Is everything getting a little bit blurry when looking at your daily calendar? And did you lose control of your to-do list? There are some good tips and tricks that might help you get back the control. And that will stop your to-do list struggles. Definitely, something worthy, because to-do list struggles can cause a lot of stress. Which can even result in bad health conditions.
I am not a planning expert and it is not my job. But I discovered a way that works really well for me. Therefore, in this article, I will share with you my path of growth towards better planning and finishing my to-do lists (almost) every day!
.Know your calendar.
Personally, I know my calendar better when it is in a paper format. I have a super minimalistic booklet, having every day in a column and leaving some space for some extra notes at the bottom. This is exactly how I want my planner to be. Especially, because not every week needs the same format or sectioning of days.
As I mentioned: know your calendar. But why is this important? When you know what you have planned during the week, you also know how much time you have left each day. This time knowledge is super important when planning new activities and to-dos. And also plan blocks of sport and social activities. This way you will not forget anything, followed by you being able to plan better.
When starting each day, this is one of the most difficult (as well as important) things to have. Motivation can help you in starting your day as productive as possible. And sometimes the motivation is hard to find, but getting into a flow can still happen. This needs a little push from yourself. And I know, it is not great to hear: but you need to work a bit for it.
Changing your state of mind will help you getting into a flow and creating/finding motivation. Something that also helps with that: doing something that you like doing. One of the easiest examples I have encountered at high school was for a presentation. We had to present about Scotland and the medieval times. Not particularly something I liked. What did I do? Presenting all the wonderful castles they have there. That gave me the motivation to research information, as well as enabling me to present as naturally as possible.
When planning and making a to-do list: mark it! Choose an app that lets you mark your done tasks. Wunderlist is an example that even has an amazing sound effect! Making you feel better about your finished tasks.
If you are not planning digitally, but physically as I do. Then having a colored marker is the way to go. It helps in getting a better overview of what you have to do. But more importantly, of what you already have done! This will encourage you to go on and work efficiently.
Finding it hard to know how much time a task needs? Over time you will learn this yourself. But a quick tool that can support you is your timer. Timing the tasks sounds a bit weird. Especially when you have a lot of changing tasks. Even though some tasks might be very different, in the core they are similar. These kinds of tasks usually take the same amount of time, which is useful information when making planning.
Hopefully, this article was helpful for you! For me, getting control over my to-do lists and calendar helped super well with creating a better work-life balance. Something that I find really important because life is not all about working/studying.
What are your tips to get a better work-life balance?