We’re all busy, but some handle it better than others. There’s also a big difference between having a packed schedule and feeling completely overwhelmed day in and day out. If you feel like you don’t have any free time in your day don’t get frustrated.
The best way to remedy this is to assess your current calendar and routine to find ways where you can save time and still be efficient. Check out these 7 ways to free up a busy schedule to help you get started.
Setting goals is so important no matter what stage of life you’re in because it helps you stay focused. If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Take some time to really meditate on your values and ambitions so you can narrow down goals.
Start with a 5-year goal plan then break that down to 3 years and a 12-month plan so you know exactly what to focus on. Sometimes we get so busy being busy that we forget we actually aren’t working toward any goals.
Track a Typical Day
Another easy way to free up a busy schedule is to start tracking your regular activities throughout the day. Just like someone’s who’s trying to clean up their eating habits would keep a food diary, track your activities in order to clean up your schedule so you can stop being so busy.
Be completely honest with yourself and don’t make any judgments until you’ve tracked the entire day or week. Once you have everything written out, you can start to pinpoint where you may not be so productive and can free up time.
Realize that no one is productive 24/7, but you can try to replace some bad habits and fill in your schedule with more meaningful tasks so you can check off your to-do list more often.
Plan the Night Before
The key to having a successful day is planning out the night before. My evening routine is probably more important than my morning routine. Sometimes my mornings seem chaotic and that’s because I don’t plan well the night before.
Take time in the evenings to map out the following day, resolve any messages in your email inbox for the day, plan out your meals along with what you’ll wear, help the kids pack their bags for school, and so on.
I call it ‘power hour’ where I basically do all these things and organize my home in just a short amount of time. This can help anyone free up a busy schedule because you’ll have fewer things to do in the morning.
Say No to Free Up a Busy Schedule
It can be hard to say no to people in the beginning but realize that every time you say no to someone else, you’re saying yes to yourself. Say no to commitments that don’t align with your goals.
Be honest when you don’t have time to jump on a call with someone or have an unnecessary meeting. The more you say no, the more you’ll get crystal clear on what your priorities are. That way, you can focus all your attention on what gets you results.
Time blocking allows you to shift your focus from a running busy to-do list for the day, to actually scheduling your day based on the time you have alotted. As the popular saying goes, work expands to fill the time allotted. This means a 1-hour task can take 3 hours if you allow it.
If you give yourself a 90-minute time block to work with, you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done. Time blocking your schedule can be life-changing if you are super busy all the time. Start being honest about how much time you have for certain tasks and set strict deadlines with your time blocks you can get a lot accomplished.
There’s only so much you can do on your own. Eventually, you’ll have to delegate if you want to free up a busy schedule. You can start small by outsourcing a few tasks or hire a full-on assistant. It just depends on the needs of your business and the daily schedule you desire.
Consider outsourcing tedious tasks that you’d rather not do, along with administrative tasks. You can hire someone to check and respond to your emails, schedule meetings, send invoices, perform research, etc.
Schedule in Downtime
Downtime is an important part of everyone’s day. Whether you’re taking a nap, reading a book, catching up with your spouse or doing any other leisure task, you need that time to relax and recover your mind and energy.
For busy people who never seem to stop, scheduling in downtime is crucial. If you put it on the calendar, you’ll be more likely to respect the commitment and actually take a break. Plus, you can assess your calendar and choose when to have downtime so you won’t feel guilty for taking the time off.
Being busy shouldn’t be a badge of honor. You can still be successful and efficient without having a jam-packed schedule. Start to turn things around by tracking what you do throughout the day. Find areas that you can eliminate, consolidate or outsource. Also, don’t be shy about scheduling in downtime.