Adult life is not without its headaches. Sometimes you may wonder how to manage a stressful schedule. Between having a job or maybe two, having pets or kids to take care of, paying the bills, a romantic relationship to sustain, and trying to squeeze in a social life, it pretty much seems impossible! Often times we find ourselves in an anxious, stress ball.
I personally have a part-time job that averages 25-32 hours a week, a side business that averages roughly the same amount of time, this blog to upkeep, taking care of a pup pup, a relationship, and trying to maintain a social life. Not to mention I have a lot of debt I need to pay off so that adds a bigger weight onto me than all of those things combined. And honestly, there is probably more I could add to that list, but those are the main things.
What I have found that works for me is quite simple that most everyone already knows they need to do it – get a planner. Oh but here’s the twist – USE IT!
Again those both seem so brainless that you are probably heading up towards the “Exit” button as you are reading this. But hold on just a second, because you haven’t even gotten to the main point I want to make.
Yes getting a planner and using it is what we have been told to do, day in and day out, that this is not new news. In fact, how is this supposed to fix your problems any differently?
Instead what I want you to do when you are writing in your planner is to write down absolutely everything – item by item. People say “don’t sweat the small stuff”, but a lot of times in our busy schedules, it’s those small things that we need to get done that we end up forgetting. Because the feeling of accomplishment is bigger when you can have small wins throughout an entire day as opposed to having a few bigger ones that may or may not be able to get done in one day.
For example, instead of writing “clean out car”, separate it into multiple jobs. So you would end up writing something like:
- clean out trunk
- clean out cup holders
- organize center counsel, etc
And for content creators like myself, instead of writing “post on social media” because let’s be real, that could be A LOT of things, instead write something like:
- post on Instagram
- post on Facebook
- pin 1 original style look on Pinterest
- repin 3 things on Pinterest
- do Insta stories about (insert topic/client here)
So here’s a look into a the kind of things I write in my planner.
As you can see, I always put my work schedule at the top of the day in orange because that is the most important and most time consuming. I also separate my social media postings in a few different categories that way I can remember them all (sometimes I forget how busy I am!). Most weeks I try to write something that will keep me on track to one of my goals. This week’s goal was to “Remember to live conservatively! You have bills to pay for and two mini vacays to pay for <3”. I feel more inclined to keep myself in check when I have this reminder. And sometimes I even write things in my days that are just normal functions of being a human, like “remember to wash your hair”, “drink water”, “eat dinner”, etc. Sometimes it’s so easy for me to get caught up in getting my chores and work done that I will go through a whole day and be like “Why am I hungry? Oh because I didn’t eat lunch. Why do I feel like meh? Oh because I only had coffee and didn’t actually drink any water all day.”
Our days are crazy, and a lot of times our attention gets diverted mid-chore. By splitting things up into multiple jobs, you can get something done as opposed to leaving major things on your list un-checked off! Not to mention, you can remember the small things in life that keep us healthy!
The other thing I do is that I add things onto my list in my planner even after I have already accomplished them. Did you already take your dog for a walk today? Write it in your planner and immediately check it or cross it off! Even though the activity is already done, you can have a sense of accomplishment about it and make your day feel like a success.
And it is very important to cross or check things off! Although I like the clean look of putting a colored check mark next to a completed chore, I cannot tell you the extreme satisfaction that is scribbling something out in full black ink. By doing so, you are giving your brain a visual sense of accomplishment by getting one more thing off of your crazy schedule. It’s like doing an insane mic drop in the face of a big chore that you just freaking crushed!
Once you start feeling like you’re checking more things off, your day will just become a catalyst of success. You’ll find yourself looking for minor things you can do just so you can keep the success train chugging right along! Starting with small accomplishments adds up quickly and by the end of the day you will look back at your planner and see all the things you have done!
However, it is important to note here that it is 100% okay to not get everything checked off on your list (as seen by my planner). Again, life happens and sometimes things come up randomly that need more attention or maybe one chore took a little longer than what you expected. Or maybe work was just more stressful one day than it was another and you just don’t have the energy to do what you planned to. Do what feels right and don’t push yourself. More so, it’s okay to not have anything planned in a day. It’s okay to just take a day or two to yourself, detox from some stress, and care for yourself by being lazy and catching up on some TV.
No one knows what struggle you are dealing with or the type of hectic life you are living! I promise you that by taking some time to give yourself some praise for your accomplishments (however small they may be!) will give your mind some ease and make you feel like through all the madness that there is still some progress being made to manage it.