by Crystal R. Mendoza Paulin
Tired of never having time for yourself? Sick of always falling behind on things? Trust me, procrastination was my enemy for years until I learned to restructure my life. When you've got tons of things going on, it's easy to dismiss everything as impossible. You just don't have the time. But as you become more efficient at running your life you also gain more time to do more fun, exciting things! Here's a quick way to reorganize your life so you get more done now.
1. Get yourself a planner
While having a personal assistant would be wonderful, most of us rely on ourselves to keep track of our to-do list. A good planner, physical or digital, is key to keeping track of everything you need to do. At ThermApparel, we use the digital planner TeamUp to keep up with each other. (I use a physical planner to keep track of myself.)
2. Prioritize your life
Listen, while we'd all love to get everything done now, there are always things that can wait a few days, weeks, or months. For example, going out to buy groceries is important, but you may not have the resources to buy more groceries until your next paycheck. In that case, time for grocery shopping should be delayed and added into your next payday's schedule. Walking your dog or feeding your kids, however, are not events that can be delayed and should always be at the top of your priorities.
3. Take a top down approach to your life
With these priorities in mind, it's time to start planning out your life. This is usually the point where most of us say, "Well all of this needs to get done now!" and give up. But don't walk away just yet! Hold on to those prioritized events and ask yourself:
1. What is happening this month?
Are there any big events coming up? Someone's birthday? A wedding? Block out time for that event on your calendar as early as you can so you don't accidentally double book yourself.
2. What do I need to get done this week?
Do you have any chores or assignments you need to complete? Milestones to reach? People you need to see or places you need to go? Assign these events to yourself throughout the week. Be careful not to overload yourself with assigned tasks on any one day, spread them out throughout the week!
3. What do I need to do today?
Finally, don't forget to assign yourself time to eat, sleep, and shower among other essential functions that need to happen on a daily basis. And don't forget the mentally essential functions that keep you sane: prayer, meditation, yoga--- whatever your happy place is make sure you have time to go to it every single day.
4. Reward yourself throughout your day
As you get things done on your task list, reward yourself with the greatest gift of all--- satisfaction. Go on and gloat to yourself. Bask in the rush of endorphins! Charge yourself up with success so you're motivated to go out and achieve more success. And if you don't get everything you planned done, go easy on yourself. Life is a marathon, my friend.
5. Turn your life into a routine
They may sound boring but routines are beautiful things. I practically swear by them. Last year, and this is true, it typically took me about 45 minutes to 1 hour before I was ready to go out. Now, after committing nearly three months to a standard routine, I'm usually out of the door 20-30 minutes after I first wake up. By saving time on the important, but repetitive, aspects of life, I now have more time for leisure at the end of my day. It's important to feel comfortable and confident as you move between your days and routines are a big help in that department.
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This article is part of the Self Improvement series. For more on how to improve your mental and physical health, click here.