There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Your work life is crammed full of lengthy meetings, barely scraped deadlines and an overflowing inbox. You missed your supermarket delivery slot and forgot to add cat food to your shopping list. Home is a waste ground of unemptied laundry baskets and undone DIY. What you need is a personal assistant. Someone to schedule appointments, prioritise your diary, update your task list and streamline your commitments to free you up to think. But if that's not on the horizon, it is possible to use a few tips and tricks to become your own PA.
Schedule Your Week At The Weekends
With a little groundwork, you can have organised days that flow better, a proper schedule, and time to train and meal prep to support your health and wellbeing. Of course, it's inevitable that sometimes, things still wont go to plan - but they will never go to plan if you don't plan in the first place! Set aside some time on a Monday to create a schedule for the week ahead, noting down your appointments and essential tasks and using a prioritisation matrix to be clear on the most important things to get done. Set appointment reminders so that you can't forget things. Scheduling your life at the weekend may seem strict, but it means that weekday you doesn't have to think about it - you know exactly where you need to be and what you need to be doing from the moment you wake up. This saves time and reduces stress, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
Colour Code Your Diary
If you have multiple commitments for work, home life, social events and sports, then use a colour coding system to simplify your schedule at a glance. This works whether you use a pack of highlighters on a physical planner or an app like Google Calendar. It's a great visual representation of your day ahead and helps you to decide whether to accept new commitments as they come in so you don't overload your day or double-book.
The great thing about having a PA is that they are able to prioritize for you completely objectively. They don't aim to please absolutely everyone, and so they can pace your day so that you don't burn out. Take this approach to your own schedule. Acknowledge the limits of your 24 hours. Make sure the essentials are done and learn the fine art of saying no to time drains and unexpected intrusions unless they truly are urgent.
Learn To Adapt
Life is full of curveballs, and a good PA can work work with that. Projects take longer than expected and meetings overrun. You can reschedule things if the plan for the day changes or if you change--when you’re feeling tired and burnt out, don't be afraid to claw back some time for yourself to rest and recuperate with an early night. Start fresh in the morning and you’ll find you can be far more productive than looking at things with an exhausted brain that can't find solutions.