Thankfully, due to my personality, getting things done and staying on top of my to do list has always been manageable.
But even though it feels part of my nature, I still have to take actionable steps to #1 remember what all needs to get done and #2 minimize stress when it comes to my “to-do” list.
No one likes to feel like they are lagging behind, forgetting something, or late on something important. So, I have found some easy practical habits to serve as reminders and produce a level of organization that minimizes stress.
If you are busy, maybe a little overwhelmed, and not feeling so organized these days, this one is for you!
1) Fill out a Monthly Content Calendar
Obviously, if you are not posting regularly to social media or a blog or anything of the sorts, this calendar does not have to be for “content”. It could be a “monthly duty calendar” or a “monthly to do calendar”.
But the purpose of this is to PLAN AHEAD.
To be perfectly honest, I never look forward to sitting down and filling this out at the beginning of the month but, after it is done, I am so relieved. It takes so much pressure off of me as the weeks approach. I can take one week at a time, looking ahead only enough to plan accordingly to prevent last minute work.
I understand that this may present itself as a bigger stress to some initially, but I can tell you that procrastination is going to cause unnecessary stress for any of us whether we realize it in the moment or not.
You may be surprised, after making this a habit, how much better you feel. It will help you feel in control of your work load instead of feeling dominated by it.
I downloaded a free template online for myself. You can do the same or you can simply create it yourself in a word document. Give yourself room to take notes and fill each day out.
2) Create reminders on your phone for the day before
Instead of simply putting an event in the calendar on my phone, I actually set a reminder for the day before a commitment that I have made. This goes anywhere from meeting with a friend for coffee to making a phone call I really need to make to taking something to the post office.
If I don’t have a reminder the day before, I either completely forget or I forget until the day of and it creates anxiety and stress around the situation.
If you have an iPhone, you will go right to the “reminders” app and you can set a time that you want it to notify you.
If you create this habit in your life, you may find some relief when making commitments. Instead of saying to yourself “I hope I don’t forget this!” you can say “I can relax and rely on a reminder 24 hours before.”
3) Make a list the morning of your busiest days
Some days, little things come up that are just too much to remember. Often times I will go into the notes on my phone in the morning and have a brainstorm session where I write everything down that needs to get done that day in order from most to least important.
Sometimes you really do just need to take it one day at a time and cross things off the list.
Get used to your phones “notes” app and use it to your advantage on the days you feel overwhelmed not only by your to do list but also by the potential of forgetting.
Being proactive about making good habits isn’t easy, but it is healthy and it minimizes excess stress in our lives.