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Do you feel that there is way too much on your plate at the moment? Are there high expectations from all angles, or do you expect a lot from yourself?
In this blog post, I help you to create an overview and peace of mind when you have the feeling that you have too much to do, by sharing how you can plan at such a moment.
Is it on paper?
It is the first thing you should ask yourself if you feel like you have too much to do. Extreme work may be because you have not made super clear what exactly you have to do.
If you continuously think: “oh yes, It was still necessary,” it causes constant stress.
Does this sound recognizable? Then make sure that you put everything in your head on paper. This way, you ensure that you at least get a better overview of what exactly you have to do.
The best way to do that is through doing nothing.
Do everything you can do in a minute right away
Sometimes fast and straightforward tasks have to be done as soon as possible.
An email to which you only have to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ something that you have to clean up, something that you need to look up quickly, something whose results you need to check, etc., These simple tasks can often be done within a minute.
Within a minute! That means that if you now put it on your schedule and postpone it for two days, you will spend so much more time on that simple task than if you had done it right away.
So when a colleague asks you to look up something (and you can look it up quickly), do it right away, because that is much faster.
The same applies to your response to short emails. But it also applies to things that you think of yourself.
When you consider ‘I still had to clean this up’ or ‘I still had to ask this to my colleague’; do it immediately when you think about it.
This way, tasks are handled immediately, and they do not cost any space in your head. Space that you can better spend on the more critical and challenging tasks.
Take the time to make a schedule
An important tip that I also want to give you is: take the time to make a schedule.
Just when you have a lot to do, it’s tempting to do as much as possible. But as a result, you will probably mix everything up quickly, so that you will only get more stressed because nothing seems to be completed.
Therefore, not only take time to put your thoughts on paper, but also to actually make a plan of it: what are you going to do first, and then what? How important are things that come in between?
Also, move things that do not necessarily have to be further forward. You can only do so much in one day: be realistic and kind to yourself ;-).
When creating a schedule, keep the following in mind:
You realize that you don’t have to do everything now
Maybe it just feels like you have to do everything right now. But often this is not the case in practice. The household really takes a day to wait, but that friend or colleague often does.
Let go of the thought that you are continually lagging behind everything. Not everything is necessary now. You do your best, and that’s enough. Really.
If you put everything you have on your schedule for today, then your program will probably seem endless.
I am almost sure that you cannot do everything you want to do today. And you don’t have to, because tomorrow is another day ;-).
Ensuring that you don’t have too much to do is therefore possible by planning in the longer term.
If you are not looking further ahead when making a plan, give it a try. Take a look at the coming week in your agenda and consider the following:
When can I work on my duties this week?
Instead of creating one list for today, create seven lists once, one for each day of the week, and divide your tasks between them. Does that look a lot more feasible or not ?!
Plan even further ahead
You can plan much further ahead than a week. You may want to do some things on your to-do list, but you don’t have to do it now.
Why don’t you plan on learning about that new, exciting topic or major cleaning next month?
Choose your top 3 priorities for today
From everything you want to do today, choose three things that you want to do anyway.
What are the most important things you have to do? What do you achieve the most with? What do you want to have done before you go home / go to sleep?
Write that down. Add 1, 2, 3, or work with other symbols to indicate those tasks.
Then get started right away with those three tasks, and give those tasks priority over everything else.
If you do that, you will see that you actually get them done, because you give these tasks priority over ‘the issues of the day.’
How do you deal with your planning if you have too much to do? Let me know in the comments section below…