Time, we are always racing against it even though it never stops. It is seamless, so one wrong move and your schedule might be backed up or you may miss an event. I understand that we are not perfect and that things happen, but it is always best to be prepared for any situation and create a balance in our lives. With this, I am going to dive into some tactics I use to stay on top of my busy schedule, and share some tips I have found are considered best practices for balancing your busy schedule!
To start off, this might be your first blog post of mine that you are reading, or you may have just started following me, so I will share a quick background on myself. I just moved to a brand new city over a month ago, and began a brand new chapter of my life in which has completely shifted my schedule into becoming extremely busy. Breaking that down, I am a full stack engineer thus a normal day will consist of going to work from 8:30 AM to about 5/6 PM. From there, I have about 5-6 hours of time in which I need to workout, cook dinner, work on my personal projects, and sometimes take a second to relax. This schedule is not always stress free or laid out exactly as I said above, it can vary and change almost everyday which means I have to adjust.
Now that we know what my schedule may look like on any given day, what is the secret to how I balance it out? I want to say it is pretty simple (at least for me) in how I stay on top of my day to day events / to-do's. To start it off, I plan my weeks out every Sunday, and use my own app Habite to draw out a day to day plan for the given week. This helps maintain myself to a specific time for every task I need to get done (aside from work). To add to this, I do use another tool that I find extremely helpful for myself, and that tool is a whiteboard! It allows me to see bigger events for any given day the second I wake up. Using these two minimal tools side by side, I am able to maintain my crazy schedule of work and some personal time! It might not be perfect (right now), but I have been adding to it with being a little more hard on myself especially through some of the tips I will share below!
Now, this is easier said then done, and maybe it is not always physically possible to put your phone away. However, the main idea of this tip is that sometimes you might be on your phone just to 'drain time'. I know I have fallen to this quite a bit in the past, and ultimately, it took away some valuable time that I had / needed. Looking back at the past month, I have taken action on this tip, and at the end of most days my phone tends to be close to 80% of battery remaining because I barely touch it that day. This tip might sound a little silly, but it will go a long way once you realize how much time you are taking away from your phone, and use it for other useful tasks!
Like I shared with my schedule, being prepared is a fundamental key to success and balance. This could be as simple as setting up your day the evening before, or writing down problems you could run into during the week. I have found that we as people use various tools to prepare ourselves, some people may enjoy using apps and others may use pencil and paper. There is no specific perfect tool that will help you keep track of your specific daily schedule, but being able to somehow track your day is already a step toward preparation for balancing your schedule! Remember that if you can track your tasks throughout the day, then you will find yourself living a more balanced life then if you went day by day with no system.
What exactly could this mean? That's pretty easy, control yourself and your time. This is the same idea of putting your phone away, you need to be able to control your time thouroughly. Say you have a crazy busy Thursday evening filled with working out, cooking, and some late night work you need to get done for Friday. Well, if a close friend asks to hangout that night then you need to be able to say 'no', or set up a different day that will coorelate with your schedule. Going with this, you need to stay on top of your time frames such as being on time to where you need to go, and doing what you need for when you assigned it. Of course there are circumstances and not everything will always go as smoothly as it should. Though, if you are not putting in the effort or 'taking action' for most situations, then you will not get yourself into that balance.
No one said that finding that balance for your busy schedule would be easy. However, once you find and use those elements to help you start that process then you will be taking a huge step forward for yourself. Ever since I began using a few of thsese small tips I have noticed a drastic change in my day to day life. I feel as if I have a stronger pattern for how certain days should go, and I find myself more prepared for any change in my schedule. Some of these tips may not be for everyone, but it does not hurt to try when you need to start balancing out your life more!