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It happens with us all the time: Got a new job – you don’t know what your day looks like for a month or two, Changed your place – the commute to college is a mess, so is your day. Want to study while working – can’t find the time!
Feeling like you cannot make time for anything can feel disheartening. But in reality, you are simply not able to manage your time well. You don’t have to make time for anything, you just have to find it. Planning and managing your time well works wonders for your day, work, creativity, mood, and, as all that implies, your health.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
This may seem like counterintuitive advice, but it’s exactly what you should start your planning with. Do what’s absolutely necessary and leave the things that don’t add any real value. If watching 15 minutes of news feels useless because you already read the newspaper, pick the one that you enjoy more out of the two.
Prioritizing your tasks through the day helps you recognize the redundant ones and know what holds more importance over others. It instantly puts your day in focus. Though, a fair compromise can be replacing or shortening otherwise longer tasks that cannot be done away with.
Plan, but Loosely
Some might advise that you plan the entire next week, and some say to make rigid plans for the day. How much and how firmly you plan your days is entirely up to you. Knowing when the next meeting with a top client will happen in the next week so you work your schedule around it is enough planning for the week.
As for the next day, planning the night before is ideal as it keeps you on your toes right from the moment you wake up next. It also helps ease out any anxiety. It’s important to complete the most important tasks for the day the first thing in the morning. Moreover, all the tasks should be allowed a comfortable time to complete. Reward yourself every now and then for finishing up on time. Speaking of rewards…
Plan Your Leisure, Too
Your leisure time deserves just as much a place in your schedule as your other important tasks. It works the same way as cheat days in a diet. Knowing that you have a day at regular intervals where you can gorge on your favorite foods helps you stay focused on your diet. Similarly, knowing you can read a book during lunch time will subside urges for trivial breaks during the day.
Leisure and working up to that part of your brain also leads to better creativity, though you can certainly limit or work around the time you do devote to it. Whatever you decide, remember that it isn’t the final plan. You can always make changes or shift your schedule around as you see fit.
Make the Most of the Pockets of Time
This ad regarding World Heart Day speaks brilliantly of the power of snatching moments from the day! It talks about how doing little things during the day greatly contribute to your health. The idea is to turn the time you spend doing nothing into something productive. Convert your waiting time by completing tasks during it.
Answer your emails while traveling to work on the bus or train. Read a book while waiting at the airport terminal. Take your walk for the day while taking work calls. These little things are what add up to make your day better, more memorable, and more productive than it could have been before.