One of the best things I did for my schedule was delete my Google calendar. I had it color coded, organized by tasks and activities, could share it with classmates and family. And I was addicted to it. I lived by what that calendar did and filled every inch of space I had with something that needed to get done. After switching to a paper planner (this one is my absolute favorite <– affiliate link), I still color coded everything, but I craved the white space that came from NOT filling in every open space. White space left room for last-minute projects, lunch with friends, a 10 minute mental break. And it forced me to single task. Online calendars let you schedule multiple items at one time. Paper gives you ONE line. Life-changing.
Ready to simplify your schedule? Start with these three tips:
- Stop multi-tasking. We live in a culture that promotes and celebrates doing as much as we can in as little time as we can. But how much are we focusing on the task at hand or completing it well? Try doing just one thing at a time and focusing on that one task until completion (or if it’s part of a longer project, until a break is needed). I promise you will not only get just as much, if not more, done, but you will also have done it better. Read more.
- Block schedule tasks. In addition to single tasking, block scheduling tasks helps ensure that your larger and most important tasks get completed. It also makes room for those little tasks that you keep putting off. Prioritize what needs to get done, write down a schedule, and follow this effective 7 minute strategy for all those small items. Read more.
- Plan breaks. It is easy to get in a zone and go go go when it comes to some projects. Set a timer, get up and stretch every hour. Take a walk around the block during lunch. Get away from the computer and phone screens for a few minutes in the middle of the day. Exercise, a change of scenery, and a little rest can go a long way to preventing the afternoon slump and keeping your day productive. Read more.
How do you simplify your daily schedule? Any tried and true tips or tricks?
Catch up on previous Simplify 2016 posts: