We've all been there. It’s Sunday evening, the weekend has come and gone, and your mind begins to flood itself with all of those upcoming tasks you have stacked on your plate. You’re eager and ready to take them on, but then your mind starts running in a million directions… Where do I start? What’s most important? Do I even have time? Well, breathe in and breathe out, because just like chemistry, if you can break it down into its simplest forms, things become quite manageable.
Here are four ways to plan out your week, structure your schedules, and accomplish those tasks.
Stress is overbearing, especially when there is a deadline. While some people can manage well under tight schedules, the majority cannot. It’s critical that you manage your stress by prioritizing what matters first so that you can allow yourself to think clearly and pass forth your best work.
Every Sunday evening, take 15-20 minutes and look over your upcoming schedule. Ask yourself, what tasks are due this week? How about this month, quarter, year? The tasks you have due that week should be ranked based on timeline, as well as, priority level… the overall value for yourself and others involved. Who’s depending on you? Map those out accordingly and take them head on.
Breakdown Your Tasks
While we all have daily tasks to get done, there are always those medium to long-term projects that need tending to. Instead of waiting until the last minute and cramming everything in, segment your projects.
Set 1+ hour time blocks accordingly up until your approaching deadlines. By planning out projects and revisiting the assignment, you allow yourself to continuously revisit it from a different angle with a fresh, clean mind each time. Those unanticipated articles, conversations, and events, allow you to be more sentient as you become more involved in the developmental phase, which can allow you to add in new ideas.
Block Out Distractions
E-mails, texts, notifications, updated blog posts… The list goes on. The faster technology advances, the quicker we find ourselves trying to keep up. It’s exhausting. It’s distracting. And, it gets in your way of accomplishing your goals.
Like clockwork, set appropriate timeframes in your day to sit down and read up on those blog posts you enjoy, connect with your network through Social Media, and/or respond to those e-mails. Do it once or twice, maybe three (if it actually adds value), times a day. Once you start only addressing these constantly updated distractions in specific timeframes, you begin to be less tempted by them and allow yourself to complete your tasks at hand and focus on what matters.
Reward Yourself When Appropriate
It’s human; we like to be rewarded. While it is critical to note, you should not make a habit of over rewarding yourself, do not feel ashamed to put a “treat” between your projects or even in the middle of those lengthy tasks.
It can be difficult to maintain focus if the light at the end of the tunnel seems dismal, so break up your tasks and allow for small treats in between. Critically look at the goals in which you want to accomplish and reasonably apply appropriate rewards that you only allow yourself once in a while. Sometimes it is that extra motivation that allows us to get over the hill.
Benjamin Franklin put it nicely, “Well done is better than well said.” Take time to overlook your schedule and benchmark it. Rid yourself of being overwhelmed and stressed, and allow yourself to feel eager to take on your days. Feel excited to reach your goals and crush them. The only thing holding you back is the chaos you ignore to manage.
When all else fails, pick up some Zest and start getting sh*t done.