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Many people believe that the end-all and the be-all of productivity is cramming as many activities as possible into your calendar. Accomplishment and productivity don’t necessarily revolve around the quantity of your work. In fact, it is typically more fruitful to do less at a higher quality. Below are some tips on how to be mindful when creating your calendar for optimizing success in your week.

Prioritize Your Tasks

There is simply not enough time in the day for everything you perceive “needs” to get done. If you take a moment to prioritize your activities, it can help improve the focus you have towards those more important tasks. You should be spending more time on the important tasks. It could be helpful to schedule the most important activities to coincide with times of the day that you feel most productive.

Set Limits

It’s important to be honest with yourself about how much you can truly accomplish within a day. It is okay to say, “I don’t have time for that”. Not only will you significantly decrease the stress you feel throughout the day, but you will free up time for those important tasks mentioned above. When people are forced to take on too many tasks, their work has a tendency to become sloppy and unfocused.

Plan Some You-Time

Everyone needs a break once in a while. Whether it’s setting aside ten minutes to get up and take a walk, or planning to take lunch with a friend, you-time is crucial to your day. Often, people feel guilty about taking personal time when there is work to be done. However, if you have already budgeted this time into your calendar, that can alleviate those feelings of guilt!

Make a Budget

There are plenty of sites and tools out there to help you create a time budget sheet. Make goals about how much sleep you want to get, how much time you want to spend eating, working, etc. and write it down! If you need help getting started, you can visit Money After Graduation’s website for a step-by-step explanation of making your own time management sheet.

Say No

While it is important to establish yourself as someone people can go to for help, advice, etc., it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. People often find themselves in the trap of being a “yes man” and ending up with no time to do their own tasks. Realize that saying no is okay, and you’ll find a lot more time for yourself during the day. Acknowledge when things are wasting your time and be confident in your decision.

There is an endless list of things you can do to be mindful when planning out your calendar, but these tips will get you started on the right path! Remember, taking care of yourself will lead to more productive work days and a healthier, happier life.