When I observe the actions of the people around me, one thought doesn't fail to cross my mind - why are we in such a rush to get through our day? And why are we in such a rush to live?
Why do we jam-pack our day with back-to-back errands, if it adds stress to our lives and doesn't make us happy inside? Why are some of us programmed to sporadically squeeze in as many tasks in our day as humanly possible - to be productive? Can you really call yourself productive when your stress levels go off the charts?
In my opinion, there's a fine line between maximizing productivity and creating an unorganized chaos for yourself. And I'm here to differentiate the two.
Maybe I just enjoy chillin' like a villian too much and appreciate living in the moment, but one pet peeve that really grinds my gears (Peter Griffin reference anyone? LOL) is when others enforce their unhealthy fast-paced living habits on me. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for productivity, but only when one is capable of crossing off their to-do's off in real time and not under an unreasonably timed window.
What doesn't make sense to me is when people massively cram back-to-back errands in an inconvenient manner IF they have additional time to space these errands out throughout their day. And worse - if they complain or stress over the fact that they don't have enough time to complete their daily tasks when they obviously do?
If you find extra time in your day-to-day schedule, space out your errands accordingly so that you avoid burning yourself out and causing extra stress on your mind and body.
Hypothetically, let's say I have an entire Saturday free to take care of my work and complete my errands. I've written one hypothetical individual's Saturday schedule in two types of formats - an inconvenient and stressful schedule versus a convenient and laidback schedule. At the end of the day, this individual gets the same tasks done, but just prioritizes his/her time better and feels less stressed. Let's compare the two and analyze why the convenient schedule is a healthier day-to-day lifestyle.
*Note: 30 minute increments refer to driving or transitioning to the next task*
HYPOTHETICAL SATURDAY: (INCONVENIENT & STRESSFUL SCHEDULE)
Sleep 11:00PM - 8:00AM
Breakfast 8:30 - 9:00AM
Gym 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Shower 11:30AM - 12:00PM
Lunch 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Grocery Shopping 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Work/Errands 2:30PM - 6:30PM
Dinner 7:00PM - 7:30PM
LEISURE TIME (TV, magazine read, etc.): 7:30PM - 10:30PM
RESULT OF AN INCONVENIENT SCHEDULE:
- 30 minute meal times (no time to actually enjoy your food)
- Always rushing to the next location/task (no breathing time)
- Stressed out for a majority day trying to meet the next task on time
- Burnt out from not taking any breaks or pauses throughout the day
HYPOTHETICAL SATURDAY: (CONVENIENT)
Sleep 11:00PM - 8:00AM
Breakfast 8:30AM - 9:30AM
Gym 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Shower: 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Lunch 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Grocery Shopping 2:00PM - 3:30PM
Work/Errands 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Dinner 6:30PM - 7:30PM
Work/Errands Pt. 2 7:30PM - 9:30 PM
LEISURE TIME (TV, magazine read, etc.) 9:30 PM - 10:30 PM
RESULT OF A CONVENIENT SCHEDULE:
- 1 hour meal times (Can actually live in the moment & enjoy the flavors of his/her meal)
- No panic attacks or unnecessary stress from rushing to the next task/location
- Added dinner as a break between work/errands so he/she avoids burning out throughout the day
- Less leisure time available
- Overall, he/she will encounter less stress and feel much happier when a productive day runs smoothly
At the end of the day, I feel happiest when I cross off my daily to-do list at my own pace. I personally don't mind if I take longer to do each task, just as long as my deadlines are met and the quality of my work is not compromised. Feeling stressed over a routine schedule that you've set up for yourself or rushing through each task does not sound like a productive lifestyle in my opinion. And remember, you have the power to CHANGE how you live your life, so why not do shape your day around a schedule that works best for you? By not rushing through tasks or speeding to the next location, I personally feel in more control of my day, which leads to an improved mood and work ethic. I personally find that constant movement and work makes life feel less enjoyable. Besides, it's good to have a balance between busy and relaxation.
Obviously, this tip doesn't apply to every single individual, as some people juggle multiple jobs or are parents. However, I've included this list for the average person BECAUSE there are so many of us out there who rush through our daily lives, thinking we don't have enough time when in reality, it's all about proper time management and how we effectively utilize every minute of our day.
Add breaks in between LONG tasks or after completing multiple tasks.
Breaks act as breathing time so that I avoid burnout and that I can complete my tasks as efficiently and stress-free as possible. Also, breaks do not count as checking your phone for Instagram notifications. A break includes taking a quick nap, meditation, going on a short neighborhood walk, or anything that puts your mind at ease. Also, I've learned that a change in scenery really helps those creative juices move - hence why I always go to coffee shops to work, heh.
Use a planner (whether on your mobile device or a physical notebook) to jot down your daily list of to-do's and errands. An organized schedule leads to focused goals and a healthy mindset.
Planners have been my lifesaver since I started my blogging career three years ago. By juggling an endless amount of deadlines (guys, blogging is like constantly turning in schoolwork, but in overdrive mode. Not kidding.) and scheduling photoshoots 1-3 times per week, there's no way this goldfish memory of mine can remember every project that's due and every location and time that I have to meet somebody in my industry.
If you want to save a bit of money, I would recommend using your free "Calendar" and "Notes" mobile apps. However, if you're more of an old school planner typa gal like me, I would recommend investing in a planner that gets the job done. For those of you know already know me well, Passion Planner is my absolute favorite planner that I've been using for years because of its goal-chasing mission! Please check out their website here and see their planners for yourself - Passion Planner has literally changed my life for the better.
Stay tuned for a list of my favorite planners - coming to a blog post on Missmisschelle later this week ;)
I hope that these three tips at least helped one of you guys out, whether it means reassessing your current schedule or learning how to apply better time management to your day! To be honest, I've struggled with poor time management in the beginning when I was getting situated with the blogging lifestyle, but this career has definitely shown me how to balance my work and social life for the better. With that, I am forever appreciative that I can do what I love for a living all the while inspiring you guys to chase your dreams! Also, I want to thank one of my best friends, Wendy, for helping me get my life back on track with her coaching sessions - please read about my coaching experience here and how integrating a weekly coaching call into my schedule has improved my financial, social, fitness, and work life for the better.
Please let me know in the comments section below which tip resonated with you most, or if there's a tip you'd like to add to my list :) Until then, I'll talk to y'all soon!