Being busy 24/7 is overrated. It’s draining, stressful, and not the most effective way to be productive. You probably already know this, yet you still might find yourself saying yes to everything and creating a jam-packed schedule for yourself day in and day out.

Life can be unexpected no matter how much you plan for it so it’s important to have some free time in your daily schedule where you can take advantage of unexpected opportunities or simply relax and regroup.

Here are 5 tips to ensure you stop being too busy and overloading your schedule each day.

1. Set Designated Hours For Work and Other Responsibilities

Knowing exactly how much time you have to work, take care of your household, and run errands each day is crucial. You can’t plan for a 10-hour work day when you’re only able to work 6 hours on your business for the day.

When you’re self-employed, the hours you work can fluctuate a lot so you want to plan out your schedule and identify your workable hours at least the night before so you don’t go into the following day taking too much on.

2. Update Your Calendar Regularly

Updating your calendar is a great way to avoid having a jam-packed schedule because you can only work with the time you have available. I write everything down when it comes to my business and add important events and tasks to my calendar so I don’t forget or double book myself.

If you schedule meetings regularly, be sure to change your availability when you don’t want others to be able to disturb you. For example, while I don’t mind scheduling calls with clients, I can’t afford to be on the phone with them for hours on end because I need enough time to actually do my work.

When I want to block out more time to work, I simply make myself unavailable via my calendar so I don’t get too busy and become less productive.

3. Say No

Get more comfortable with saying no to certain things you don’t have the time, energy, or interest in doing. This will help free up your schedule so you can focus on what’s important.

It may be hard to get into the habit of saying no more when you’re a people pleaser but what I do is offer a quick recommendation to a person, product, or service that can help if I can’t. After all, people should understand that you’re one person and don’t have the bandwidth to handle everything.

4. Schedule In Time For Nothing

Yes, you read right. How often do you schedule in free and flexible time to do whatever you please, or nothing at all? Most of us are so concerned with filling every second of our day with something that we start to feel overwhelmed and overworked quickly.

When you commit to scheduling in free and flexible time, you can avoid burning out early in the day and better handle life’s unexpected occurrence when they happen. Plus, you’ll probably cancel fewer commitments as well since you won’t be biting off more than you can chew.

5. Outsource

Finally, stop trying to multi-task and take care of everything yourself. You may feel super busy because you take on too many small things and fail to complete them in one sitting.

Try to complete tasks from start to finish and whatever you can’t do that is still important, consider outsourcing it. You can hire a new team member or intern or even ask for some help around your home to lighten your load. Proper delegation is key to having a manageable schedule that doesn’t make you feel defeated at the end of the day.

Just because you’re busy all the time doesn’t mean you’ll accomplish more than the next person. Focus on doing these 5 things to prevent schedule overload and find a better balance.

Do you feel like you have a crazy daily schedule? What are you doing to relieve yourself?