I know I’m not alone when I say that I wish there was more time in the day: more time to get an extra hour of sleep; a couple extra minutes to sit down and actually enjoy that cup of coffee; and maybe even time to take a bath with one of those cool, fizzy bath bombs. But in a world where we always seem to be short on time, efficient planning and organizing allows me to achieve this seemingly unattainable moment of “me” time.
Here are the 7 tips that have helped me significantly when it comes to getting everything done that I need to while still making sure I value and make time for myself:
1) Establish A Routine
This was the most important part of taking control of my schedule and my life. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day sets me up for success on both ends. Not only does this provide and establish structure, it creates good habits and increases efficiency.
2) Outline your MIT
MIT’s are your most important tasks of the day. To-do lists can quickly become overwhelming, and packed with more tasks than you can physically accomplish in one day. That’s why I always start with my MIT’s when planning my day, that way I know exactly what I need to get done.
3) More Sleep
This goes without being said. Start unplugging from screen time one hour before you plan on falling asleep. Studies have shown that the blue light from our phones actually disrupt or sleep cycles, and can leave us feeling tired and drained in the morning. So why not fall in love with a book again! Try reading something you’re passionate about to unwind, while stimulating your mind.
4) “No” isn’t a Bad Word
Saying “no” has become one of my biggest tools when it comes to creating time for myself. I no longer feel like I have to be in 15 places at once, because I can say no when I need to. By saying “no,” I feel more in control of my time and life. I have time to accomplish tasks I’ve put on the bottom of my to-do list, and I am now more available to do things that I want to do.
5) Mission Inbox-Zero
This is one of the aspects that I have added to my routine. I go through my emails each morning and make sure that I read and either respond, forward, star, or delete each message. It might seem silly, but having a clear inbox leads to a clear, focused mind.
6) Wake Up Earlier
Mornings are always crazy: getting ready for work, making sure my kids are taken care of, and prepping myself for the day always seemed like a daunting task. By waking up one hour earlier each day, I create more time to get ready for my day. I have really embraced this tip because it also helps me get to bed earlier, too. Remember, waking up earlier means you’ll be ready for bed at a decent time.
7) Schedule Moments for You
Just like you’d schedule appointments, meetings, and school functions into your calendar, start scheduling time for you. For example, I schedule time to take a bath and unwind every Sunday. And at first, it seemed somewhat silly writing down “bath & hair masque.” But I quickly learned that if don’t write it down, it probably won’t happen because something else will come up. Don’t forget to schedule time for yourself—even if it feels silly, at first.