Hectic schedules are a reality for most people. We wake up thinking about what we need to accomplish during the day, and lose sleep because our minds are busy planning tomorrow’s agenda. Between careers and taking care of the house, finances, family and extended family, it can all become overwhelming. If not well managed, your busy life can lead to stress, fatigue and burnout.
Yet some people always seem to be calm and in control, no matter how chaotic their schedules may be. Here are some of their secrets.
• They are realistic. Get to know how much you can accomplish in a day, and try not to overload yourself. By avoiding your tipping point, you won’t feel so stressed.
• They use a scheduling aid. Get into the habit of logging everything onto a master calendar or into a day timer. Take a look at the entire week or month at a time, not just a single day. You’ll soon become adept at balancing and spreading out the demands on your time so that no single day is over-scheduled.
• They prioritize. Focus on accomplishing those things that are most important, and then fill your time with those that are not as urgent. If must-do tasks drop into your schedule, look for things that can be rescheduled to a less-hectic day.
• They plan ahead. If you know you’ll be working late, prepare your evening meal in a slow cooker. Get your clothes (and the kids’ clothes) organized the night before so you won’t feel as rushed in the morning.
• They delegate. Take advantage of things such as carpools for the kids’ after-school activities. Teach older children how to prepare simple, healthful meals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t ask, friends and family may never know the best ways to pitch in.
• They know how to fuel their bodies. Good nutrition at every meal will help keep your energy levels high. Choose nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and proteins. Avoid highly processed, sugary foods.
People adept at juggling busy schedules also make time for themselves. They schedule time for rest, relaxation and fun almost every day. Even if you’re running from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning, take 15 minutes at the end of the day to meditate, stretch or do yoga. That will help to clear your mind and lead to more restful sleep.