How To Deal With A Crazy Schedule
It's not uncommon for you to feel overwhelmed when faced with a hectic schedule. working on several projects at the same time while having to study for exams or work can be very stressful. Sometimes this overwork can even put you in a rut. Getting organized is not particularly hard to do but its implementation can sometimes feel like too big of a hassle. I've done some research to help me better deal with my crazy schedule and hopefully, this can help you too.
Use A Planning System
This may seem obvious to some of you but if you're not using a planner or other type of planning system you are making your life harder than it needs to be. There are a lot of resources available when it comes to time management. if you are interested in organizing your life and living in a more balanced manner, here are some of my planning system recommendations for beginners and those who are looking to try something fresh. They are free and take very little time to set up.
This system requires you to be writing by hand. A lot of studies have been identifying that writing by hand has many benefits. This type of planning may seem outdated and very time-consuming in today's technology driven world. The Bullet Journal addresses this problem. It uses a system called Rapid Logging in which the bullet journal is written. It's a way of writing down information in bulleted lists. It's simple and it gives you a lot of freedom to plan as you'd like. What you need to start a bullet journal is a notebook or planner and any type of pencil or pen you like. One of the most common notebooks for bullet-journaling is the Leuchtturm Hardcover Notebook which I use as well. It has proven to be the highest quality for our Bullet Journal needs.
Trello is an awesome project management tool. It's web-based and it makes collaboration easy. It's a visual list tool made for working on projects but it can do so much more, especially when you are organizing your life. A Trello board is a page containing lists so that you can get a broad View of your project. Trello's features come in very handy as you can add checklists, images attachments, deadlines, and so on. If you're a visual person this might be something for you. Trello boards allow you to plan your vacation, your family life, as well as your work.
Like Trello, Week Plan is a web-based tool. Week Plan is a priority planner which pairs your tasks with the goals behind them. Week Plan lets you work in three steps:
Clarify your vision
Set your goals
Find time for them each week
Week Plan focuses on four key principles of priority planning. Focus on task importance and reduce urgency. Block time for what matters. Start thinking about your roles in life. This way you will be less likely to neglect a particular role. Plan week by week because it's a perfect unit of time to gain perspective and make progress.
If your schedule is absolutely crazy, the first step you need to take is to prioritize Items on your list. It's going to be very hard to recognize what is truly important. It's true that if you focus on working on 3 things at the time you are less likely to complete all of them. That's why using a method for prioritizing can be crucial for success. In Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, he talks about the Time Management Matrix. I have mentioned this matrix in my post about Planning For A Productive Week. It's a method that prioritizes your life in a highly efficient manner. It's very simple to use and it can be applied too many aspects of your life.
Start From The Beginning
My life has gotten pretty stressful recently with taking on several different projects that require my attention. That's why I felt the need to start from the beginning and apply one of the planning methods I mentioned. if you're constantly feeling like you are in a rut and cannot move forward, it might be time to scrap your previous method and just start over. If your head is foggy and you can't see your goals clearly, there is no point in staying with your old ways. It can seem very hard to do so and like too big of a bite, but the freshness of a new plan can be very inspiring.
Motivation And Sticking With The Plan
When you have a lot of things to do and accomplish, and you know that it will take months, sometimes even years until you see any results, you need to think about how you will stay motivated. I have found that daily and weekly planning keeps me focused on the goal and helps me never forget what I'm working towards. There are a few quotes that I like to think about in the morning when I'm not feeling very excited about work. The first one is very simple but very interesting to think about.
You don't need to feel like it to do it. So, when I'm feeling stuck and like I don't want to study or do work I remember that nothing is stopping me from doing it, only my thoughts. The second quote is something I heard in a Tim Ferriss podcast. His guest, Seth Godin, said that he's a professional and that professionals execute. Professionals don't wait to feel like it, they just do it.