It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by a busy schedule, especially when priorities aren’t always easy to sort out.
Part of making any year a great one, though, is learning how to figure out smarter time management to tackle all of our goals.
Here are a few tips to get started on that mission if you’re looking for a little more direction!
Trying to juggle numerous important responsibilities at once can easily fall apart if you don’t organize yourself first.
Clearing a neat workspace, having all of your necessary files and tools organized by project, finding a system that works for you and compiling to-do lists for yourself will go a long way.
Of course, organization will look different from person to person, so it’s important to do some self-reflection here and figure out what kind of setups give you the clearest peace of mind.
Overall, though, making sure you have a separate, neat workspace for all of your responsibilities is a pretty surefire way to get on the right track.
Form Clear Goals
It is much easier to achieve your long-term goals in pretty much every area if you first set clear, solid, smaller goals for yourself to stick to along the way.
Try to figure out goals that you can accomplish every few weeks or months, or even some that you can accomplish throughout the day to boost your motivation.
This can also apply to pretty much every area of your life for a well-rounded time management boost. You can set personal development goals like short-term workout plans, career goals by small tasks to boost your performance and so on.
Not only will this give you clearer direction when you set out to manage your time and get everything done, it will also help you to feel much less overwhelmed than huge, vague life goals will.
Stick to Your Schedules
It can be much easier said than done to stick to the schedules you write out for yourself.
It is critical to make sure you get up and get started when you originally plan that you will, whether it’s getting to the gym, starting work on a project or tackling chores.
Of course, setting these schedules is the easy part. It doesn’t take much energy or effort to block out every free hour in your week and envision yourself in a state of productivity from sunrise to sunset.
Because of this, it’s important to really reflect and make sure you set schedules that you can motivate yourself to follow. If you block out time for the gym, treat that like time set aside to go to work or class. You have to be there.
This will do wonders for keeping yourself organized and productive, which in turn will make sure that you are managing your time responsibly as well.
It’s impossible to be at your best if you let your physical health take a backseat.
Sleep, healthy diet, visits to doctors, exercise and hygiene can be a lot to keep up with already, but it will keep your energy up and make it a lot easier to find motivation and manage your time.
Dr. Sarah Bennett, a naturopathic doctor who regularly deals with patients looking for more energy and overall direction, always stresses that staying on top of your physical health is the most critical step to being on top of your mental and emotional health:
“It can be easy to put off doctor’s appointments when you have a busy schedule. It’s pretty easy to look at huge stacks of paperwork or long to-do lists and struggle to find a reason to prioritize going to the dentist or staying ahead of a cold. But in the long-run, letting your physical health suffer will only make it easier to drop the ball and not manage your time logically and effectively, so take a step back every now and then to check in with your physical state.”
Work on Relaxation
Many people can relate to having a huge to-do list and feeling too overwhelmed and anxious to even get started.
Meditation, yoga, self-care and staying on top of any mental health needs is critical to make sure you are the most productive you.
Just like taking care of your physical body is important to your focus and productivity, taking care of you mind is critical as well.
You’ll find it incredibly difficult to motivate yourself if your energy is drained by a clouded and exhausted mind. Thus, you’ll likely waste a great deal of time getting distracted or trying to work yourself up to being ready to work on things.
In the end, taking some time out of your schedule to pause, reflect and take care of your mental health will make it much easier to start the next day and list of objectives with a clear and focused mindset.
Sort Priorities Early On
Before you even put together your to-do lists, take some time to reflect and really figure out your list of priorities so you can tackle things accordingly.
Deadlines, personal needs and complexity of the task are a few examples of things that should weigh in on this decision.
By making sure you have your priorities straight, you’ll be able to make sure the most important areas of your life are properly tended to and will immensely decrease your stress from cluttered and overwhelming days.
Everyone’s priorities will be different, so it is impossible to tell you exactly how you should order your daily tasks and needs. That’s why it’s important to take a moment while you are scheduling your week to see which responsibilities need attention sooner than later.
Time management isn’t an easy skill for anyone to develop, but by sticking to these tips, it’ll be much more attainable!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just be sure to:
–Form clear goals
–Stick to your schedules
–Work on relaxing
–Sort out your priorities
Katherine (Tori) Lutz is a recent graduate of Florida State University and a current student at Columbia University. Her professional experience surrounds freelance writing, editing, and marketing as well as a number of positions at media outlets.