7 Tips to Declutter Your Calendar – and Keep It That Way
Are you feeling stressed and unable to find a balance between daily tasks and your profession? Do you have trouble sleeping at night because you are overwhelmed? If your answer was “yes” then you should read this article.
People often say that you should choose between your profession and your love life. This can be generalized into other meaning by replacing “love life” with your daily life, outside the office hours. However, life is not black or white, there are a lot of situations where you need to combine both or consider both aspects.
Finding a balance between your personal and professional life does not have to be a dreadful task. All you need is the organization, deliberation and accustoming. It does not have to depend on your character in general, so do not be discouraged.
A bit of effort can make you superior at work and diligent and compassionate at home. All you need are a few tips to make that process painless and fleeting.
In this article, you will encounter seven bits of advice on how to declutter your calendar. They are related to the organization of your daily schedule and mindset required for executing such an organization.
You can always choose one or two from these seven according to your needs and wishes. After reading the whole list, pick the ones you consider most suitable for you and activate yourself!
If you feel that you can achieve this with a bit of help, you are on the right track. There is no reason to believe that you are in charge of everything and that everything is on your shoulders. Take a deep breath and prioritize your tasks. Try to have fun while doing this; this is not another task for you. This is a way to eliminate stress from your life.
HERE ARE THE TIPS YOU CAN USE
1. Examine Your Current Obligations
Let’s start right of the bat by saying that people who schedule fewer tasks end up doing far more than people who schedule more than they can handle.
To get to the end of this article, first consider what is on your existing calendar. What does your schedule comprise of? Contemplate what is related to your needs, desires, and objectives.
Some of the questions you should raise for yourself are “What is the aim of this task? Is this valuable to me and my family? Is this diverting to me or is it tiresome?”
Take a good look at your schedule. Do you see yourself in it? If you do, then you are off to a great start. If it is the opposite, perhaps you should think about your objectives in life and your priorities in general.
Decide what is significant and worthy of your time and you will achieve control over your life. You will regulate what is a mandatory part of your daily life, and what has been a part of your life but contributed only to stress.
However, do not remove certain responsibilities from your calendar just for the sake of decluttering. You cannot eliminate certain tasks just because you believe they take up space in your schedule. For this reason, it is vital to know your priorities.
Saima Mir wrote in The Guardian that by decluttering objects from her home, she noticed the positive side of decluttering in her son – more control and discipline. This case is similar to the declutter of abstract elements such as tasks and activities included in your calendar.
Naturally, your obligations and tasks change over time. You do not have to do what was part of your routine when you were a teenager. You grow and change, and so do your occupation and undertakings. Notice if some of the past occupations are still in your calendar. Reduce everything that is not useful anymore.
After you have finished contemplating your obligations and their necessity in your timetable, cancel those that are voluntary in some way or that do not have an impact on your professional and personal life on the whole. In the end, if some affect your life negatively you must get rid of them as soon as possible.
2. Avoid Noting Down Trivial Activities in Your Calendar
Jotting down every little task and activity in your calendar is a mistake. Trivial activities like taking the dog for a walk, making lunch or vacuuming your house can only make your calendar more chaotic and full. The first task for you is to eliminate these activities from your timetable.
This happens when you feel like you are forgetting often, so you write down every task, no matter how trivial it may be. But, these activities are your daily doings which you do not need to write down.
Even if you are not the person who notes down their plans and regular obligations, it would not hurt you to try this method as it can only make your life easier. You cannot lose anything by trying.
Your time is valuable so appreciate it by trying to organize each day and find a balance. As the author of The Bullet Journal Method, Ryder Carroll says in his TEDxYale talk “Unfortunately, time is not a renewable resource”. Thus, do not waste it by making your life more complicated.
If you plan every hour and every minute of your day, you will feel obligated to follow your timetable. Then again, your goal here is not to make your life miserable, but less hectic. Even if you did not make this mistake, and did not write down tasks like these, you might have considered them an obligation.
The problem arouses when you have a lot of papers to submit at work, a lot of meeting to arrive on time or maybe too many household errands to run. Then you feel like every single activity is a responsibility and you lose the sense of being a person and simply indulging in hobbies you like.
This does not make you a bad person; it just means that you are overwhelmed and need a change in your routine. Hence, follow these tips and you will feel liberated again.
