I love making lists.
For a long time, though, making a list actually stressed me out. Everyone said that it would help me be more productive and help my mind be at ease by getting all my thoughts out on paper – and it did help to a certain extent. It was helpful to get my thoughts out – and necessary – but I often looked at my list and thought
“Oh my gosh, how will I ever get all this done?”
I became overwhelmed and then didn’t get anything done instead. (Anyone feel me here?!)
Lately, I’ve gotten a much better handle on this situation, and it’s mainly due to two things:
Sticky notes and writing the time allotted for each task.
One of the things I’ve really come to love here in Japan is sticky notes – they have so many cute ones, and it helps me organize my mind in such a simple way!
So I’ll keep it simple. You don’t need some fancy journal or checklist or planner. You don’t need another app or overhaul your entire life.
There are two easy and simple steps.
Get some sticky notes or a pad of paper and a calendar.
Basically, I have a very simple daily calendar where I can stick on my sticky note with my “To-Do” list.
So first, write your list and stick it on the day you want to do it.
For each item on your list estimate the allotted time you know or THINK it will take you to finish.
Doing this will give you a pretty accurate estimation of how long it will take you to finish everything you need to do.
Compare that with the hours you know you have to finish these tasks that aren’t taken up by things like work, bringing the kids to school and games, etc. If the number of hours you need to finish everything doesn’t match the number of hours you have, then you can start to prioritize.
TIP: This when you can add another sticky note and transfer tasks that may not be urgent for that day for another day. This way it’s out of your head and already IN YOUR SCHEDULE at a later point – so you know you’ll get it done.
I prefer this method rather than planning out EVERY minute and hour of my day because it leaves space for wiggle room.
I do have approximate times for things like writing, reading, working out, etc., but some days I need to get up earlier or later, or sometimes someone calls me and it changes my timing.
In this system, there’s room for adjustments, and that space is crucial for calm and flow within your day.
This new way of scheduling my day has been a lifesaver. It helps me stay focused and calm and gives me space and wiggle room.
I know just as well as you that no day goes exactly as planned. People call, meetings come up, we might not feel as good as we thought, or maybe we feel even better than we thought and get much more done.
Creating enough structure where there is plenty of space built in as well has been essential and life-saving for me.
Finding that “flow” in your life is a magical thing, and I hope these little tips help you find a little more magic, peace, joy and flow in your every day 🙂
Share your magic moments and the flow you find right here, email me, or find me on Instagram or Facebook!