Recently it seems like every week is a tough week and every week is overbooked and leaves me feeling constantly overwhelmed. I like to be busy, but I do not like the feeling of not being able to keep up with my own schedule. This is another post aimed to help you just as much as me, but I hope it helps you to be a little more successful this semester!
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1. Take advantage of the white space, or potential white space.
This is another great tip I’ve learned from Emily Ley in her book A Simplified Life. When your schedule is overbooked and you can’t catch a minute to breathe, find that white space, those openings in time, and make use of them. On especially crazy-busy weeks (like the last two, or three, or errrr every week….) I take full advantage of openings in my must-do schedule to paint for my store (pretty much how the store was born), write blogs, or do other things that make me feel more relaxed and more like my not-totally-stressed-out self.
My fully-booked-schedule-self is not my best self.
She is constantly stressed, constantly moving to the next thing, and constantly worried about what’s coming next. She is not happy or grateful or satisfied, and she is not who I want to be.
I still need to get better at it, but recharging during those down times and leaving empty space in my calendar are absolute musts.
2. Acknowledge that “no” is a full sentence.
Erica from ComingUpRosesTheBlog.com miiiight just be my favorite blogger of all time, and she said this one best (read her post here). “No” is a sentence. A complete sentence. You are allowed to say no the things you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to make time for. There are certain things in my life that I simply cannot cross out of my schedule (like class) and everything else is pretty much up for discussion.
Do I really need to join that club, that begs an extra 5 hours a week? Do I really have time to take on that additional project that’s not absolutely-necessary?
Don’t feel bad about saying no when you can’t give your all to what you’ve already said yes to.
There are only so many hours in the day. And when your schedule is so overbooked that you can’t catch a break it’s time to prioritize, and learn to say ‘no’ to the things you truly don’t need eating up your time. Making cuts to your schedule and saying ‘no’ isn’t easy. But the extra white space in your planner and room to breathe will be totally worth it.
3. Set your priorities and be confident in them.
Your planner is your planner. You are the planner. You!
You decide what gets scheduled and you decide what-goes-where. Don’t let your schedule plan you: you’re the boss!
Along with #2, you’ve got to take control of your life before it takes control of you. Set your own priorities, and decide what gets cut (as in: you gotta cut things).
You are only human, and you can only do so much, and that is perfectly okay.
4. Find creative outlets.
When I get stressed, I start new projects. Not because I need more to do, but because in those desperate can’t-catch-a-break-weeks, it’s even more apparent how desperately I need to let my creative side out.
My first year of college, I started this blog. My second year of college, I opened my Etsy store. I’ve only become busier and busier with school and my sorority, but these creative happy-Kristen-restoring hobbies keep me motivated and happy-as-a-human.
It may seem like I’ve got too much going on, but this blog and my store are non-negotiables that I make time for in my life to balance out all the things I can’t say ‘no’ to.
READ MORE: How to Make the Most of Your Creative Energy
5. Get outside and get moving.
Exercise is the ultimate recharger-and-mind-resetter, and it can be as simple as taking a walk outside. Some fresh air or good ol’ cardio might be just what you need to refresh your mind, body, and spirit.
I’ve struggled with making time for exercise the past few weeks, but I know that even an hour here and there to work off that pent up stress is soso important.
6. Try to take it easier on yourself.
Ha! If only it was that easy. I am the queen of being way too hard on myself, especially in those weeks when I feel like I just can’t catch up. Amidst the absolute busiest of life, it’s even more important to care for ourselves and remember just how awesome we are.
Let’s focus on progress, not perfection.
7. Let others support you.
I’m not so good at this either, but I’m learning to lean more on people around me and let them help me and support me (and special thanks to those who helped inspire this post!). We all have tougher days and crazier weeks, but we’ve got to love and lift each other up constantly! You do not have to do it all alone, and it’s okay to need a little extra help getting where you’re going.
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned a tip or two to manage your crazy-booked schedule. When life gets tough, remember that you’re tougher!
When in doubt, take a deep breath, and focus on just the next minute.
You got this.