I bet it feels like we have thousands of thoughts per day. Actually you do! I recently read that if you had to put a number on the amount of thoughts the average person has per day it is somewhere around 12,000. What? That is a lot to keep track of isn’t it! So do all those thoughts have to stay in your head? No they don’t. They’re taking up valuable brain space that you need to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. The easiest way to accomplish keeping yourself balanced is simply just a matter of preparation. Planning made simple.
Right now I bet you’re wondering how you can organizing those 12,000 thoughts in your head. It is actually a little simpler than you think!
Use a calendar
Let’s face it. Most of us have deadlines, appointments and scheduled events that we need to make sure we keep. Using a calendar to track all of these responsibilities will keep us on task and accountable.
Here are a few things to keep in minds are you are considering your planning needs.
Choose Paper and/or Digital:
Maybe you’re the type of person that has to write things down and have it front of you at all times. Maybe you’re very techy person everything needs to be on your computer. Which ever personality and style fits you best, choose the calendar that is going to make the most sense for you. Keep in mind that in today’s day and age using both sometimes isn’t a bad idea. I use my digital calendar to sync with my husband for appointments that we both need to see. But I use my planner to keep my daily tasks in front of me as a reminder of things that I need to get done. There is nothing wrong with using both. I caution you from using too many calendars because that can just be overwhelming and you what run greater risk of overlooking something important.
Keep it open
Put your calendar or planner in a conspicuous place. Keeping your calendar visible is going to be that constant reminder and will help you make sure you do not miss anything important. When something is staring you in the face is it generally hard to ignore.
Check in with yourself at the end of the day. Make any new notes that you may need to and move any appointment or tasks that you did not get to that day. Here us where you take a breath and give yourself a little credit. If you did not get to something that you wanted to do, no worries. There is a new day ahead just around the corner. Tackle it then.
One of my most favorite things to do before bed it to write down everything is my little head. So many thoughts. (We’ve been over this) Don’t keep them all wrapped up in your mind. Have a space where you write down everything you that come to mind. You can figure out where how that gets placed into your scheduled the next day. This routine is just to go to bed with a clear mind and be restful.
What can you automate?
What are those chores that you do on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis? Create a schedule for those tasks and follow it. I automate my cleaning routine. I used to spend an entire Saturday devoted to cleaning my house. (Sound familiar) Now I break it up. I know that on certain days I clean the kitchen. On other days I clean the bedrooms. This allows the big, often overwhelming, task to be broken into smaller more manageable undertakings. By establishing a routine of these certain task you accomplish a few things:
1. Tasks won’t start piling up. Did you ever notice that all of the sudden there is a huge project in front of you because you procrastinated? (Uh, yes all the time)
2. Less stress. By simply preparing this schedule you will be less overwhelmed since you only have small tasks to accomplish rather then big ones.
3. Less decisions. This is probably the most important. It is one less decision you have to make. One less thing you have to think of. Going back to my cleaning example I don’t have to think about when I am going to “fit in” vacuuming the house. I just know it happens on Monday.
4. If gives you free time! By having certain assignments finished on certain days you can plan for days to have personal time. Or time to spend with your family. Go have that movie night! You deserve it!
No matter what form of planning you use, just plan. It only takes a few moments to lay the groundwork to set a great strategy into place which will not only cure overwhelm and stress but allow you to enjoy the moments that you are in.