One of the most difficult things so many people try to do is fit 26 hours into one day. In fact, it's completely impossible. Yet still, by the looks of so many to-do lists, people obviously try. If you've gotten to the end of a day and wondered where it went, you're not alone in this sentiment.
Your natural conclusion might involve the desire to get hired help. It would be nice to have an extra pair of hands to help manage everything. However, not everyone can afford a personal assistant. In this case, it works out because an assistant may not be necessary. In fact, a planner is actually the best assistant you could ever use. If you use these three barometers to help you stay on course, you'll agree that a mere to-do list is the best assistant you could ever ask for.
1. Be realistic. It may sound comical to think that people try to fit 26 hours into a 24 hour day, but so many people get stuck at this point. It's time to start being realistic about how much you can do in one day. Sure, there are plenty of people who manage to work diligently on a lot of different projects at once. However, most people will admit that multi-tasking isn't necessarily the best practice to master. Take a look at your to-do list and what you've written down. Decide what items are most important and what can truly wait. Once you narrow it down, you'll be able to realistically focus on a few things every day and be more effective.
2. Be intentional. It's one thing to purchase a planner. It's another thing to actually use it. Be intentional about sitting down before bed each night to create your to-do list. Think about all the things you'd like to get down and what you don't want to forget. As you write it down in a journal, you can transfer the most vital activities to your day's list. In this case, you'll be more intentional about tackling the most important needs first. The more you get into this habit, you'll eventually have an easier time finishing projects and moving on.
3. Be flexible. On any given day, things will happen. While you don't need to live in a constant state of panic, you need to be as flexible as possible. If you have children, something might come up whether they're sick and need to go home. If you have to play doctor to a sick child or spouse, your to-do list will go out the window. Instead of getting down on yourself, the best way to manage this is through a contingency plan. You should know that if something ever comes up and you need help, you know who you can call and get help from. It doesn't have to be an assistant. It could be a family member or friend. It could also involve putting a reminder in your phone to make a certain call. There are ways to be flexible through a situation and they usually all involve a contingency plan.
Managing your life might seem overwhelming to others, but once you've got it down to a science, it'll feel like second-nature. Just use these three tips and stay diligent. You'll be able to thrive without an assistant breathing down your neck.