Our Tips For Managing Grueling Schedules Effectively

Our Tips For Managing Grueling Schedules Effectively

Range Govindan
Aug 27, 2010

As someone who works a lot and still manages to get things done, I thought I'd share how I manage to do it. Sometimes, when I start speaking about my weekly schedule to acquaintances, they get a shocked look in their eyes. I know that this can easily overwhelm people who have a job and just get through the day. However, managing multiple work assignments can be done quite simply if you're well organized.

You'll need a combination of tech to get organized, naps to take a rest, and caffeine to get you up and going again in order to make things work. The trick is to give yourself a breather, no matter how busy you get, so that you can let the stress just evaporate out of you. As an example, I tend to either read or do some drawing in a Moleskine to relax myself during my breaks.

1. Google Gmail and Calendar The trick to a hectic schedule is being organized. There are many ways that you can do this, from Gmail to Google Calendar, but no matter how you do so, it's important to stick to it. Since Gmail and Calendar are very much integrated, it's easy to schedule appointments, tasks, chores, working periods effectively. This comes in very handy if you work at a few different places. Being able to sync your schedule with your mobile device also eliminates a lot of hassles.

2. Naps
After having lunch, I usually take a nap, which can last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on how long I have until my next class. It's hard to explain how good it feels to rest your eyes. Initially, I had trouble imagining that a 20-minute nap would make a difference, but it does. I usually wake up refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the day. The more you get into naps and power naps, the easier it will be to take a quick rest. Busy people take whatever rest they can get, even if it's only a 20-minute cat nap.

3. Eat Well
Even though you can get a bit sleepy after having some food, I stick with fruits in between meals to keep me going. Bananas, apples, any fruits in season work well. While I skip breakfast, I usually have something to eat at about 10AM. The fruits are also enough to keep me sated until lunchtime.

4. Java! While I don't drink that much coffee, I do drink about 1 or 2 cups a day. Most of the time, I drink a medium-sized French hazelnut latte when I wake up from my nap at a local coffee shop. It's the right amount to get me going, because you'll be slightly groggy after your nap. I find that if I drink too much coffee, it will keep me awake very late.

I'm in the process of getting a coffee siphon, so I'll be able to brew my own fancy Blue Mountains java at home. I stay away from energy drinks. I've had my share of them when I was younger, but I no longer partake. A hot cup of good coffee works for me.

5. Mind Hacks
One of the mind hacks I employ is that I don't switch on the computer in the morning. I have discovered by experience that this sucks away a lot of time in my morning routine. I'd rather just sip my morning tea and take it easy for about 10 minutes before walking the dog and hopping into the shower.

Another trick that I've found is to give myself treats. Treats make you feel really good. It could be spending a bit of extra money on a fancy espresso or getting a new book.

[images via Lifehack, Pulido Imports]

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