Living a more simple life means you need to tackle the busyness of your day. I know it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do everything. But it’s just not possible. If you have a jammed packed schedule every day, your life will be stressful. But cutting back and determining what you should spend your time on can be hard. That’s why I’ve put together these quick tips for time management.
As you are trying to tame your schedule, it can be hard. Give yourself grace as you determine what needs to stay in your schedule and what needs to go will take time. I know I mentioned how when I was decluttering, it took me time to adjust my mindset. The same goes true for adjusting your schedule.
Beware of Being Busy
There are all things we need to do each day to keep up our homes and keep our families happy. But I think many people are really obsessed with being busy. They go from one activity to the other constantly going until it’s time for bed and then it all start over the next day. Cutting back and cutting out activities is a good way to allow for fringe or buffer time in your day.
Start by looking over the commitments you currently have. Is there something you can let go of and it won’t cause a problem for others? If there is an activity you can gracefully bow out of, take the exit. But be careful not to overburden others with dropping the task. See if there is someone else who might be able to step in instead.
Is there a commitment that is coming to an end soon? If you have a commitment that will be ending soon, once it’s done, don’t take on something new. Leave that time in your week to have as a buffer.
Once you have commitments scaled back, be careful about taking more on. You want to guard your time so you will have time for the activities and people that are most important to you. I find that when I’m asked to help out with a task and let them know I just don’t have the time to take it on right now, most people will understand.
Say No Often, Say Yes Less Often
It’s an easy two letter word, no. But so often it is one of the hardest words to say. Saying no to someone might make you feel a sense that you are letting them down. While they might be disappointed, I’ve found most people will understand.
The thing is we only have a set amounts of hours in our day. We need to decide how we want to spend those hours. They can be spent doing things that are really important and benefiting those you love. Or spend them doing good things but maybe not the best things. The great thing is we get to decide what we say yes to and what we say no to.
I know at times it hard for me to say no. I’m usually eager to help others, but I’ve learned I need to limit saying yes. I make a habit of saying yes only on occasion and saying no much more often. It’s the season of life I’m in right now. I’ve got kids to school, a family to take care of and a blog to run. Those three things can take a lot of time, but they are also very important to me. So when I think about my priorities it’s easier to say no to things that just don’t fit my life right now.
Make a List
Doing a brain dump also known as making a list can be so helpful. Making a list helps to keep me focused on what needs to be done but they also have a great side effect too. They let my brain relax. That’s right when my list is on paper and has been prioritized I not longer have to hold all that information in my brain. I can relax and know it’s written down and just go from task to task as I have time. If you feel you have too much to do and are almost paralyzed as to where to start, do a brain dump and make a list. See if it helps you focus more.
Know What’s Good Enough
Let go of being perfect. There are tasks I do and have time to do, but if I take the attitude of it has to be perfect, it will never be done. There will always be something that could be better. Knowing what good enough is for each task will help you let go of being perfect. It will also help you to be content and happy with what you can get done and how well you can do it. Letting go of being perfect can be the difference between being joyful you were able to accomplish something or being robbed of that joy because you have unrealistic expectations. You are in control decide what is good enough for you. Take the power and be joyful in what you can get accomplished.
Let Go of Control
This is the hardest tip for me. I like to have a schedule and be able to follow it each day. Getting things done and feeling really happy with all that has bee accomplished. But you know as well as I do that some days just don’t go as planned. When things don’t go as planned, I tend to push to fit it all in. When I really should just let a few things go and go with the flow of the day.
When a day just isn’t going as planned, let things that aren’t that important to get done fall by the wayside and pick them up on another day. Also having buffer time in your schedule really helps when a day isn’t going too well. If you have a little down time here and there in the schedule, it can make a bad day, just a little better.
On really bad days, I try to just let my schedule go, do what I can and be happy with what I was able to accomplish on a really rotten day. It makes a world of difference when you can let go of what you can’t control.
Action to Take to Simply Your Day
If you need help getting started on making a schedule for your days, you might find this post helpful. It talks about my usual schedule and has a time block planner you can download too. I find planning in blocks of time instead of hour by hour works best for our family.
If making a schedule seem like too much, just start with a simple to-do list for each day. Make a short list of three to five items you want to get done and then if you have time for more you can add to the list. You can download a simple to do list printable I made with 4 lists per page here. I find lists can be fun because you can visibly see the progress you are making through the day. Which can be a real encouragement.
I would love to have you share how you keep your days going along smoothly. Scroll down to leave me a comment with your ideas for taming your day.
See all of the articles in the frugal simple living series by following this link.
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