Learn how to reduce stress by planning and prioritising your day.

Help! My Schedule is Too Busy

Piles of paper are stacked on your desk. Browsing through these, you see electricity bills from three months back, a wedding invitation from a college friend, and receipts from your weekend grocery shopping trips. You hear your child reminding you it's time to send her to school. You start searching for your car key in the next ten minutes. Finally, you find it on the kitchen counter. You are in a foul mood as you sprint towards the door, and your child is late for school.

Use storage spaces and other tools to stay organised.

Get and Stay Organised for Better Stress Management

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, it is time to organise your life! Being organised will not only save you time and money but also aid in stress management. It will allow you to concentrate on the things that are more important in your life, such as spending time with your partner and children or pursuing your dreams and goals.

Here are some ways to help you get organised at work and at home:

Related: 10 Easy Ways to Manage Stress

Planning and Prioritising Your Day

At the start of each day, write down a to-do list of what you need to achieve throughout the day. Be flexible with the list as you may be required to accommodate unexpected events. At the end of the day, don't be harsh on yourself if you were unable to accomplish all the tasks.

Review the list and prioritise the tasks that you would be able to complete for the next day. Reward yourself for what you have accomplished by buying yourself some flowers or treating yourself to a good dinner.

Related: How to Stop Procrastinating

Note Down Important Tasks and Appointments

Get a personal organiser to stay organised and take note of your various appointments. Carry your organiser with you wherever you go and check it a few times during the day for the schedule of appointments that you might have for the rest of the day. Also, include important dates such as your spouse's birthday or your parents' anniversary. Be sure to allocate some me time, so that you can unwind and do your own things for yourself.

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Delegating Tasks

Consider delegating some tasks to others. By doing this, you are better able to prioritise and focus on the more important tasks that you need to get done. Delegation is more than just assigning work, it also means letting others make the decisions and be accountable for the results.

For instance, if you have a major project to complete, try not to do everything yourself. See if you can portion the work and delegate various tasks to others in your team.

Let them be responsible for their designated work. They will in turn feel that they are part of the team and are working together to achieve a common goal. Besides facilitating the completion of projects, good teamwork also boosts co-worker relationships.

Related: Working Well With Your Colleagues

Declutter Regularly

Have a tidy desk by allocating space to various sections, such as in-tray, pending, and out-tray documents. Have sufficient space to work on documents that you need to complete for each task. Do regular filing so that important documents are kept away from the desk.

Discard documents and only keep what you need. Keeping your work area clean and uncluttered will help you focus and increase productivity at work.

Related: Can Decluttering Lead to Better Mental Health?

Mind the Little Things

Take note of the small but necessary things you use every day, such as keys, pens, cellular phones, credit cards, and coin purses. Keeping these things in one place, such as a pouch that you can put in your handbag or suitcase would help save you time when you need to look for them. Have a small cabinet at home to store all your keys or use storage spaces to keep things organised.

Related: Mental Wellness Is About the Little Habits Too

Have a Proper Filing and Labelling System

Keep all important family documents organised and properly stored away. Photocopies of these important documents should be kept in a separate place in case you misplace or lose the original ones. Label your files using large clear prints. This will allow you to easily identify and retrieve the documents whenever you require them.

Related: Six Ways to Declutter Our Minds

Let Technology Work For You

You can skip those long queues at the bank or supermarket and save some petrol and travel time with electronic banking and internet shopping offered by most major banks and retail shops. Making use of technology at home provides convenience and enables you to spend more time with your family.

Related: On the Rise: Screen Time and Gaming Addiction

Note Important Tasks and Dates

Keep a calendar of all important dates. Set a certain date each month for paying all your bills. Paying bills on time relieves you of the stress and inconvenience of additional charges or penalties. Set aside a specific date each month for strictly family time. This helps strengthen family bonding, which is important for a productive and stress-free life.

Time Management Tips

  • Delegating tasks is crucial. It gives you a chance to prioritise and concentrate on other matters.
  • Stop procrastinating. Take a more proactive approach and calculate the long-term cost of such things piling up and becoming too overwhelming to handle.
  • ​Buy a paper planner or an electronic organiser. It will help you manage your time better.

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