Sometimes we’re just caught up in our work, our day to day chores or schedule, and for some of us, trying to accomplish the goals that we’ve set, all at the same time. This could go on for days, weeks and even months. It just feels like there’s not enough time to do everything, isn’t it? And suddenly when you actually have some time, say an hour or so, you start wondering where to start, what do you do first and so on. By the time you figure out what you want to do, your time is up. Have you experienced this before? If yes, read on.
I’m not someone who can really work on a schedule. Every now and then, just like you, I have a free time showing up and I get caught not knowing exactly what to do. Sometimes it’s good to have this free time to chill and relax but on other days, you just can’t relax when there’s actually other things to do running at the back of your mind, can you?
So, here’s how I got it figured out:
1. Always have a To-Do list
Whether you prefer having it on paper or in Google Keep, always make sure that you have your list on hand where you can easily access it. That way, it’s easier for you to have a quick view of what you have to do and to cross off things you’ve done or add new To-Do’s. Don’t tell me that you always keep your To-Do list on your kitchen counter and you can’t recall what’s on that list when you have an extra 10 minutes during lunch break. You could have crossed out one or two small things in that 10 minutes.
A really important keyword here: Easily accessible
No doubt that it’s good to have your To-Do list easily accessible. Trust me, I thought that would suffice so that I could easily pull it out whenever I had the time to cross something off the list. But unfortunately, most of the time, when I feel like I want to cross something off the list, I end up not knowing what to start with. Everything seems to be good to cross off or as important. So, prioritize by setting what is urgent and important first. It’s also good to know what takes more time and what could just take a solid 5 minutes. That way, if u just have 5 minutes to spare, at least something’s being crossed off the list. That makes you happier, doesn’t it? (Yay! 1 down, 10 to go. It’s still something. A good reason to be happy. Embrace it!)
3. Always Plan First
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Whether or not you can or cannot follow a schedule, the important thing is to plan first. You can plan what to accomplish for the week by planning a week ahead or what to accomplish the next day by planning the night before. Of course, high performers usually plan way ahead so that they can see the bigger picture. But regardless, do whatever that is comfortable for you. The point is to plan what it is that you want to achieve. Whether or not you might have the time in a day, it’s a different story. At least when you know you have something to complete, you either find the time to do it or break down your action plan into smaller chunks that you can do as and when you have the time. So, you could have 10 things in your To-Do list but perhaps, you only want to focus on completing 4 or 5 things next week. This is something that you could plan ahead.
Otherwise, we all know what’s gonna happen. New things will always get added to the to-do list, and by the time you know it, there’s probably about 35 items pending! So, do your planning on what to focus on. You don’t have to spend too much time on this or to perfect it. Keep your plan flexible (but not too flexible, otherwise nothing gets done) in order to improvise and adapt to a situation whenever necessary.
In everything we do, there has to be some sort of discipline in order to achieve what we want. It could be your life goals or as simple as a day-to-day task. So, don’t get me wrong when I’m saying “as and when you have time” or “be flexible with your plan.” In fact, by just following these 3 simple steps, there’s some sort of discipline to it already. Have your To-Do List, Prioritize and Plan. As busy as you can get, you might continue adding things to your To-Do list, but as long as you’re crossing things off the list, know that you’re progressing.
Don’t forget to be grateful and joyful every time you cross something off your list.