Managing A Busy Life

I am an extremely busy person, and I'm sure many people out there can relate. Never feeling like there's enough time in the day to get everything done that I want to is a continual struggle. Balancing work, social life, exercising, chores, and still finding time to eat and shower can seem to be a huge challenge. 

In order to combat this hectic lifestyle I live running from one thing to the next, my best friend and life-saver is my planner and calendar on my phone. As meetings and events come up, I add them to my planner. I write my assigned homework for that day either on the side margin of my planner or on a post-it note in my planner. All my basketball practices, workouts, and conditioning sessions are in a specific calendar and messaging app called "Teamworks." The Teamworks app has been essential this year for me. If any team functions come up short notice, they're immediately added into my calendar and a reminder is sent. 

The biggest thing about my personal way of planning my day is that I do it through lists. Every single day, I write down a rough list in order of what I will, should, or could be doing. If I know I have a free hour from 11-12, I'll write a few options for myself: nap, homework, laundry. You can assume which option I end up choosing, but in theory, I give myself a few choices.

Although my organizational system is in a few different platforms, the biggest thing that helps me is physically writing down what I need to get done and seeing my day loosely blocked off with all my events. If I would not write things down, I would forget them. In college athletics, the price for "forgetting" a team meeting can result in punishment (conditioning) or termination of your scholarship. Because there is so much riding on managing my time effectively, I've learned to put a lot of time into planning my time out.

Here are a few tips to managing your busy life:

1. Wake up earlier.

If you struggle getting everything done, wake up an hour earlier. If you're tired later, then take a quick power nap (which is shown to actually improve the quality of your work). Waking up one hour earlier can be the difference in not having time to see your friends after work or having this extra time for socializing or relaxation-- which we all need to function in life.

2. Take a deep breath.

Some days, I get caught up in something I didn't plan and my day does not go according to my schedule whatsoever. And it's okay because that's life. If things are overwhelming cut back on something that isn't as important for that day. Do you really have to go grocery shopping tonight or can it wait just one more day? Step back and take a deep breath when you feel like you're stretched too far. People understand if being too busy is your excuse.

3. Check it off.

This is my favorite part of lists. Once you finish your job or activity, go to your planner and cross it off. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing that you've crossed off almost everything you needed to do at the end of the day. Seeing your items on your list and then physically crossing them off gives a feeling that you conquered the day; you got it all done, you are in control, be proud.