Everyone is busy these days. Ask someone how they are doing and more often than not they’ll tell you just how hectic their schedule is with working full time, meeting deadlines, carpooling, heading to their kids’ baseball and soccer practices, helping with homework, and more. It’s enough to make your head spin.
The good news is that being busy is actually a good thing. Research published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience this past spring found that the busier you are, the better it is for your cognitive function. While that might be music to your ears, it doesn’t necessarily relieve the stress you encounter juggling what feels like a million different tasks that life throws at you on a daily basis. “Creating balance in life requires using creative techniques to juggle really busy schedules and stay on track with deadlines and projects,” explains life-balance consultant Marie Levey- Pabst of Create Balance with Marie Levey-Pabst.
To better combat your busy-ness and reduce it to a normal, manageable amount, heed these expert tips.
TIP #1: DO TWO THINGS A DAY
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a massive to-do list; that is exactly why Levey-Pabst frowns upon making one up daily with all of the things you need to do. “Every morning, when you wake up, decide on just two things that you are going to get done today,” she says. “They can be small errands you have been putting off, or big projects you need to spend an hour getting started on. But pick just two and write them down. Then, check in at night and make sure you got them done. Of course, you will do other things, as well, but having some focus on two tasks helps you keep moving forward, and gives you a sense of accomplishment no matter how your day went.”
TIP #2: CREATE A MASTER TO-DO LIST
Unlike your daily to-do list, the master one serves as a record of the ongoing things that you’d like to get done such as removing the wallpaper from the bathroom or updating your holiday address list. “When you write out all of the things you need to accomplish this is called a brain dump and becomes your Master Project List,” says Jessica Nowell of Time Order Purpose Organizing. This helps you feel more organized, but it’s also a lot less overwhelming when you only refer to it once or twice a month.