Sometimes something seems very important, but is not that urgent. Sometimes it’s a recurring task you hate and don’t feel like doing but you better do it right away. If you don’t you will only postpone more and end up in that spiral again.
A handy tool for determining priorities is the Eisenhower model:
Set small, realistic goals
Nothing is more demotivating than feeling overwhelmed with your task. Often a task can be divided into small tasks that can be spread out over the entire week. For instance, when I’m writing an article I research, write and search images on different days. By making tasks smaller I have more time for other stuff and checking them off my to-do list feels wonderful.
Be realistic with your time and willingness to do tasks, so you don’t feel the need to procrastinate. Instead you will feel more relaxed and rewarded!
By following recurring tasks according to a certain routine you almost go on autopilot and feel less chaotic. You don’t feel like there is a million things to do in so little time, you just do it without thinking. I’ll give you an example of my daily routine with recurring tasks:
- Get home from work and start dinner
- Do dishes
- Relax for 30 minutes
- Get T. ready for bed
- Laundry & Netflix
- Clean up & vacuum
By doing this on auto-pilot everything gets done without me feeling stressed. I don’t have piles and piles of laundry, I give myself time to relax ánd feel relaxed while doing my tasks. You don’t feel the need to postpone stuff because you’re so used to the routine. Works wonders!
Work with to-do lists
I love to-do lists! Checking off takes really feels rewarding and motivates to check everything off the list. It’s important not to make a massive list (remember, prioritize and delegate) because that will more likely trigger procrastination. Besides giving a rewarding feeling to-do lists also gives you nice overview so you feel less overwhelmed. I use to do-lists for my housekeeping, administration and blog. Some on paper, some digital. Great apps to use are Google Keep and Evernote.
Find you flow
Last but not least: it’s important to find your own flow when it comes to planning. What works for me does not necessarily work for you.
Make sure you set up your schedule to the pace that suits you and that makes you feel comfortable. If you don’t you will have a beautiful schedule but following it will be a completely different story! Some like a schedule which is planned minute to minute, others rather keep it more general.
Find your rhythm then you will also find your peace!