How to manage your time when feeling overwhelmed?

Have you had the feeling that you need more hours a day? Or maybe you know that you have so many things to do that you do not even know where to start  feeling overwhelmed even before starting? This is something common for all of us these days when life is running so fast and I don’t have time becomes a regular phrase to use.

One thing at a time

I used to feel like this a lot when I worked as a theatre producer and did the international art scenes festival. There were so many things to do! So many people I had to talk to and coordinate everything: every play, every rehearsal, what people would eat every day, where they would sleep, who would drive them to every place, flight tickets, and so on. It was easy to spend a lot of time doing one thing, then another one without even finishing the first one. Because I had to do a lot of things at the same time, it was pretty easy to get stressed.

Yet, this was the reason that made me learn a method to organize my time better, in the most productive way. I realized, you just need to do one thing at a time – prepare to sit for a while and focus on just one thing.

How to prioritize your time?

As you focus on one thing, next is to prioritize your time. In order to do so, first you have to set your activities in the order of importance and urgency. Then, to measure them from high to low. So, at the end you will have 4 categories:

1. Important and urgent things to do. These are the critical activities you have to put more attention to. So, it is important to plan them ahead in order to reduce last-minute work. Avoid procrastination and try to leave some space in the schedule for extra time in case you may need it.

2. Important but not urgent things to do. These are important goals to achieve. Keep yourself disciplined and never leave the work until it becomes urgent.

3. Not important but urgent things to do. These are the interruptions. It is important to learn to say “no” and preferably try to set a regular meeting to handle all small issues at once.

4. Not important and not urgent things to do. These are the distractions. Avoid them, ignore them and say “no” so that people around you understand your interests.

New ways to do the same thing

When I started to realize that I had to manage my time better, everything changed, and I became more productive. All the activities and the festival was a success! Just by taking some time to prioritize all the activities makes a huge difference in the process and the result. Moreover, it allowed me to enjoy my work more and the process to work with so many people.

What about you? Would you like to try it? Remember, if we want different results, we need to try new ways to do the same thing.

Learning how to manage our time at work and personal life makes a huge difference in the way we enjoy the process. If you want to know more about how to learn to manage your time better, join our self-development program.

Photo credits: William Iven, Unsplash

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