How to create a schedule that eliminates stress

Being a busy mumpreneur can often feel overwhelming – being constantly on the go, with all the to-do items on their list and in their head. Leaving them feeling like there is too much to do, too much responsibility and too little control.

These mumpreneurs are not afraid of hard work, but sometimes they get tired and stressed and they’d love to find a way to feel calm and manage their days better.

Constant physical and emotional stress can cause even the healthiest of women to feel exhausted and irritable.

Stress is real and prevalent in our society

A study of over 1,100 Americans found that women were more likely than men to report that they were stressed and not feeling in control of their lives.

Stress is often caused by the following factors:

  • lack of clarity
  • individual attitudes, beliefs and expectations
  • a feeling of being time-poor (time pressure, busyness) and too many demands.

Stress comes from within. Even though outside events may cause stress, it is not just what is happening that causes stress, but the perception of what is happening.

Female bodies are unable to handle the insidious effects of constant stress because their biology has not changed to accommodate the new demands of their multiple roles as mumpreneurs and mothers.

Energy

Both physical energy and mental energy, are required in the right amount to be productive, consistent and present at work and in life.

Energy is a mental construct. It’s measured and managed based on feelings and emotions.

The steps to create a schedule that creates calmness and eliminates stress

Step 1: Manage energy, not time.
Working out what part of the day physical and mental energy is at its highest, this may be morning or evening. Followed by:

  • What task is that energy best suited for?
  • Then do the most challenging tasks at that time.

Step 2: Set specific boundaries
Managing a busy schedule is easier with specific boundaries.

  • One of those boundaries is saying “No” to certain tasks.
  • Limit email time and allocate set times to check emails and stick with them.
  • Avoid social media – try 10-minute intervals x twice daily .

Step 3: Plan the night before
Planning is essential as it takes the stress out of the next day and creates control

  • Spend a few minutes each night organizing the to-do list for tomorrow.
  • Create a shortlist of the most important tasks to accomplish.
  • It only takes 10 minutes that night and saves hours the next day.

Plan realistically – priorities vs expectations
Identify which tasks fit best on which days and times.

  • Allow enough space in the calendar to complete those tasks.
  • Schedule not-negotiable tasks first then fit in just ONE additional action each day
  • Identify energy draining obstacles .

Step 4: Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro, from the Italian word for ‘tomato, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer.

Working in a 25-minute block, followed by a short break, is a great way to be productive and to get consistent outcomes. It can also be extended to 30- or 45-minute blocks.

Tip: Be specific and define a measurable, milestone outcome for each block of time.

One of the most important ways to manage stress is to prevent it from ever occurring, by being organised and planning ahead. The key is finding the right balance and working within it.

Plan more, stress less.

Irena Geller, Emotional Eating Coach, irenageller.com.au

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