It doesn’t matter the reason, at some point we all get behind. The key is recognizing it and getting back on track.
There are many reasons we get behind, poor planning, over committing, distractions, the list goes on. Sometimes we have a very good reason for getting behind, sometimes we don’t.
If running behind is the norm for you, ask yourself why it is happening. You need to identify the root cause so you can correct it. If you don’t address it you will run yourself into the ground because you are choosing to live in a high state of stress.
If you just aren’t taking the time to list out all the things you must do so that you can schedule accordingly, there is an easy fix to it. Get yourself a scheduler and write in it what you need to do each day. Make sure you plan time for yourself to rest and eat throughout the day. Even if only for 15 minutes to go for a short walk to get some fresh air, or clear your mind, planning a break is important.
Once you have everything planned out your day is set. You need to do your best to stick to that schedule. Yes, some things might come up that need to be done right away but you can adjust. You have the power to decide if it can wait or what can be moved. Not everything can be top priority all the time. Also, don’t forget to plan your travel time as well.
Some things are more important than others. In fact, once you start planning and get good at it, you can quickly decide if something really needs to be done. Perhaps it can be done by someone else, perhaps it isn’t needed at all. The beautiful thing about it is that you decide how full or open your schedule will be. Some days may be heavier than others but they should all be manageable.
If you just keep pushing stuff to the next day it means you aren’t allowing enough time for your tasks. You will continue to run behind until you fix this.
People pleasers have trouble with this one because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They say yes to everyone, even when they shouldn’t.
The reality is that sometimes you have to say ‘no, I just don’t have time right now’. It doesn’t mean you can’t say yes next time, it just means that right now you have enough on your plate. Sometimes you are doing more than one thing for a person. If this is the case ask them which is more important and explain you only have time for one. By letting them choose you take the choice off your shoulders and let them pick.
When you overcommit, someone always loses out. Whether it be yourself because you are burning out, your family or your friends because you have no time for them, or your job because you are distracted by all the things you have to get done, someone is on the losing end.
People who overcommit are usually doing many things quickly and tend to make mistakes. This is because they don’t have enough time to dedicate to each task. You may think people don’t notice but they do. Make yourself a plan and learn to say no when your schedule is full.
When you let yourself be distracted by people around you, the natural result is you get behind in whatever it was you were doing. Television, people stopping by your desk, kids wanting your immediate attention for no apparent reason other than that you aren’t focused on them, are all manageable distractions.
It is okay to say ‘I’m busy right now but I will give you my full attention on nn minutes’. You get to tell them what time you will be free based on what you are doing.
Occasionally, it will be important, you will need to stop what you are doing and give the person your attention. Once you have addressed their need or concerns then get back to what you were doing.
I’ve learned over the years to allow for distractions throughout my day. If I can’t lock myself away where interruptions do not exist, then I plan for them by adding time before and behind every task I have in my day. That way, if someone comes along and needs ten minutes, I can still finish on time and not get behind.
However you plan out your day, always remember that you are in control. If you are constantly getting behind don’t beat yourself up, just fix the issues going forward. Remember, you are not alone, at some point we all get behind.
Free inspirational or motivational posts can be found on the inspirational page of my website.