3 Ways to Declutter and Reduce Stress in Your Schedule
So many of us experience daily the clutter and mess that a busy schedule brings with it. Whether it’s running your kids to extracurricular activities or grabbing a quick bite to eat between work and social commitments, the wear and tear of a busy schedule can quickly become overwhelming.
Feeling overcommitted and stretched thin is never a healthy state to live in. When you have too many commitments, you may begin to realize that you are not putting your heart into any of your commitments. You will find yourself doing just enough to scratch by and you may start to feel disappointed that none of your commitments are really reflective of what you are fully capable of—not to mention the physical toll that the stress related to feeling overcommitted can take on your body.
With a few of these principles and suggestions below, you can find the strength to take control and declutter your busy schedule. Once you find peace and order in your schedule, you will experience a greater depth of enthusiasm and appreciation for the commitments you are involved in.
Figure out what’s most important
The first thing to do when you’re feeling overcommitted is to take a step back and consider the things that are most important to you. It is important for you to acknowledge the fact that you cannot possibly take on all the responsibilities you are presented with, and then consider which commitments you really value. Whether it’s family, church or your job, take some time to figure out what commitments you really want to make a priority in your schedule.
By determining what is most important in your daily schedule, you will find yourself feeling more motivated about the commitments that you are a part of.
Learn how to say “no”
The inability to say no to new opportunities is one of life’s greatest adversaries to keeping a schedule with your priorities in mind. Having established what is most important to you, it is essential that you consider those priorities as new opportunities are presented to you. There are plenty of good things that you can be a part of, but in order to avoid being overcommitted, you must consider how a new opportunity will tie in with the priorities that you have already established.
Dr. Melva Green, a psychiatrist involved with the A&E television series Hoarders, said this about decluttering your life, ”When it comes to collecting roles and responsibilities in life, our schedules get cluttered in the same way that our houses do. You bring things in and nothing goes out. There is a mathematical logic to clutter: if you take in more than you let go, your house is going to become an overburdened, draining mess. This is true for your schedule as well. Say yes to everything and you will quickly find yourself in a big heap of overwhelm and exhaustion.”
Evidently, the counter to saying yes to everything is learning how to say no.
Schedule some down time
One way to ensure that your schedule doesn’t get too crazy is by purposefully scheduling a time to relax in your day. Choose something that you love to do and take an hour out of your day to do it. Whether it’s reading, meditating, watching Netflix or taking a nap, intentionally taking time in your day to rest will go a long way in keeping your mind at peace.
As the year moves on, take some time to step back from your schedule and consider all of your responsibilities and commitments. You never know what changes could help make a happier and healthier you!
By Dane Roper, Cariloop Intern