Whether you’re an extreme event planner or a busy mom planning parties, or you simply want to streamline your daily life, these tips and tricks will help you make the most of your time and keep you on track.
With some dedication and perseverance, you can turn your busy schedule into a more manageable routine that isn’t as stressful and much more productive.
1. Plan a week ahead
If you really want to get your routine together and plan efficiently, you need to start planning the week before. Doing this allows you time to tweak your schedule so you can optimize your time and work out any kinks along the way.
Once the week is upon you, you will already know what to expect and can manage your other tasks more effectively.
Color code your calendar so you can see upcoming appointments, deadlines, activities etc.
Red sticky note = deadline
Yellow sticky note = appointment
Purple sticky note = work activity
Blue sticky note = family activity
On each note you can write the activity. This will make checking your calendar even faster because the color helps you identify what event to expect. You can use a traditional calendar or get creative and make one that can handle your stick notes.
2. Routines Streamline Your Time
If you haven’t adopted a regular routine yet, now is the time to plan one out and execute it daily. You may want to change it a bit on your own off days, but sticking to it all week long helps you stay on track and prevents disruptions to your sleep and work schedule while organizing your mind.
If you have a busy routine, give yourself time the night before to lie out everything you need to start your morning; outfits, pack your lunch, work presentation material etc. This makes the start of your day that much easier and actually allows you that extra time to enjoy your morning.
Tip: For a fast breakfast, prepare scrambled eggs the night before by blending everything up in a bag and putting it in the refrigerator.
Then when it is morning, it will be ready for you to just put on a pan :) Or if you are a fan of baking, you can meal prep your breakfast by preparing mini quiches for eating on the go.
3. Exercise Makes A Difference
Exercising daily can help give you extra energy, combat depression, and improve your overall physical and mental conditioning.
Don’t underestimate the value of regular daily exercise whether it’s before or after work. Even if you have health issues or some disabilities, your doctor can recommend the exercise appropriate for your needs.
If you don’t have that much time to work out during the day, try Tabata training at the gym or even at home. Tabata is a workout that lasts only four minutes, but it’s likely to be one of the longest four minutes of your life. It consists of the following:
- Hard work out/cardio for 20 seconds
- 10 second rest
- Repeat this for 8 rounds
This workout is not only fast, but increases your endurance and speed, getting your heart rate pumping in a faster time frame then a casual workout.
4. Prioritize Your Time
If you have a pressing issue at work, or you have an important project to finish, you will want to tackle that chore first and give it your full attention early in the day when your mind and body is fresh. Once you have your most important issues completed, you can unwind a little and work on other tasks.
tart your day off by writing down all your tasks for the day from most to least important.
That way everything is cleared from you head, in front of you and you made a mini checklist for the day. Go through this list starting at the top with the most important; you cannot go on to the next item until you have done everything necessary for the item above.
5. Keep A Thoughts Journal
Similar to what was said above, it is healthy to visualize what you need to do throughout your day and writing things down helps you get an idea of your day.
Keep a set of colored post it notes in your journal that you use for your calendar. If a deadline, appointment, meeting etc. ever comes to mind you can quickly jot it on your correct color post it note and stick it to your calendar when you get home.
6. Discover Your Prime Time
This is actually a very important question planners or anyone for that matter with a busy schedule should know the answer to; what is your prime time?
Some people feel clean and refreshed first thing in the morning, and others feel groggy and dull until the afternoon hours or find energy during the night. Determine when your peak production time is and try to schedule activities within this time frame if possible.
If you are unsure at first, try a few different routines until you find one that sticks. Start working or head to the gym by 6:00 am or sleep in and get busy a little later. Everyone is different and what works for you might not work for someone else.
Take the Psychology Today‘s self test and find out your prime time. You can follow the link to read more about the test, or take it below.
1. Considering only your “feeling best” rhythm, at what time would you wake up if you were entirely free to plan your day?
-  5:00-6:30 a.m.
-  6:30-7:45 a.m.
-  7:45-9:45 a.m.
-  9:45-11:00 a.m.
- 11:00 a.m.-12:00 (noon)
2. During the first half hour after waking in the morning, how tired do you feel?
-  Very tired
-  Fairly tired
-  Fairly refreshed
-  Very refreshed
3. At what time in the evening do you feel tired and in need of sleep?
-  8:00-9:00 p.m.
-  9:00-10:15 p.m.
-  10:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
- 12:30-1:45 a.m.
-  1:45-3:00 a.m.
4. At what time of day do you think that you reach your “feeling best” peak?
-  5–8 AM (05–08 h)
-  8–10 AM (08–10 h)
-  10 AM–5 PM (10–17 h)
-  5–10 PM (17–22 h)
-  10 PM–5 AM (22–05 h)
5. One hears about “morning” and “evening” types of people. Which ONE of these types do you consider yourself to be?
-  Definitely a morning type.
-  Rather more a morning type than an evening type.
-  Rather more an evening type than an morning type.
-  Definitely an evening type.
