Feeling stressed at the beginning of a busy day is more common than you think. Often times I wake up, hit the gym and find myself creating a massive to-do list on my short, 4 minute drive back home. I walk in the door and begin my mom duties, only to find that I forgot about something important, like my 7am grocery pick up. The day spirals out of control from there. Sound familiar?
This problem was far too frequent and I needed to create some sort of structure to be able to handle whatever the day threw my way. Below, is what I created to help me get through a busy and stressful day. Here's a simple guide to get you started on the path to success, whatever that goal may be for you.
1- Make a List
Take some time early in the morning or even the night before, to sit down and think of everything you need to accomplish during the day. Laundry, groceries, nap times, work schedules, appointments, literally everything you can think of. Make a list of all the things you need and have to do during the course of your day.
2- Divide the List (Part 1)
What are the most important things you need to do? Do you need to focus on playing with your kids instead of playing on your phone? Is that big presentation due today? Do you need to meet your girlfriends for lunch? Go through the list you created and decide what things absolutely cannot wait or be put off-whatever your priorities may be.
3- Divide the List (Part 2)
What are things that need to be done but just aren't quite as important as the items on the list you just made?
Go through your two lists and decide what you're going to spend more time and energy on. You're going to want to cross things off your list of most important things first before you do the smaller, but still make sure you have room to accomplish the smaller tasks. They matter, too!
Make your intentions for the day to be able to completely and successfully get the tasks you deemed most important finished first. Maybe you won't accomplish everything on both lists in one day, that's OK. The point of this is to be able to practice and eventually master prioritizing. That will take time.
6- Fill Free Time
There are other important things that you'll fill the time cracks with, such as eating, going to the bathroom, reading a book, taking a walk, talking with a friend. Whatever you choose to do, do these things between doing your most important tasks. It'll break up the work and give you a chance to refresh every now and then. Just DON'T allow yourself too much time filling your free time to get distracted from what you prioritized as most important for the day.
At the end of the day, take a minute to reflect. What did you accomplish today? How did that make you feel? Do you feel like your cup was filled? Did you help others fill their cups? Are you satisfied with the amount of effort you gave each task? Did you do your best? Can you do better tomorrow? Maybe you only got one important thing crossed off the list, but you felt happier than you've ever felt because you took time to focus on what is important.
Take the time to write these questions and the answers down in a journal. This allows you to recognize and feel the satisfaction you put into the day. It also allows you, over time, to track and evaluate what methods of working are most beneficial for you. You'll be able to figure out what motivates you and what makes you happy.
I hope this helps!
Love you all!