6 Ways to Alleviate Schedule Congestion

Stress Over Your Busy Schedule - blog

Do you stress over your busy schedule? Does it keep you awake at night? It’s possible you suffer from schedule congestion. If you adopt these 6 rules, you might find yourself less stressed, sleeping with fewer interruptions, and feeling more grounded.

One of the common themes I see in working with clients as a Sleep & Well-being Coach—particularly those looking to reduce stress so they can sleep better—is that they suffer from “schedule congestion.” Do you? Here are 6 ways to know:

  1. You move from one appointment/obligation/meeting to another, without any space between them.


  2. Your evenings are as booked as your days (sometimes expressed as “I have no free time” or “I have no time for myself”).


  3. You’re “doing” all the way up until it’s time to go to sleep.


  4. You’re frequently responding to interruptions, “fire drills,” and/or “emergencies.”


  5. You view taking care of yourself (e.g., eating, sleeping) as “a waste of time,” or procrastinate these necessary human activities.


  6. You frequently “flake,” or back out of commitments you previously made.

Of course there are other symptoms, but these are the ones I hear a lot.

So, what is there to do? How can you find space and reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm, when it seems impossible?

It’s often hard to “de-congest” right away, so you must begin in small ways.

I suggest you look at your schedule a month or so out, and implement these 6 “rules” as soon as requests for commitments during that month start coming in (from others and/or from you!):

  1. Whenever you accept an appointment/obligation/meeting, automatically block off 30-60 minutes afterwards. You may initially feel this is excessive, but I encourage you to try it. There’s a reason many scheduling tools offer this option!


  2. Ensure you have an evening with “nothing to do” at least 3 times per week.


  3. Don’t commit to anything on back-to-back evenings.


  4. Set a recurring alarm that goes off 2-3 hours before you plan to go to sleep. When the alarm goes off, shut off your phone, turn off all screens, and enjoy some real relaxation time!


  5. Schedule at least 1 hour/week on your calendar for planning your upcoming week, so your priorities are included first.


  6. Remember who you are: a human being. To function optimally, you must care for your mind-body system with recovery and rest. This is especially true if you are a caretaker for others.

If you adopt these 6 rules, you might find yourself less stressed, sleeping with fewer interruptions, and feeling more grounded.

If you try them for a time, and then stop (because you reverted to old habits, or your routine was disrupted) learn what you can do.

Here’s to having more space. 😉

Did this post open your eyes to something new?

For more atypical insights into your ongoing sleep & well-being struggles + a way forward without more pills, products, and gadgets, grab your copy of my #1 bestselling book: MASTERING YOUR SLEEP PUZZLE: YOUR 12-WEEK GUIDE TO SLEEPING BETTER.


2 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    I love you amazing story! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this!

    Also, I love the new UX! Look forward to reboot and connecting again!
    Love from Austin,

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