There are many paths a person can take that can lead them to a busy lifestyle. Whether you are an entrepreneur, 9-5er, on shift work or a family oriented person, these tips can help you balance and enjoy all of the aspects of your life. I do not believe there is one solution for everyone, rather a mix and match of techniques that work for you. It is a trial and error process of figuring out what is most effective and efficient in your life.
Schedule Every Single Thing In Your Day
Use a planner or notebook* and correspond tasks with time. For example, “Wake up at 6am, shower 6:10. breakfast 6:30” etc. Initially it will seem very strict and structured, however it will track your routine so you can identify when you’re free or available. Schedule the times you plan on getting together with your friends or family, when you are going to grocery shop, clean etc. Make time every day for your scheduling. Yes, even schedule when you are going to schedule. The trick to this is to try and stick to the schedule you have written down. When your schedule is laid out in front of you and you can see the free times physically in front of you, it’s a huge stress reliever. At that point it is up to you if you want to fill that free time with something from your To-Do list (more on this later), or if you are going to use it for relaxation or self-care.
*using a planner or notebook to schedule your time or tasks is crucial. If you are a traditional, agenda kind of person then a Passion Planner may be a great solution for you. If you like a little less structure you can give Bullet Journaling a try.
Lists On Lists On Lists
To Do or Task Lists can be great tools for memory, efficiency and stress relief. Lists are something you really want to customize. Some people write one to do list, categorize, prioritize or alphabetize. Some people write daily, weekly and/or monthly to do lists. Whichever method you decide, when you start tackling that list, start with what you think will be the hardest. Once the big one is out of the way the rest are a breeze to get through. Don’t make the mistake of not listing the positive, fun things as well. If your task list is particularly daunting, seeing the things you look forward to doing laid out in front of you will increase your motivation for completing the harder tasks. If you are finding your to do list is ever growing and never shrinking, try adding deadlines or ideal dates of when you want the tasks to be done and then schedule them. Find that block of free time, evaluate what else you’re doing that day, think about how your mental state will be that day (Fridays aren’t ideal for productivity) and schedule it in. Cross the items off your list as your complete them, get a big red or black pen and make sure your completed tasks are noticeably crossed off. Write grocery lists, cleaning lists, payment lists, goals, wishes, anything that you think about at night before you go to sleep. Get. It. Out. Of. Your. Head.
You got this. It is incredibly difficult to navigate your way through a busy lifestyle if you aren’t thinking or functioning to your fullest potential. Taking a “Me Day” is okay and essential when you are busy. There can be a lot of chaos but you will be able to find the calm and enjoyment in your life. Schedule time for breathing exercises, mediation* and sleep. Take time for self-care in whatever form it takes for you, whether it be volunteering, cleaning or a bubble bath.
*YouTube has plenty of free meditations. Give a guided sleep meditation a try before while you are in bed.
Take Pictures, Every Chance You Get
When you lead a busy lifestyle it can be easy to get so swept up in your schedule that you don’t take the time to enjoy the present. Taking photos is a great way to get you into the moment. Take selfies with your friends or co workers, take photos of your kids doing nothing, take a photo of your lunch, the sunset..whatever you appreciate in that moment. You will always have that photo, you can save your moment and visit it anytime you want.
When you take the time to schedule and list you are metaphorically emptying your brain and laying it out so you can see right in front of you what needs to be done. There are plenty of variations for you to try and I encourage you to do so until you find the right fit for you. By seeing your schedule and understanding when your free time is you can find a healthy balance between busy and calm. When you are calm you are more receptive to enjoying the present moment. If you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious, its a good indicator that you need to breathe and remember that moments are fleeting.