At some point in time, pretty much everyone has felt more rushed and stressed than they would like.
Most of us live busy lives.
The busier you are, the more important it is to prioritize and simplify!
This is especially true if you reach the end of a hectic day and feel as if you have accomplished little.
Thankfully, implementing a few strategies can make a world of difference.
Put these seven strategies into action and simplify your day:
1) Prioritize your day.
Rather than attempting to get everything done, try focusing on just a few items.
Get in the habit of making a list of everything you’d like to get done. Then, prioritize the list and focus on the top three to five items.
It can be helpful to do this in the evening so you can start the next day without wasting time trying to decide where to start.
Limiting the number of things you’re going to tackle is a highly effective way to approach your day. The most important tasks are sure to get done, and no time is wasted on the superfluous. If time allows, you can start to scratch off the smaller tasks once the big three to five are finished.
2) Turn off the TV & the social media.
Distractions are a huge challenge for most people. It’s easy to become distracted by the television, radio, email, social media, and the internet, in general.
Avoid even starting to get involved in these distractions while you’re conquering your big three to five items of the day.
Commit to "work windows" -- periods of time where you are only focused on working -- and don't check your phone or other devices during this time.
3) Take breaks.
While it may seem counterintuitive at first, breaks are essential for keeping your mind alert and focused.
When you're less stressed, you can accomplish your top three to five in less time with more ease and better results.
For many people, the most effective work schedule is approximately 60-90 minutes of work followed by a 20-30 minute break. For others, 45-60 minutes of work followed by a 10-15 minute break provides the reset needed to best accomplish one's goals.
Play around with intervals of work to break times to see what works best for you.
Try to get outside, if you can, for some fresh air. At minimum, stand up and stretch.
By taking a break, you’ll clear your mind while staying fresher and feeling less frazzled. When you return to your task, you will be a lot more focused and ready to seize the moment.
4) Create routines whenever possible.
Rather than waiting until the kitchen floor is dirty, why not mop it every Wednesday night? If you wait until a chore desperately needs to be done, it’s likely to require a lot more time and energy. It’s also likely that several things will need to be done at once.
Set a schedule for household chores, paying bills, yard work, grocery shopping, food prep, etc.
Try to pick a specific time that you can show up for consistently (i.e., I will workout at 9:00am M/W/F).
Or, link a new habit to an old habit to create a new routine (i.e., I will take my Vitamin D supplement each morning after I brush my teeth; After I start the coffee pot, I will meditate for five minutes).
5) Clean up after yourself.
It might seem easier to just leave your mess and deal with it at another time. But one mess tends to lead to another and before you know it, everything needs attention just to be tolerable.
Take the extra few minutes to put everything away when you’re done with a task.
The lack of clutter helps calm your mind and simplifies your day.
6) Establish a regular sleep schedule.
It’s easier to plan your day and get the necessary things done if you’re well rested.
If you sleep too little one night and then need an unplanned nap or are having a difficult time functioning, your day just became more complicated.
Your day-to-day capabilities will be much more consistent if your sleep is consistent.
7) Evaluate to improve.
At the end of each day, take two minutes to evaluate how the day unfolded. Was it a good day? Did you feel rushed or overwhelmed?
Get in the habit of asking yourself a simple question: "How could I improve and simplify my day?"
Then listen to the answers you receive. Make a plan to implement some of those ideas into the next day. Continue to adjust.
Simplifying your day is one of the best ways to get more done while feeling less burdened.
No matter how much you have to do, odds are that only a couple of those items are truly critical.
Focus on the most important tasks and limit your distractions.
A simpler day is in your future.