Tired of Chaos? Plan for Less Stress in Your Day
A chaotic life is typically a stressful life as forgotten appointments, missing belongings and endless tasks can quickly become an overwhelming weight on your shoulders. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
With some proactive planning and a bit of effort to develop good habits, you can minimize the chaos in your life and reduce your daily stress.
Lists, lists, lists
There are generally two sources of chaos in daily life: encountering unforeseeable events and being disorganised. While you can’t do much to avoid the former, you can take active steps to counteract the latter. It starts with a list.
Making to-do lists may seem overly simple, but it can be a truly powerful tool in your battle against chaos. When your head is buzzing with a million things you need to get done, making lists can help you gain perspective, prioritise your time and feel more in control.
- Make multiple lists to break down short-term and long-term tasks.
- Add everything to your lists – nothing is too small or insignificant to include.
- Celebrate your achievements – every item crossed off is a small victory of organisation.
Plan at night, own the morning
If your day starts with chaos, it can be difficult to recover. The solution? Do all your planning the night before so you don’t have to deal with decision-making and uncertainty in the morning.
There are many small tasks and routines that are part of preparing for a typical workday. The more of these you can complete before bed, the less you’ll have to worry about in the morning if you’re tight on time or face surprise issues. By getting organised the night before, you can also sleep easier with fewer worries about what needs to be done in the morning.
- Prepare your breakfast the night before: make overnight oats, cut up fresh fruit or prepare a container with leftover noodles.
- Set out your clothes for the next day – no more frantic morning search for the shirt you wanted to wear.
- Plan your route and schedule for the next day’s appointments so you know how and when you’ll get to each one.
Commit to consistency
It’s difficult to tackle the big-picture issues in your life if your brain is bogged down by all the little things. By developing habits and being consistent in your routine, you can spend less mental energy on trivial matters and focus more on the important things.
You can build consistency into your life wherever it’s helpful, whether that’s managing your banking and bill payments every Monday night, feeding your pet fish first thing every morning, or placing all your borrowed library books in the same spot so you remember to return them on time.
- Keys, wallet, phone, umbrella – make sure everything has its place, so you never have to search for it.
- Pack your bag or purse for the next day and put it in the same spot every night.
- Stay mentally sharp by making exercise a consistent part of your day or week.
Make a plan to get organised
Facing unexpected obstacles and fighting fires every day is exhausting. When your life is in constant chaos, it can be hard to catch your breath and gain perspective on what’s truly important.
Fortunately, there are plenty of small steps that can have a big impact on reducing the chaos in your life. By making a detailed to-do list, planning your day ahead and developing helpful habits, you can trade some of your daily stress for increased productivity and a happier, more rewarding day.