After you take your schedule and put it on paper, write down solely those activities that are not part of your everyday routine, as mentioned above.
3. Choose Specific Days for Specific Tasks
The second tip includes assigning particular tasks and activities to specific days. For example, administrative work and other work-related tasks should be done over working days, while weekend can be reserved for doing chores and family activities.
In this way, you can achieve that balance that was mentioned before. With this technique, you can easily get accustomed to doing specific tasks on determined days. If you live with your family or roommates, ask them to understand your organization and get accustomed as well.
It is usually easy to adapt family to your changes in schedule. However, living with roommates can be completely different. In any case, try to have a rational conversation with them and focus on your needs.
As mentioned, you can do administrative work from Monday to Thursday, and take a break on Friday. For some, having a relaxing day in the middle of the week is a helpful way of getting through the whole week. The psychological aspect of it makes the week less stressful and in no need to wait for the weekend to ease off.
All of this advice is configured to reduce the stress and chaos of your life. Likewise, you should do yourself a favor and start acting now. Go and do some yoga, meditate, or simply do what you love.
If you follow these tips, you will comprehend that you create your happiness and peace. No one else can do it for you.
Another alternative for this tip is that you can choose one day when you do nothing. You need days like these to recharge your batteries. You might even miss your tasks and finish them more proficiently the next day.
Simply do not write anything in your schedule for that day and focus on your needs and taking a break. Although, even if nothing is written on the paper, you may feel like you still have some sort of responsibility.
This is because your mind is used to doing multiple tasks each day and when you finally reserve one day to feel untroubled, you just do not know how to. In each tip, especially in Tips under numbers five and six, you will comprehend this in more detail.
4. Admit to Yourself that You Cannot Do it All
One of the most important elements of this undertaking is to focus on your mental health. This means that you must admit to yourself that you cannot achieve everything you put your mind to.
This is extremely difficult for people who believe they can handle the pressure and can manage anything. But even those people find themselves helpless and constrained to admit that they cannot finish all obligations.
We believe that we can do anything if we try hard enough. But we are not superhuman and we cannot make the day last longer than 24 hours. Maybe even thinking about dividing those hours into several segments can make your issues smaller.
One cannot simply work for more than nine or eight hours, sleep for eight hours a night and manage to take care of your loved ones and spend time with them. It is physically and as we can understand, mentally impossible.
Stressing about not having enough time should be like an alarm to you. That alarm is telling you to take a second and question your recent decisions. You must have taken up so many tasks that your schedule requires some change.
This tip is closely related to your psychological inner self. Yoga and meditation are what many successful and busy people turn to due to pressure and lack of time for themselves. It surely is a great way to relax and think outside of your body. Being preoccupied can make you neglect your health which is why this step is really important.
Take ten minutes every day to express gratitude to your surroundings- people you love, your health, your home, work, etc. Focus on breathing while appreciating all these aspects of your life. This way you will calm yourself and become aware of how small we all are. There is an entire universe, and we are just a minute piece of it.
After you are finished with your meditation, you can think clearly of what is inside of your range of capacities and what you cannot manage accomplishing. Do not assess your aptitudes inadequately. There is so much you can finish in a day, a month or even a year.
5. Decide What Your Priorities Are
Moreover, think about your priorities. Can a member of your family do it instead of you? What is relevant to your goals? What is worth your time and effort? Do you see anything in your schedule that you devote too much time to but you do not get anything out of it?
This is a segment where you need to figure out what your true needs are. As mentioned before, you can have both personal and professional life, and devote to them equally. You just need support from your loved ones and a bit of organization.
Before taking this advice, try answering the above-mentioned questions. Then look at your calendar. What is in discrepancy? If you feel that some tasks are not fulfilling all your needs then put them at the bottom of the list.
On the top of your list should be activities that are most significant and beneficial to you. For example, administrative work for your job, which provides you with monthly salary, and going to your children’s recital, who are your family, are your top priorities.
Pay attention to these aspects: education, preparation, financial aspect, family and friends, career, work, and personal projects. See what each comprises and eliminate those activities that are not your priority.
If you put too many activities as your priority, you will miss the point of this tip. The aim is to pick two or three things you must assign to your schedule every week. Hobbies and tasks you enjoy and that make you satisfied are also a part of that.
