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In 2011, our goal is to be so organized and emotionally balanced that daily life feels like one big yoga class: Full of deep, calm breaths. Last year, we spent too long being so busy we couldn’t keep up. This year, Zen. Here’s how.
Death To Post-It Notes And Lists: Put each of your work and personal tasks on your calendar, no matter how small. Appraise your time honestly—taking your blouse to the dry cleaner may seem like a five-minute errand, but is it, really? People tend to ditch their schedules in frustration after they fall behind on more than a task or two, so err on the side of overestimating. There’s lots of stuff you’d like to do, but ask yourself if your energy is going to peter out some time between editing your sister’s college essay and making a big pot roast. Be totally, no-holds-barred honest with yourself.
Rules Of Thumb For Crafting A Successful And Stress-Free Calendar:
- Estimate how long each task will take and then add at least fifteen minutes to that number.
- Schedule a short break for yourself every hour and a half, no matter what you’re doing.
- Build in 30 minutes to go over your calendar at the beginning of each month. At the beginning of each week, spend 15 minutes reviewing it. Spend no more than five minutes on your calendar each day.
- One month ahead is as far out as you need to think. If you’re big into planning ahead, it’s okay to chart out the whole year (when you’ll buy gifts for friends’ summer weddings, when to choose Thanksgiving plane tickets, etc.). Otherwise, don’t sweat it.
Break Every Project Into Manageable Chunks.
Don’t put “presentation to the marketing department” on your calendar. Instead, break it down into micro-tasks: Tracking down last year’s budget, calling people for artwork, etc.
Read on, for more tips.