How often do we complain about how busy our schedules are and that we don’t have enough time to go out and enjoy some free time? Most of us has long forgotten the phrase work hard, play harder. Instead, our day-to-day activity mostly revolves between working (in the office, at home, or wherever your working place is) then going home only to work again.
A recent report from Indeed found that 52% of all workers are experiencing burnout. The result has recorded a 9% increase from the survey they conducted pre- COVID.
No surprise, what with stress, fatigue, and mental health issues we have to face brought by the pandemic.
That is why, managing your busy schedule is vital- not only for your productivity but also for your overall well-being
Busyness Vs Productivity
People always associate being busy with being productive. I guess it is one of the most common fallacies in the adult world- especially now that we are living in a modernized, highly digitalized society. We tend to keep up with the fast-paced world, thus the need to take and finish tasks as quick as possible only to take more.
That makes you busy, yes. Productive? Not necessarily.
Quoting what Peter Drucker said, “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
The more you increase the number of tasks you want to do in the hope of being productive, the less you become one.
To determine the difference whether you are being productive or just being busy, John Spencer, the editor of Pop Culture and Society, has four rules distinguishing the two:
• Being busy is frantic, while being productive is focused.
• Being busy is fueled by perfectionism while being productive is fueled by purpose.
• Being busy is about working harder while being productive is about working smarter.
• Being busy is about being good at everything while being productive is about being great at a few important things.
Now that you know the difference between being busy and productive, which are you from the two?
Managing your busy schedule
Are you juggling 2-3 jobs right now, a working student, a working mom, or a stay-at-home mom with heaps of tasks, chores, and errands to do? Do not worry. Don’t stress too much. There are ways you can handle your busyness so you can spend more time on yourself and your family.
Use a calendar
You can’t just rely on your memory, not unless you have the brain of Einstein. But even if you have, your overloading schedules, plus the pressure from the people around you, are enough reasons to forget important tasks.
Thus, the need to get yourself a calendar.
It won’t hurt to have something to help you remind of important things. And, the good thing about it is, you have the options regarding the type of calendar you can use. If you are inclining in going the traditional way- by using a paper calendar, there are lots of various designs available in the market nowadays. No need to stick to the boring and plain paper calendars.
Digital calendars are also a trend these days. You can make one for yourself, but if you find it a hassle, you can also browse Etsy (you can check StriveZenDigital on Etsy and choose from our collection of digital and printable calendars). There you can find loads of digital calendars you can choose from.
Or, if you don’t want to spend a dime, you can use Google calendar or the calendar app on your phone.
There is a quote from Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, that says;
“ The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
It made me stop on my track after reading it. Usually, we always say prioritize your schedule. But then, scheduling priorities means total sense, right? It’s like having a goal in mind, breaking down tasks to achieve your goals and scheduling them according to their importance. That way, you have a clearer picture of the steps you will take to reach your goal and keep you from doing things that can sidetrack you from achieving it.
Learn to say no
Saying yes all the time can lead to abuses, not just in your workplace; it also happens at home or even with friends.
I know it is hard to say no, particularly when it’s your boss. But then, if you always take whatever tasks they give you, you might compromise the quality of your work. This is likely to happen especially if you’ve got too much on your plate and trying to meet the deadline at the same time.
Being organized is one of the things that can help you through a busy schedule. How do you stay organized despite the chaos? We have our way of organizing, but one thing that doesn’t go wrong is writing everything down in your calendar.
There is a reason why using a calendar comes first on the list. That way, you can write all your to-do lists- from the most important to the less important ones- in one place. Aside from that, it will help you stay on track despite the unforeseen circumstances that might come along the way.
It’s not a sin to take a break from work. You must take your much-needed breaks. If you don’t, stress, pressure, exhaustion will consume you. That will eventually affect your productivity.
Aside from that, taking breaks is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Remember that too much work can make you ill. You only have one body, learn to take care of it. Once your health fails, the things you’ve worked hard on won’t be as important anymore.
A scheduling system that works
If you are still struggling in finding a scheduling system that works for you, continue reading as this might be the answer to your struggle, the 3-month wall calendar.
It’s just another boring, and plain paper calendar. I know you might be thinking that way. But, you are wrong. This 3-month wall calendar is unique, flexible, and does its work when it comes to scheduling, planning, and organizing.
It has three panels that have their own independent set of calendars. In short, you can see everything that you’ve written down inside the three months at-a-glance. No more hassle of flipping pages or opening an app just to view what’s on your day, week, or month.
Convenient, isn’t it? Not only that, you can easily take the months out of its panel and move it to a different panel as you like. It is extremely useful in conserving notes and markings on a future month as the month changes. You don’t have to rewrite all your notes again on the new set of pages. It is an optional feature as every panel has a full set of monthly pages.
Having a busy schedule doesn’t excuse you for missing a deadline or forgetting an appointment. You need to learn to plan, prioritize, and organize your life to be productive and achieve your goals according to your timeline.
An effective and convenient scheduling system will help you achieve your goals. You can do so by using the 3-month wall calendar, plus applying the tips listed above.
Do not spend all your time working. Have fun. Create memories with your loved ones.