After all, you will know what to put on top, in the middle and the end. We all have different characters and attitudes. Some enjoy putting themselves on the top of that list; others prefer to put their family first. Whatever you choose is sure to reduce the stress and increase your appreciation of life.
6. Avoid Obstacles
This advice is focused on the decision where you need to avoid some tasks, while you will make time for others. It is usually hard for people to say “no” to some undertakings, especially to people who write down all of their tasks throughout each day.
Many circumstances in our life, like for example certain people, pressure us to make some decisions, whether consciously or not. By listening to other people’s opinions we create a picture in our minds that we have to listen to them to feel accepted.
Nevertheless, other people’s goals and agendas do not always correlate with ours. And why should they? We are all different and have different viewpoints. Your plans should not coordinate with someone else’s wishes. This was just one instance of your current obstacles.
In case you do not know which activities are your obstacles, think of each activity and analyze what emotions they stimulate.
Whatever makes you procrastinate means that it does not bring you joy. Remember that some of our responsibilities are obligatory because of their relation to our jobs or our personal life, but they are not the most pleasant. Saying no to such is not the same as rejecting impediments.
You should only decline those tasks that are not your priority, and that does not bring you contentment. This advice is related to the previous one as you need to acknowledge your priorities to decline some tasks.
Concerning this, by focusing on what contributes to your life, you declutter the unnecessary obligations. You embark on a minimalistic journey, where you reserve your time only for certain activities and certain people. You will feel more carefree and productive and not be all over the place.
A reference to a book on decluttering your stuff from home is a good illustration of how you can declutter your daily responsibilities. The author of Decluttering for Dummies, Jane Stoller, talks about your mental state and how your mind is cluttered as well. A part of that is multitasking.
Multitasking refers to you not being able to refuse some of your tasks, so you take up the tasks you love and those that slow you down- obstacles. This is why you must acknowledge what is stressing you out and what is worth your time.
7. Find Motivation
Here comes the amusing part of this whole undertaking. Think about your hobby, something you are good at, or simply something that makes you smile. Use that as your motivation.
Having a reason to get out of bed in the morning is what makes us human. It gives us the energy for the entire day. There is not a single person in the world that does not own some sort of inspiration.
Many enjoy reading books, listening to music or doing sports activities. Take a second and think about what you like to do to unwind. This is not something that you need to write down in your schedule. This is what you need every day.
As with anything in your life, you cannot take every little thing seriously. Stop for a moment. Breathe. Even when it comes to your regular obligations, find some humor in them. Laugh and joke. Yet, there is a thin line between being charming and childish. Be positive and easy-going, but always take your family and job seriously.
Amid the chaos, find something that inspires you and keeps you going. That may be a song that lightens up your mood or a quick cardio workout that makes you feel active after a day spent sitting in the office.
If a walk in the park or a coffee on the balcony makes you more relaxed and relieved of all your obligations, do it!
These are just some examples you can always do to stop you from thinking constantly about your plans and accountabilities. Your timetable is not in control of your life, you are.
Remember that these occupations are not what you need to remove from your plans, but neither what you can overuse to fulfill your time. Use them to reduce the stress and increase your motivation for accomplishing other tasks on your list. Do not let your consistent deadlines and tasks ruin your inner bliss.
To conclude, these tips are comprised of reducing the number of obligations in your calendar, prioritizing them, organizing their execution and concentrating on your mental health. It may all sound overwhelming to you at the moment, but once you start you will notice the changes.
By reading this article you require the knowledge on how you can organize your life more efficiently, as you have the tips explained more thoroughly. When someone tells you to focus more on the organization, you may feel that you are not equipped for that.
For this reason, your mental state and mindset are the key elements of this whole undertaking. Becoming an adult does not mean that you gain all information and skills for life in one day. Getting to know yourself and growing mentally is a whole process and for some, it may take longer than for others.
This too is a process that may last longer as improving our inner peace is not a simple task. With that being said, decluttering your mind goes along with decluttering your daily responsibilities and your surroundings.
Once you comprehend this you will feel relieved that you cannot accomplish everything in time, that you need help from others and that you have to examine your goals and priorities in life.
As in every aspect of your life, you must put in the effort in this undertaking. Decluttering your calendar is not a task you can finish in one day. It is a habit you will have for a while until you feel that you have managed using your time proficiently.