Letting your schedule fill up with other people's priorities is the quickest way to get overwhelmed and burn out. Start your scheduling by adding some things you want to do.
Picture: hiroo yamagata/Flickr
Placing something in your schedule makes it a priority. You necessarily have to say no to anything else that wants to occupy that time slot or at the very least make a conscious decision to change your existing plans. As productivity blog LifeClever suggests, adding leisure time can help you avoid the problem of procrastination by attacking the problem at its root:
The Unschedule looks like a normal schedule, but with a twist. Instead of scheduling work you have to do, you fill in everything you want to do. …This includes: Free time, recreation, leisure reading, socializing, lunches, health activities…Fill in your Unschedule with work projects only after you've completed at least one half hour of uninterrupted work….Think of the Unschedule as a time clock that you punch in as you start work and punch out when you take credit for your progress.
You can follow up by adding in the things you need to get done that actually accomplish something. Meetings and replying to emails feel productive, but prioritising actual work time will probably be better for you than spending all your time appeasing everyone else's priorities.
How to Unschedule your work and enjoy guilt-free play [LifeClever via 99u]