Okay, I’m going to level with you, I’m running out of routines to show you all! So, for a Hump Day treat, I’m bringing you something a little bit different.
We all go through phases of busyness. Sometimes it lasts a couple of weeks, sometimes it can last years – it all depends on what it is you’ve committed to (organising a charity dinner, for example, will ruin your social life for a month tops, while having kids may have a more knock on effect).
To give you an idea of a typical week for Abby, I have:
- 3 days at uni
- 2 days at work
- 3 blog posts (give or take)
- Run an Instagram account
- Try to run a Twitter account, realise it’s too hard and give up
- Lead Youth Group
- Take Sunday School
- Sustain a Long Distance Relationship
- And chauffeur around my younger siblings
And that’s a week when I don’t have to worry about assignments or exams or committee meetings or formals or having a social life.
As you can probably tell, my busyness is perpetual, and so I’ve been musing over all the different things this state has forced me to sacrifice, and how I’ve dealt with those changes.
Today, I thoughts I’d share with you some of the ways I get by without the thing I used to take for granted – time.
I know you’re all busy people too, so I won’t waste any more time, let’s just get into things.
1. Doing everything.
‘You can do anything, but not everything’. – I must have written this quote out in my bullet journal on at least 4 different occasions. No human has more than 24 hours in a day, meaning no human can do everything that pops into their head. My biggest tip here is to prioritise.
For example, there is no way I have the time to get into workout clothes, get in the car, drive to the gym, work out for an hour, drive home, shower, and then be in pain for 2 days. I’m not saying I sacrifice exercise, but it’s not a priority for me. Instead, I like to try and incorporate it into other things. Rather than waiting for the bus, I’ll walk. Rather than scrolling through Facebook in the morning, I’ll do a 7-minute workout. If a day becomes crazy and I miss out, no biggie, I’ll get it tomorrow – the same cannot be said about going to work or doing my uni reading.
The best to figure out your priorities is with a good, old-fashioned pen and paper Write down the 5 things you care most about (in order, preferably, but it’s up to you).
My list looks something like this:
- This Blog
By planning my day/week/month/life around these 5 things, I know that I’m going to feel contended and productive at the end of the day, even if I let other things slide. Don’t worry if you look at this again next month and your priorities have changed, this isn’t a fixed list, adjust accordingly and keep going!
2. Days off.
I know, I know, this sounds a little drastic, but hear me out. I’m in no way suggesting that you work every day from 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock at night, but entire days without productivity and progress are a curse.
Think back to the last time you gave in and took a day off work because you were feeling sick. You spent the day sitting around the house and trying to feel better my force-feeding yourself soup and surrounding your bed in a sea of tissues. Right?
Now, think about the morning after, the day you were starting to feel better, but the idea of having to get up out of bed put on clothes and go to work gave you a new wave of sickness.
We’re creatures of habit, we like routines, we like rules. That’s where No Zero Days comes into play. By doing, even just a little bit, of work every day, you can make sure that you’re constantly making progress and that you stay hooked on that buzz productivity gives.
It could be something simple like redrafting an essay, checking your referencing, redoing your CV etc. Just keep swimming!
I don’t have time to tidy my house, yet also am a total neat-freak. As you’ll have seen in my recent Cleaning Routine, I do one day of cleaning every two weeks, and that’s pretty much all I can afford to take from my schedule. However, I have a few different ways that I keep my house relatively ship-shape without having to block out chunks in my diary.
The first, is the One-Touch Rule. The theory is that, when I come home from work, I don’t kick off my shoes by the front door, leave my clothes in a pile by the shower and throw my handbag on the sofa. Instead, I take the extra 10 seconds and put them all away in their rightful homes. That way (in theory) my house never becomes a bombsite.
As I am not a Martian and am, in fact, a 20 year old human living alone, I will not claim this to happen 100% of the time, and so I have a catch all in the form of the ’15 Minute Tidy Up’. I start my timer, and work my way through every room in my house, getting as much tidying as possible done within those 15 minutes. If the 15 minutes ends and I want to give up, that’s fine, it’s a heck of a lot better than when I started. If the timer sounds and I think to myself ‘oh, well, I only have one more dish to wash, so I’ll just keep going’ even better!
It’s definitely a welcome addition to my evening routine.
4. Caring about what everybody thinks of you.
I’m going to have a full post on this up soon, but it’s safe to say The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k has changed my perspective (despite its objectionable title).
Busy people don’t have the time nor the energy to waste their cares on what other people think of them. We’re busy for crying out loud! Our brains have much more important things to be crunching than whether Marjorie likes my outfit. You know, like things we can actually control and will make a difference to our lives.
5. Juggling tasks.
I feel like every woman ever has been told they can ‘multitask‘, but I just can’t. I used to think I could, but since I stopped, I’ve become so much more efficient!
By devoting larger blocks of time to one task, my brain is getting really good at keeping the right cogs turning and I get things done in half the time.
This is why I work off to-do lists, not timed schedules, that way I never feel pressured to multitask and can get everything done in half the time, thus making me less busy.
Trust me, monotasking is the future.
Now, on to the good bits:
You know what they say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail – it’s a saying for a reason!
Without my bullet journal and Google Calendar, I literally don’t know where my head would be!
By setting aside 10 minutes before I go to bed, in order to plan out tomorrow, the following morning (and day as a whole) is so much easier.
Not to mention the fact I get more sleep if I know I have everything written down!
2. Me Time.
I know I said Days Off are bad, but consistently packed days ware on you sooner than you’d think.
Instead of taking a full Me Day, why not get your nails done, or have a pamper evening, or get a massage, or just watch a movie with you family – whatever floats your boat.
Use this time to destress, be creative and regroup – even superwoman needs some time off.
3. Say No.
We’re a very obliging species, and that means we end up wanting to say yes to everything put in front of us (especially since FOMO became an actual thing).
But guys, like I said earlier, you can’t do everything – it’s impossible.
I’ll touch more on this in my Sarah Knight review in a few days’ time, but be warned, saying yes to everything will not lead to opportunity as often as it will lead to burnout.
I guess it’s about time I wrap this up! I really hope all you busy bee’s found this post useful and will be able to implement at least some of this advice into your own lives.
Remember, you’re amazing and your time is precious. You should love what you’re doing, and you won’t mind being busy one bit!
Please make sure to share your own tips and tricks for busy spells down in the comments, help each other (and me) out.