First, I know I know I know – when you have a super busy week full of appointments, work, meetings, church, volunteering, studying, teaching, etc. etc. etc., it can seem daunting and overwhelming at the thought that your to-do list is a mile long. But I am here to help. Now, let me start by saying, Girl I feel ya! Almost every Sunday I look at my planner and wonder “How in the world can I get all this done?” but I do it and you can to. So, here we go…
- BREATHE! Sounds simple right? But when you begin to feel overwhelmed, defeated and straight up out of it, taking a few deep breaths will help. No, I don’t mean huff and puff then think that’s it. Take a few moments, clear your mind of all things worrying you and take 5 deep breaths. Start by putting your right hand on your chest and left hand on your stomach. As you take in as much as air as your lungs can handle, then slowly breathe out through your nose, you will feel a sense of relief. Really try to feel the motions of your body – the way your chest rises when you inhale and the way your stomach pushes out when you exhale. Got it? Okay good. Even when you feel frazzled during the day, irritated at your computer acting up or just need a second to regain composure, start with this simple breathing exercise.
2. Prioritize, Eliminate & Let go! A lot of
times, we get so wrapped in doing so many things, we can forget why we are working this hard in the first place. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, look at your schedule, crazy to-do list and ask yourself “Is this necessary?” If it isn’t, let it go. Now for those of us who are students, maybe our schedule is full or tests and homework (please y’all, don’t get rid of those) but it is possible, we have extra baggage in there too like events we really don’t want to go to, meetings with people you really don’t want to see, dreadful volunteering tasks that we only signed up for because of pressure – let those go. When I say that,
I don’t mean give up and cancel on everyone (sometimes that is needed), but, you see that employee surprise lunch for the guy you can’t stand on your busiest day of the week? Get rid of it. You don’t really want to go and could be spending that time more productively. Same thing for those events you feel like you have to go to, but seriously don’t have the desire to – give it up. You are really not going for any good reason and that is time you could spend actually being productive.
3. PLAN PLAN PLAN! All my friends know, on Sunday evening they should expect to see my planner getting worked on via Snapchat (add me if ya like: Azanique Rawl). I live and breathe by my planner. I refuse to leave the house without it and I have to open it minimum 3 times a day – when I wake up, during my lunch/break & before I go to bed. I know we all aren’t planner junkies like myself, but one the best ways to get through a hectic week, is by proper planning. I prefer the pen and paper method with my Day Designer hourly style planner, but if you prefer an electronic version, do what works for you. Since I have 2 jobs to balance, research, volunteering, taking summer classes and studying for the LSAT – a hourly style planner works best for me. No matter what type of planning instrument you want to use, make it something that you will be dedicated and have easy access to.
- At the beginning of the week, I map out all the things I have to do. This includes working, group meetings, research and church.
- Once I do that, then I add all my reminders like when bills are due, when homework is due, when the chapter tests will be posted, so I have a clear understanding where my focus needs to be for that day.
- Next, I use the to-do list. I put anything I want to get done that week that isn’t time sensitive and/or have a specific day it needs to get done. This includes making Max a vet appointment (yes important, but can be done any day of the week when the vet is open), buying new flowers for my apartment, returning the shoes I got in the wrong size, ordering a new book from Amazon and so on and so on. Those things are important but whether they get done on Monday at 1 p.m. or Wednesday 8 a.m. or Thursday at 6 p.m., is not critical.
- Now based on how much work I need to do, I see when I can multitask or have things set up at the same time. This would include my lunch break. Now, I love to eat in a quiet space outside the office, but maybe this week is so hectic that I need to listen to my neuropsych lecture for half of my lunch time. No big deal! By doing so, I am able to still enjoy my lunch, take my brain off work and get school work done instead of having to do it at night. If I know that my night will be busy, I may come home for lunch to throw something in the crockpot or take the chicken out the freezer. So when I come home, dinner preparation is quick.
- If you are super duper busy, try meal prepping on Sunday (whenever your off day is) or at least planning your meals. I’m not there just yet with meal prepping, but simply writing in my planner what I will have for dinner helps keep me on track and not wasting time.
Like I said, I use an hourly planner so I can visualize how my day will flow. Most electronic versions with apps and your google calendar will have a similar method that blocks out your time. Both work great. Bottom line – invest in a good planner that will aid and assist in keeping your busy week on track.
4. WAKE. SLAY. SLEEP! Basically, do it! It’s time to tackle that week. Utilize your beautiful planner and breathing exercise to face that week head on. Don’t be afraid to move around plans if you need to. Maybe your psychology test gets pushed back two days, you can either study more or move your study time closer to the new scheduled exam date. Maybe your big work meeting is moved to next week (HOORAY!), try spending half the time you planned on preparing for it this week then during the week, when your schedule settles down, finish the rest. No matter what, don’t lose that powerful momentum you had at the start of the week. We all know thousands of mishaps, mistakes and changes can occur in one week, but it is how you handle them that will make the difference in how your week continues. Do the damn thing!
5. Lastly, practice Self-Care. Okay I know you’re looking at this like, “Girl, I barely have time to eat this week, you want me to do what?” Yes. Practice self- care. It is one the most important tasks of any day or week. Your self-care could be as simple as taking a 10 minute walk before bed to clear your mind, reading your morning & evening devotional, doing a quick yoga routine, running 3 miles before you get to work or even cuddling with your dog. Whatever it is, it is important and needs to be practiced to maximize your potential and success for that week.
Before you know it, the week will be over and you’ll wonder why you even stressed yourself that much in the first place.Trust me, you’ll get this good in no time. Just take it day by day.
Thank you for reading my first Get Movin’ Monday post! I would love to hear about how these tips worked for you and any other tips you true during a hectic week. Leave me a comment or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to share with your friends & on social media outlets. I know you will have a productive and awesome week but you just are that amazing, don’t forget that.