5 Planning Tips for the Busy 30-Something

To say I’m a busy person would be an understatement.  In addition to my full-time job, I actively participate in local community theatre, sing in two choirs, and have a pretty active social life in between.  On average, I am out and about 5 to 6 nights a week.  Maintaining a busy schedule while staying sane can be a bit of a challenge, so here are my tips and tricks for staying organized with a hectic schedule!

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This meme is way too real…

  1. Write it down.

There are so many different technologies out there to keep track of appointments, commitments and schedules.  It might be overkill, but I like to write down my appointments in, at a very minimum, 3 different places.  I use my calendar app on my phone religiously, since it is the most easily accessible.  I also have a bullet journal in purse and keep a planner on my bedside table.  While technology is great, I really like to put pen to paper to write my schedule down, mostly because it’s just another way to make sure I don’t forget.

  1. Take time to plan.

This is probably the part I have the most trouble with.  It’s great that I write all of my appointments down in a nifty little planner, but that doesn’t mean anything if you can’t manage your time without feeling overwhelmed.  Part of managing a busy schedule is staying on top of it.  At the beginning of every week, I like to take a few minutes to see what I have on the go that week and plan accordingly.

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  1. Make meals in advance or take advantage of a slow cooker.

I am the worst at trying to figure out what to eat, especially for lunch.  Usually, I just bring the leftovers from whatever I made for dinner the night before, but making dinners can be tricky when you are only home for an hour or two before heading out the door again.  On the days I do have off though, I try to make a few things or easy meals to get me through the week.  I’m also a big fan of dumping ingredients in a slow cooker on those days when I really don’t have time to cook.

  1. Pick out outfits the night before.

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and staring at your closet trying to figure out what you’re going to wear that day, especially if you are in a rush.  Spending 5 minutes picking out your outfit for the next day the night before can save you some valuable time and frustration in the mornings.

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  1. Pick up after yourself.

If you are anything like me, a messy home can drive you absolutely batty.  It makes me anxious if my home is messy.  I feel agitated and antsy and when you have a busy schedule and no one around to help with the housework, it can definitely take a toll.  I like to save the big things like vacuuming or mopping for Saturdays when I usually have the whole day off, but I’ll dust or do a load of laundry before I leave the house for the evening during the week.  This way I don’t need to do it all in one day and I won’t be embarrassed when people stop by unexpectedly.

Bonus Tip: Learn to say “no”.

I think the hardest lesson I ever learned was that saying “no” is always an option.  Fear of missing out or FOMO is a real thing for me.  I hate feeling like I’m missing out on something that might be fun, or might help me professionally, but I’ve also learned that thinking I can do everything is the quickest way to burn out.  When I burn out, I get physically ill.  I’ll catch a never-ending cold or virus, and then I’m no good to anyone.  Sometimes, you need to know your limits and take time for yourself, which might mean that you have to say “no” to something.  You might feel like you are letting people down, but at the end of the day, your health and well-being is the most important.

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Colouring is a great self-care activity.

That’s all I’ve got for today!  Do you have any tips or tricks to staying organized when you have a busy schedule?  Let me know in the comments!

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