The numbers in brackets were the points value for each item. Now add up them up. Here’s the key to show what type you most likely are:
- 22-25 Definitely Morning (DM)
- 18-21 Moderately Morning (MM)
- 12-17 Neither (N)
- 8- 11 Moderately Evening (ME)
- 4-7 Definitely Evening (DE)
7. Go Digital
Traditional calendars are great, but if you combine your current calendar with a digital calendar with reminders sent right to your email and phone, you won’t forget any important events.
If you have a traditional calendar, laptop, smartwatch, smartphone, combine all of them together. After writing your schedule out on your physical calendar, make sure to add any events to your digital devices as well with reminders a few hours out.
If you have an Apple laptop, smartphone and watch, all you have to do is add the event to the calendar on one of the devices and it will sync to all the other devices.
8. Limit Social Media Use
Social media is a huge distraction for most users. The average person spends over five years of their live on social media! Limit your time browsing social media and try to keep it related to business. You can use an app that tracks your time and alerts you when you have been on social media too long.
If you find that you spend a lot of your time on social media, consider downloading one of these smart apps to stop your social media addiction.
These apps help you unplug from your phone or social media by setting daily limits and notifying you when you exceed them. You can even use a setting that “forces” you off your phone by flooding your screen with annoying alerts when you try to extend your screen time.
9. Engage In Self Care
Don‘t over look this! Always take care of your physical and mental well-being. If you are feeling tired or stressed, address the issue immediately and incorporate ways you can overcome personal obstacles to help keep you centered and able to handle daily life.
Here are some articles that might help with self care:
10. Seperate Home And Work Spaces
Keeping your home and work space separate helps you not only stay on task, but allows you to take a break from work. By avoiding living spaces when working, helps you avoid distractions and signals the brain when to start and stop working.
If you work remote or from home, here are a few life hacks to help create that separation between work and home:
- Keep regular office hours and try to keep a consistent work week schedule
- Find one place to work from in home, and that doesn’t mean your bed. Finding a dedicated work space will keep you centralized on the tasks that need to get done.
- Know your boundaries. If you are making dinner, put your laptop away. If you have a free time at night, don‘t check your work emails. Or else you will be working 24/7 without even realizing it.
11. Don’t Over Schedule Yourself
Don’t let yourself become a victim of over scheduling! Make sure you can handle everything you put on your plate, and if not don‘t be afraid to say no.
For everything you do set a timer or a time limit. If you are having a 20 minute meeting, make sure you stick to that schedule to make room for other things. By setting a time schedule, you will see that you really don‘t have time to check your Instagram or other time wasters, thus helping you stay on track.
12. Take Breaks Frequently
If you are concentrating intently on a project or task, especially if you are working from a computer screen, you need to take breaks to refresh your brain and allow your eyes to focus on something else. You can get up for a drink or do stretches.
When taking a break here are some life hacks to try:
- Get outside
- Don’t look at your phone or a screen
- Close your eyes and meditate
- Talk to a friend or a coworker
- Eat slowly
- Stretch it out
- Organize and unclutter your desk
13. Tune In To Classical Music
Classical music is soothing and sparks creativity in many individuals. If you haven’t given this strategy a try, test it out and see how it works for you.
It’s proven that listening to classical music reduces your hunger and encourages you to eat slower and enjoy your food. So if you are working at a desk and worried about your snacking, put on some classical music to eat less!
14. Designate A Work Phone Line
Having a separate phone for work and personal matters is helpful and allows you to more effectively divide home life and work life. You can also turn off your work phone while clocked off and only receive personal calls and texts.
15. Schedule Correspondence Time
You likely have phone calls to return, emails to answer and other admin work on your to-do list. Schedule a specific time to accomplish these tasks so nothing slips through the cracks and you don’t have to stop and address these matters later in the day.
Set your email up so it only shows unread emails instead of mixing it with unread and read. That way all your important emails that need a respond are at the top and you can work to the bottom.
16. Set deadlines
If you have projects or events to handle, schedule a deadline for work to be completed and stick to it. You can more easily schedule your next task if you know when you have available time and block out your calendar during that period.
Asana is a time management tool that all professionals should utilize especially if they have a team. With Asana you can plan protects, set deadlines and get reminders on upcoming due dates. It even offers reports on your work progress and your overall campaigns.
17. Have A Passion About Life
No matter what you are doing or where you are, have a passion about life and the things you do on a daily basis. If it’s work, make sure you enjoy what you are working on. If it’s a hobby or even social functions, only spend time on things you feel good about and feel passionate about.
Don’t waste your valuable time and energy on something you don’t care about, as it will effect your overall work production.
18. Being Flexible Helps Everyone
Whether it is at home or at work, try to maintain your flexibility. The art of compromise and understanding can allow you to allow give and take in your world. This strategy will help you and everyone else you have contact with throughout the day.
19. Maintain Composure
We all get stressed out from time to time, but you must remember to keep your cool, even when people are difficult and plans fall through. Take a breath and remember your goals and don’t let people and events rattle you. Stay in control.
Here are some tips to try when trying to stay calm:
-Focus on one thing at a time
-Don’t sweat the small stuff
-Control your breathing and posture
-Focus on the positives
-Seek out support
20. Outline Your Strategy
Outline a plan to make it to the finish line with your goals met and your personal health in check. Write out your plan of attack and stick to it to make accomplishing tasks and projects doable.