Feel stressed, overwhelmed and overburdened? It might be time to declutter. We’re not talking about cleaning out the closets or going through the pantry. This is about clearing time in your schedule. In the guide below, we will explain how to declutter your schedule to reduce stress.
Eliminate Unnecessary Commitments
When you sort through your clothes, you get rid of the ones you no longer like or need. Do the same with your schedule. Eliminate the commitments that may not benefit your life the way they once did. Follow these steps:
- Make a list of all monthly tasks.
- Rank each of them on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being unimportant and 5 being critically important
- Pinpoint the tasks that you could realistically get rid of, and find a way to remove yourself from those commitments. You may need to give an advanced notice so other participants can transition easily.
Always put yourself first. You may have to hurt a few people along the way, but you have to do what’s best for your mental health. When you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, you are better equipped to help others. Take some time to think about you – just you.
Focus on What Matters Most
If you are having a hard time getting rid of commitments, think of people who would benefit from your time. Do you wish you had more time with your family? What about one-on-one moments with your spouse? An overcluttered schedule may be detracting from quality time elsewhere. Think about what matters most to you, and use that as motivation to forego other tasks.
Use New-Found Free Time to Clear Your To-Do Lists
Once you clear some time in your schedule, complete some of the tasks on your to-do list. We all have a list of things we’ll get to “some other day.” Make that day today. You might be surprised by how quick a lot of these tasks are. Rearranging the living room may only take 30 minutes of your time. Have a bag of clothes to donate? Leave the house five minutes early one day and drop them off before work. As you condense your to-do list, you will be able to enjoy even more of your personal time.
Avoid Overcommitting in the Future
Don’t assume that you have to fill your nearly-empty schedule with a new set of commitments. You can add new tasks over time, but give yourself a while to relax. Spend a few weekends doing absolutely nothing. Watch your favorite TV show, read a book, or take long naps on the couch. Give your mind and body a chance to recharge, and you’ll be much better off when new commitments arise.