Is it just me?
Or do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and getting nothing done most days? I am so busy that there are days that I spend 12-14 hours on the computer – reading emails and responding, creating pitches, researching articles, writing posts, taking photos, etc. It feels like it never ends. Then one day I realized that as I’m reading emails, I start looking at the advertisements (oooh, those shoes are cute) or entering sweepstakes (a favorite hobby of mine). Some days I only get 2 sentences written because….SQUIRREL. Yet, overall, I feel rushed and stressed and that includes the WEEKENDS.
Most of us have busy lives. The busier you are, the more important it is to prioritize and simplify! This is especially true if you reach the end of a hectic day and feel as if you accomplished little.
I decided that I’d try a few strategies to make my day simpler:
- Prioritize your day. Rather than attempting to get everything done, try focusing on just a few items. You’ll feel like you’re really accomplishing something.
- Get in the habit of making a list of everything you’d like to get done. Then prioritize the list and focus on you top 3 items. It can be helpful to do this in the evening. That way you can start the next day without wasting time trying to decide where to start.
- Limiting the number of things you’re going to tackle is a highly effective way to approach your day. The most important tasks are sure to get done, and no time is wasted on the superfluous.
- Turn off the TV. Distractions are the second challenge for most people. It’s easy to become distracted by the television, radio, email, social media, and the internet in general. Avoid even starting to get involved in these distractions while you’re working.
- Take breaks as needed. While this doesn’t necessarily make your day simpler, it will feel like it is. For most people, the most effective work schedule is working for approximately 2 hours followed by a 20-30 minute break. Studies show that you’ll get more done.
- You’ll also stay fresher and feel less frazzled.
- Create routines whenever possible. Rather than waiting until the kitchen floor is dirty, why not mop it every Wednesday night? If you wait until a chore desperately needs to be done, it’s likely to require a lot more time and energy. It’s also likely that several things will need to be done at once.
- Set a schedule for household chores, paying bills, and yard work.
- Intend to simplify your day. At the end of each day, evaluate how the day went for you. Was it a good day? Did you feel rushed or overwhelmed?
- Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question: “How could I improve and simplify my day?” Then listen to the answers you receive. Make a plan to implement some of those ideas into your day. Write it down so you can go through and make the changes each morning.
- Charge your electronic devices each night. It’s great when you can accomplish something while asleep. Plug in your electronic devices each night so they can get the same recharge that you’re enjoying. Few things complicate a day more than a cell phone or laptop battery dying at the wrong time.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule. It’s easier to plan your day and get the necessary things done if you’re well-rested. If you sleep too little one night and then need an unplanned nap to function, your day just became more complicated. This is probably #1 on my list as have a difficult time on the days after I stay up too late.
- Your day-to-day capabilities will be much more consistent if your sleep is consistent.
- Clean up after yourself. It might seem easier to just leave your mess and deal with it at another time. But one mess tends to lead to another and before you know it, everything needs attention just to be tolerable. I find a mess to be overwhelming. Take the extra few minutes to put everything away when you’re done with a task.
Simplifying your day is one of the best ways to get more done while feeling less burdened. No matter how much you have to do, odds are that only a couple of those items are truly critical. Focus on the most important tasks and limit your distractions. A simpler day is in your future.