7 Ways to Ease a Jam-Packed Schedule

I get a little nutty whenever one of my clients lets me see her schedule.

Usually there’s not a shred of white space left in the day. Every minute is allotted for, and there’s barely time to go to the bathroom!

That’s when we roll up our sleeves and delete unnecessary appointments and time wasters.

  • No, you don’t have to attend that pointless meeting.
  • No, you don’t have to make your kids’ beds.
  • And you certainly don’t need to work through your lunch hour!

Nine times out of ten, an overcrowded schedule is the result of saying yes to things that aren’t your responsibility. You’re not a robot that never gets burned out, so start acting like a human being and give yourself a break!

In today’s video, you’ll learn how to add some breathing space into your jam-packed schedule.

The video transcript is below for your convenience.

Video Transcript

Recently, one of my clients showed me her planner with all her tasks and appointments written in the weekly layout. There wasn’t an inch of white space left.

“Are you sure you can do all those things this week?” I asked.

“I have to! There’s nothing I can do about it!” she said. Well, that’s not true. You have more control over your time than you think, and you don’t have to do a hundred things every day.

Today, you’ll learn 7 ways to ease a jam-packed schedule. Let’s go!

Hey there! I’m Sage Grayson, a former book editor turned life coach. I help ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home. I’m a Life Editor and so are you!

Step 4 of the Life Editing Process is Rearrange Everything Into a Perfect Flow. It’s my favorite step because it’s when we tackle time management. And who wouldn’t want more control of their time?

If your schedule is as stuffed as my client’s, then you need to try a few quick tips to add some ease and breathing space into your day.

1. Define your priorities.

I ask my clients to choose no more than 3 priorities in their lives for the time we’re working together. What truly deserves your time, energy, and attention now?

That might be your health, your family, and your job. Or maybe it’s your money, your spirituality, and your business.

I know you want to concentrate on 10 different priorities, but dividing your attention like that will cause all of them to suffer. It’s better to focus 90% of your energy on just 3 priorities. You can always switch your priorities in a few months, but what’s important right now?

2. Create boundaries.

You’re not a robot, so stop acting like a machine that never gets burned out!

Define clear start and stop times for your work. even if you work from home, that doesn’t mean you should be working 24/7.

Also choose 2 days to take off every week. They could be the typical weekend of Saturday and Sunday or any other 2 days depending on your schedule. You need time to replenish your energy.

3. Say no more often.

Of course you want to seem dependable, but when you say yes to every obligation that comes your way, you’re not to make yourself sick.

Challenge yourself to say no at least 3 times per day.

If your boss wants you to take on another project, explain to her that that would take about time from your current project. Then she can decide which one has priority without you automatically doubling your work.

4. Wake up earlier.

I know, I know! You hate hearing this, but waking up earlier is a no-brainer way to give yourself more time.

Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier, and then get out of bed right away. No snooze alarm!

This is your quiet time when the kids are still asleep and you don’t have to be working. Use this “me time” to meditate, read, or center yourself before the busy-ness of the day.

5. Try a new planner system.

I’m an office supply junkie, and I love trying new tools and planners. Maybe your current planning system isn’t working and that’s why your schedule is so jam-packed.

Try another planner that has less room for tasks so you don’t overburden yourself. Or try a planner with a daily timetable so you can plug in specific tasks for specific times. Remember to add in breaks too!

A new colorful planner like my 2018 Edited Year Planners can re-ignite your creativity and give you energy to do what you need to do.

6. Experiment with batching and pacing schedules.

Maybe you need a new way to look at your time!

A batched schedule is when you group similar tasks together on the same day. Maybe Monday is marketing, Tuesday is writing, Wednesday is project planning. You can focus on one idea per day and give it a luxurious amount of time.

A pacing schedule is when you work on everything a little bit every day. So an hour of marketing, an hour of writing, an hour of project planning. You have to divide your attention among different ideas, but everything is inching forward every day.

Experiment with batching and pacing schedules to find your flow.

7. Plan a vacation or weekend activity.

The day before a vacation is always the most productive. You don’t want to be thinking about your work when you’re laying on the beach.

Schedule an upcoming vacation and you’ll be amazed by how much more you get done before your time off.

If you can’t book a vacation right now, plan a fun weekend activity such as going hiking or hosting a game night with friends. A little self-care to look forward to will help you use your work time wisely.

That’s it! This week try one of these 7 ideas for easing your jam-packed schedule.

Time is a limited resource, so make every minute count.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you soon.

This post focuses on Step 4 of the Life Editing Process, Rearrange Everything Into a Perfect Flow. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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