Between work, home, and trying to create something that resembles a social life—it’s easy for your schedule to fill up—and fast!
In fact, if you’re anything like most of us, it can look downright daunting at times.
A quick glance at your planner leaves you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. The lists aren’t getting shorter and the days aren’t getting longer! How can you find time to get everything done—let alone pencil in anything else?
If this sounds like you, you certainly aren’t alone. Many of us feel as if our schedules weigh us down, and instead of having a well-planned week, we find that we are tied to our plans with no wiggle room.
It turns out that one off the biggest planning mistakes, aside from neglecting to plan at all, of course, is overscheduling (along with overorganizing).
“Overorganization can quickly lead to the condition known as analysis paralysis,” states an article by Time Thoughts, “where you get stuck planning, organizing, and preparing and never get around to doing anything.” As Winston Churchill reportedly said, “The maxim ‘nothing avails but perfection’ can be spelled PARALYSIS.”
If you are waiving the white flag, wishing for a break in your schedule, or simply looking for some ways to stop overscheduling yourself, here’s a look at a few things you should take into consideration.
Dangers of Overscheduling Yourself
Overscheduling yourself can wreak havoc on your schedule and life, causing you to burn out quickly and leaving you feeling defeated—the opposite of what a planner is intended to do! In fact, if left unchecked for too long, an overly full schedule can even cause stress and friction in your relationships with others. Here are a few more dangers of overscheduling your planner—and yourself!
You may miss out on things you love.
It may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning anyways. When you have a jam-packed schedule, you will be far less likely to be able to join in on things you enjoy or spend time with those you love. Some of the best moments in life are those things that are done spontaneously. Say no enough times, and people will soon start to leave you out of their plans. If you don’t even have an hour to meet for coffee, how could you possibly have time to join them for anything else?
It can cause resentment.
An over-packed schedule can foster a sense of resentment, and could even lead to a dread of things that you once loved. You are so stressed out trying to get things done that you simply don’t have time to enjoy these things anymore—and instead of finding joy in them, you start to regret them for taking up your time.
You will experience unneeded stress.
Finally, your overscheduled schedule can cause tremendous stress in your life. An overly packed day can result in you burning the candle at both ends. Sleep deprivation, even just a few hours a night, can cause your body stress. Couple this with the pressure of keeping up, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Signs You are Overscheduled
Wondering if you’re over scheduled? Here are a few signs that you may be loading yourself up in an unhealthy way.
Constantly tired or feeling sick?
And overscheduled planner can lead to stress, and stress can cause physical ailments. If you find yourself battling more headaches or other ailments than usual, check your planner and see when was the last time you gave yourself a break.
Moody and irritable?
Are you snapping more than usual? Demanding and moody? If you find yourself coming unglued more than usual, you might be overscheduled and stressed out.
If you find your normally-on-time self is regularly running late, take a minute to check your schedule. It could be the underlying cause.
How to Stop Overscheduling Yourself
How do you unload your schedule and free yourself up without losing out on the important things? Here’s a look at some steps that you can take.
Be honest with how long each thing on your list is going to take. Schedule yourself enough time in your Day Designer to realistically accomplish things.
Get rid of irrelevant tasks.
Remember, the goal of a schedule isn’t to pack your day full; instead, it’s to help keep you on track so that you can accomplish the most important things.
Learn to say no.
Sometimes, we need to say no. If you have to choose between overscheduling yourself and saying no, say no. If it is something you really feel you need to or want to do, then make sure you take something else off your list. Don’t just add it in and hope for the best.
Prioritize your tasks.
Make sure you prioritize the tasks on your list. Make sure you aren’t cutting the things that make you happy in hopes of freeing up some space! In fact, you should prioritize those things to help energize and renew yourself, leading to a more balanced, happier, and even more productive life.
If you’ve found yourself being held hostage to your schedule, take the time to step back and analyze your day. Being honest with yourself and looking to eliminate, cut back, or reduce the time spent on certain tasks can help to free you up tremendously, allowing you to reclaim your day, and use your schedule as intended—as a helpful tool, not a hindrance or reminder of all of the tasks that you’re struggling to accomplish.
Are you guilty of overscheduling? How do you avoid falling into this trap?
Keep your schedule in check with Day Designer—the strategic planner and daily agenda for living a well-designed life. Shop for your new daily planner today!