Lately everyone around me is talking about how quickly this year seems to be speeding by. I must admit, it certainly feels that way to me as well. But just because time seems to be zooming by doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze in all the things we’d like to accomplish in the limited time we have! As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” The truth is, the things we want––and even need––to do “when we have the time” seldom get done, and yet, they take up significant space in our thoughts, and oftentimes cause undo stress! So this week, I’d like to share with readers how to plan so that we can get all of it done and keep our stress at bay!

Make a List of Your Tasks and Prioritize Them

All of those little plans, tasks and ideas swirling around in our heads need a home, and while our minds might seem like the ideal place, it is better to put them down on a list! Doing so allows our minds to see the scope of our plans and move them around in a way that allows us to visualize what is at hand. Now we can prioritize either by categories OR by order of importance. I tend to prioritize needs above wants to ensure my mind is free to enjoy the things I want to do. Some prioritize tasks by most difficult, and most time consuming. While others may prefer the easiest and least time. Knocking off a few small and simple tasks may ease our minds and allow us time to think about the more difficult tasks. We are individuals—there in no one right method. Depending on our preferences and goals, we must find what works best for us.

Schedule!

Once our tasks have been listed and prioritized, it’s time to create a schedule to begin managing the completion of them. A schedule should be designed to account for the time we have available, the time it will take to reasonably complete a task and even the location said task must be completed in. For instance, if one needed to go pick up flowers at the florist and also grab some home essentials at a store nearby, it would make sense to schedule these tasks together, allowing for more efficiency with regards to time. Additionally, if we are scheduling a weeklong vacation, we must ensure there is no important tasks scheduled during that time.me. While this seems like common sense, scheduling takes out the guesswork and allows us to see our tasks in a more linear, time-based manner.

Check Off!

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of planning and scheduling is the simple act of “checking off” a task from our list! It is an incredibly satisfying moment and even more so once our tasks begin to melt away! Better yet, those wants––the date nights, trips to Europe, getting a pool put in, etc.––are moments we’ll likely never forget.

Planning is a positive, productive activity–worrying is not. My motto is simple: Plan more–Worry less! What kind of planning activities do you use to help manage your tasks and do you find planning and scheduling helps you keep the stress of life away? Share your strategies in the comments below!

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