We like to think we can conquer the world, can I get an amen? As women, there is this stigma that we’re better multitaskers than men are (which my boyfriend tends to think is totally true). We get up in the morning, brush our teeth, while sending a text to our boss, then hop in the kitchen to prep breakfast, while putting on makeup — also confirming appointments on our calendar, as we’re thinking of what our plans are after work that night. It’s madness, but it’s our reality and the speed in which our society runs. It’s easy to complain of how busy we are, but ain’t nobody got time for that either!
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Our lives consist of juggling our babies, our career, our relationships, and our households — all while still finding time to have fun and say yes to more opportunities. Although time is our most valuable asset, it sometimes gets stretched out to the point that we start to juggle way too many things at once.
But girl, your time is so worth the right investment. Allocating your time to the right things can help you to avoid stressful situations where commitments have piled up on you. Here are some tips to help alleviate the inevitable hustle and bustle:
Grab an aesthetically pleasing planner and map out your tasks.
Looks aren’t always everything, but in this case, they totally are! Some of our favorite brands like Anthropologie and Target have a beautiful selection of planners that are mapped out in a way that makes organizing fun and easy to look at. Not only will having something pretty make a good capture for our Instagram, but it will get us excited about looking at what plans we have set for the day ahead of time.
Do you ever have a hard time remembering the things you needed to get done before that 3pm meeting you have with a client? Not a problem! Making that list or creating that visual representation of your schedule will help for you to remember it — and who doesn’t love crossing their accomplishments off of a list?
Learn the art of saying no.
I totally get the difficulty in this…your phone is always blowing up with DM’s and text messages to see if you can do other people favors or volunteer for the next upcoming event. But news flash! There will always be hundreds of other events or opportunities that come your way — not every opportunity is meant to be taken. Instead, invest your time in the commitments/opportunities that bring your heart the most joy — that way, when you’re volunteering your time away from your home, it’s for something that’s totally worth it!
Having that set schedule like we talked about above will help you to identify your priorities, and in return, will help you to know what things aren’t so much a priority to you in this season of life. Saying no when you’re overbooked with other things will not only produce good mental health habits, but will also prep you for when you want to say yes to something really amazing. Saying no is a way of setting boundaries for your life so you can live a wholesome lifestyle.
Categorize the things that are most important to you — and don’t compromise time with the things you value.
Your family, your friends and your bed… these are all things that deserve your attention. If you find that your schedule causes you to see less of your friends or causes you to lose too much sleep, restructure it in a way that you can leverage your time to fully indulge with those things — because they are just as important! Nothing in our lives is worth losing a relationship over.
I remember there was a time in my life when I had three jobs: waitressing in the evenings, working as an office administrative assistant during the day, and working retail on the weekends. I had a great couple of months until I ran myself dry of all the energy I had. For the sake of paying bills and staying busy, I neglected time with friends and family when, finally, I realized it was more important for me to spend time with them than to become a first-class workaholic.
When we realize what really matters in life, we spend less time on the things that don’t matter. In return, we’re able to enjoy our life in its fullness. What components in your life are non-negotiables; the things you will not compromise? Whatever comes to mind when we ask this question is what you value.
Increment your time and set aside certain amounts of time that are dedicated to complete certain tasks.
Preparation is key when it comes to mastering time management. If procrastination is a struggle, then organize your time in intervals, where you’re able to tackle projects or to-do lists in order according to what’s the most urgent. List out your tasks according to their due dates, and record those due dates on your cell phone’s calendar to make sure you have that extra reminder!
Some working environments bring out better parts of us than others. Whether it’s your home office or a local coffee shop, create boundaries to stay focused during those incremented time frames. When we quench every minute in the allotted time we’ve set aside to complete a task, we’re able to hustle hard and get things accomplished so we can celebrate! Always treat yourself after completing something. It helps to motivate us to accomplish so much more in the long run.
Set a plan of action ahead of time.
Again, your mental health is not worth overwhelming yourself with stress, so stick to a plan that will help you get the work done! Maintain the balance between planning your day and leaving time open for a few kisses of spontaneity. It’s totally okay to let yourself have free time where you can hop in a cab to explore a new city if you wanted to, or to grab lunch with an old friend you just ran into at a local coffee shop.
The margin you create in your schedule will allow you to experience more of those opportunities while still staying on top of your to-do lists. When we plan ahead of time to meet deadlines, we avoid some procrastination and increase our productivity, which in return, helps us to follow through when our boss or our clients are depending on us. The more you plan and leave room for balance, the more likely you are to find the sweet spot — where busyness doesn’t overrule your mental health and your life.
Stressing ourselves out can rob us of living a full life. Don’t let the hectic days bring you down — instead, stay proactive rather than reactive. Grab yo’ planner, get your priorities in check, and strategize a game plan. You can do this, girl!