This is a guest post by Origami Day’s Samantha Lane.
Many of us have busy lives year-round, but almost all of us have busy seasons. Whether this is a month of madness in your life or the entire holiday season, it’s likely that you will have a period of more intense demands on your time. So how do you survive a busy season without losing your job or mind?
For starters, you have to know what really matters. There are a lot of things we do each day that don’t have any impact on the most important parts of our lives and jobs. To avoid any waste of time, we need to know what is actually important. If you could only do one thing today for your business, what would that be? If today was your last day on earth, where would you spend your time? Define your most important things, personally and professionally, and let those drive you through the chaos.
Once you have a clear goal, its time to make a plan. I mean an actual written plan. Writing things down helps us remember more. Crossing things off helps us accomplish more. Write down your plan. In detail. On paper. For an entire week, if you can. Once your plan is on paper, it’s really easy to see if it’s a good one or trouble shoot things in advance. Make sure important appointments, tasks or deadlines are included and that the items detailed for each day can actually happen in the allotted time. Also, put personal and professional items on the same plan so you are only managing one information hub.
Once your plan is in place, protect it. It is ok to say no to things that aren’t on your plan, especially if they have nothing to do with those important items you defined. A lot of what makes a busy season stressful is taking on more than we really need to. The reality is saying yes to something is really saying no to something else. Remember that when there is a demand for your time, and ask what you may be saying no to in order say yes. Again, it’s ok to say no.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all there is to do in life, especially in busy seasons. Thankfully, small steps can add up to big rewards when it comes to managing your time. Remember three simple steps to surviving a busy season: know what’s important, make a plan, and protect it.
Samantha Lane is a reformed workaholic and the owner of Origami Day. She now uses her passion for efficiency to help others shape their time for work life balance. She is currently in a busy season, herself, with a 30-day sprint project with iFundWomen. Learn More.