Stress! Work-life balance is increasingly non-existent as in today’s world we are an “always on” work culture. The physical ramifications of this imbalance may cause changes in:
- Physical comfort (fatigue, compromised health)
- Mental signs (forgetfulness, loss of focus)
- Emotions (irritability, lack of confidence, apathy)
- Behaviors (restlessness, increased alcohol consumption, insomnia)
As you may know, stress is not new for humans- it served a purpose back in our beginnings. However, in recent decades, stress as evolved from life and death issues to much less threatening concepts- most of the time, it is caused by expectations. The easiest way to reduce stress is to streamline your level of organization. Tackle your to-do list! By doing this, you will organize your life, reduce your stress, and improve your mood.
If you feel like your to-do list is never-ending and it has control over you, it’s time you take charge so you can clear your mind and reduce your stress. You don’t have to stop everything to be organized, you just have to START. You’ll never really find the time to organize, you need to make it happen! Here are some tips to help you find a place to start:
Schedule your day the night before
Write down six things you need to do the next day and rank them in order of importance. The first thing on your list should be the first thing you do in the morning- no matter what. From there, move on to list item number two. The least important tasks on the list should be numbered four-six; if you don’t get to them, they can be rolled over to the next day if needed.
Invest in a planner
I’ve gone old-school and I have an agenda/planner that I regularly write in. If you’re more into technology, you can maintain a to-do list on your phone and use your phone calendar. I use a combination of both- for example, if I have a doctor’s appointment, I’ll mark it down in my planner and my phone calendar. I find that having a planner helps keep my day organized.
I follow the 42/18 rule- Out of an hour, I will dedicate 42 minutes to 100% focus on a task that needs to get done. I can’t sit for too long, so I will set a 42 minute timer. Once it goes off, I can relax a bit, stretch, check my social media, eat a snack- recharge my batteries. I won’t even look at my phone during those 42 minutes of work time.
Set Your Own Deadlines
A task can go on until the end of time if I don’t set a deadline. I really don’t want to clean out my trunk and I have that task on the back-burner so it will NEVER get done. This week, I decided that my trunk MUST be cleared out by the end of week. Having a deadline replaces the “I’ll get to it sometime” mentality- which we all know we won’t if we don’t put some urgency behind it.
Catch Up on Sleep and Rise Early
I’m SUPER guilty of this. I will go to sleep late and wake up not as early as I’d like. It’s all about making this a consistent routine. What you get done everyday matters more than what you do once in a while. This is an important habit to establish as I definitely feel more productive if I get up early and have some quiet time before my day starts.