Life, Lists

How to have free time with a busy schedule

So, sometimes I don’t know how I do it.  Currently, I work full-time at my mother’s daycare, go to college, write in my blog (okay so it’s sporadic at times), help manage a house, and help to home school my nephew.  My life is one big juggling act.  Sometimes I wonder how in the world I can manage all of this and all the time I drive myself crazy.  It’s fine though, I actually like having a busy schedule.  Like other people though, I do like time to myself and time to relax.  Here’s how I manage to do it.

Binge watch your favorite shows.

I am definitely a Netflix junkie.  To me, “Netflix and chill” is nothing but watching Netflix and probably eating fast food.  But, because the time I have during the day is limited, I usually sneak a show in while I’m folding laundry, doing homework, or eating.  It helps to not care if you have to stop in the middle of an episode.  Sometimes I feel like it takes me weeks just to finish an episode but hey, at least I’m still relevant in the pop culture community (somewhat).

Schedule EVERYTHING.

I finally caved recently and got a planner.  I bit the bullet and spent $26 on a really nice one that can be customized.  I was skeptical at first.  How was a planner going to help me?  It’s not like it’s going to magically get stuff done.  Let me tell you.  That planner changed everything.  For some reason, when I write it down, it gets done.  Maybe its because I don’t have to remember it anymore.  But seriously, I even have to schedule an hour in my day to relax.  Sometimes it doesn’t happen, but at least I have that one hour to look forward to.

Do not sacrifice your sleep.

It may seem like a good idea at the time to stay up later to get stuff done but it’s not.  If you work, you’ll still have to get up at the same time and you’ll still be expected to get that day’s work done.  If you sacrifice your sleep, you’ll just fall more behind and be grouchy to boot.  Just don’t do it.  Even if you have a million things to get done, put it on the back burner when it’s time to go to sleep.  Because you’ll be suffering the next day if you do.

Time management.

Learning how to manage your time may seem easy, but it takes a lot of practice.  I home school in the morning which leaves the afternoon and evening for homework and blogging.  I know that I can probably get more done in the afternoon because by evening, I am absolutely exhausted.  So, I get the stuff done that I need to get done for the afternoon and by evening, I’m ready to wind down and relax.  Also, by sticking to what I have planned for the day, I can set my sights on relaxing (even if it’s just for 20 minutes) at the end of the day which is just enough for me not to go insane.

Get a system.

If I’m really into playing a game *cough* World of Final Fantasy *cough* but I have stuff to get done, I find a way to do both at the same time.  Yes, it will probably take longer to do the chores and tasks you need to get done, but you will also get to play at the same time.  One of my favorite systems to work out is, I get something done outside of the vicinity of my game and then I get to come back and play for 5-10 minutes.  Then, I can choose to do something within the vicinity of the game and play the game while I’m doing it, but the task at hand comes first.  Especially if it’s something that takes time to do (cutscenes, auto battles, ect) it makes it easier to get stuff done.  It’s important to remember though that the task should always come first.

Allow a cheat day.

Sometimes you just need to push everything aside and just do what YOU want to do.  Yes, those are called mental health days and yes they are important.  I find when I allow myself time (even if it’s just an hour) to do what I want, I can get a second wind and accomplish my tasks better than if I had just pushed through it.  Everyone needs a break, even you.  Don’t neglect yourself.

Get ahead.

If you have the time and the energy, try to get ahead if you can.  I know sometimes that’s not possible but it feels good to be ahead.  I chose to get two weeks worth of homework done in one week so that I could spend my Thanksgiving break relaxing instead of being swamped.  While I still had to do some work during my break, it felt good to not have as much pressure on me.

Be flexible.

Sometimes you aren’t going to get the stuff done that you wanted to get done.  That’s okay!  Learning that some things can get done later is important!  Stuff will happen sometimes and even if you can get one thing crossed off that to do list you’ve done a huge accomplishment!  Especially with a busy schedule, you take those achievements as they come!  Sometimes you just got accept the fact that you aren’t going to get any more done.  Don’t be afraid to say to yourself that you’ve done enough and go snuggle on the couch and relax.

Stay positive!

I found that with my schedule, I can’t make a to do list that’s a mile long (even though I still do sometimes).  Getting frustrated will only make things worse and you won’t be able to get free time!  When I find myself with time to do tasks (which is usually on the weekend), I only put a few things on my list.  It feels good to cross them off and if I get anything else done on top of that it’s just an added extra thing that I got done instead of something I had to get done.  It’s all about that mindset.

Learn to delegate!

One of the biggest things that I had to learn to do is delegate.  I have a perfectly good husband who wants to help me but I’m so used to doing everything that I forget to ask for help.  Especially if he’s offering to help, give him some of your load to carry.  That takes some of the weight off your shoulders and then you both can relax together.

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1 thought on “How to have free time with a busy schedule”

  1. women, especially moms, seem to have a very difficult time delegating. learn to do it early in life. teach your children, especially your daughters, how to delegate

    Like

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