Some of my hints and tips for getting yourself through a jam packed week
BUSYNESS – IT IS A MODERN EPIDEMIC
Despite the advances in technology that effectively shrink the amount of time it takes to get things done (how did we complete any work without mobile phones, emails and online banking?!) we still always seem to be so gosh darn busy! Our ancestors predicted that, by this time, the level and application of technology would mean that we would only be working 3 hours a day. They couldn’t have been further off the mark! Blame perception, blame our desire to achieve or blame external pressures; whatever you choose to blame, being busy is a part of our lives.
Some people cope with being busy like troopers. So much so, that you are completely baffled by how they manage to juggle their full time job, side hustle, family and extra curricular activities (read: super humans). Others, including myself, can be a little overwhelmed at the prospect of being go-go-go for a period of time. So, in order to cope with a busy week a little more like the troopers, I have learned to adopt a few different strategies, strategies that I feel will help anyone facing a hectic schedule…
Write lists and prioritise
The first thing I do when I feel a little under the pump is write a list. Honestly, I am a bit of a list freak – they help me to feel in control of what I need to do for the day or week.
Writing down all of the things that you need to get done helps to focus your mind, and gets you thinking in work mode. I even write down all of the little things – like ‘reply to text from Kevin’ – to ensure that I don’t forget anything (plus, it feels SO good crossing things off a list!). A word of warning; if you are going to write down absolutely everything you need to do, big or small, it is imperative that you prioritise your list. Number your jobs from most important to least important; select out 10 tasks at a time and create a mini list, only going back to your master list to choose out the next 10 tasks; colour code your list – what ever works for you to make sure you are attacking the most pressing things first (and not just the easiest or most fun!).
Stick to a routine
Sticking to a routine is like following your to-do list – it is a simple, easy and structured way to get yourself through your day and week. Sticking to a routine also helps you to form good, healthy habits (habits take 4 weeks to form, and around 12 to stick).
Set your alarm for the same time every day, even if it means you are waking up at 6.00am on gym days and rest days. Similarly, go to bed at approximately the same time every evening. You may think that staying up late and putting in some extra hours of work is being productive, but when you end up throwing out your body clock and feeling lethargic the next day, you will quickly realise that is not the best choice! Give yourself a screen cut off time (that means TV and phone too!) and allow yourself to unwind an hour before bed time. Your body will thank you for keeping your sleeping pattern regular!
Sticking to a plan like this has not only helped my energy levels, but I also manage to keep my gym dates regular, and I have more time to spend with my gorgeous partner!
Schedule in ‘me’ time
Sometimes this can feel like a really hard thing to do when you remind yourself of how much you think you need to get done, but I can’t stress the importance of me-time enough.
Leave a 1 hour gap in between meetings to do what you want to do. Just do it. Go and get a coffee and read a magazine, let off some steam at the gym, go window shopping, or just sit down and let yourself catch up on episodes of The Block that you may have missed. I have friends of friends that quite literally schedule an hour block into their calendar each day as if it were a meeting, so they are constantly reminded that they need to take time out. Burning out is the last thing you need when you are busy, so make a conscious effort to detach yourself from work for a little period of time each day.
Having things prepped and ready to go, is a great way to ensure that you are staying on top of things when you are getting busy. I mentioned how much I love lists… well, this is an extension on that. Being organised is paramount to surviving crazy a busy week.
Packing my bag with my work out gear, my sneakers and a water bottle, the night before an early start means I have very little to think about early in the morning as I am running out the door for class. Getting everything packed the night before prevents me from forgetting anything in the mad, groggy, pre-coffee rush.
To ensure that I always have nutritious brain food/snacks on hand, I have been chopping up, and portioning, all of my fruit and veg as soon as I get home from the supermarket. Pears and oranges are a much more appealing ‘on-the-go’ snack if you don’t have to worry about chopping them up, or how you are going to dispose of the core.
I have even been popping a few Weight Watchers** frozen meals in the freezer each week, to make sure that I always have a healthy and quick meal on hand when I am a little time poor. Sometimes getting home at 8.30pm or later leaves me pretty uninspired to cook, so knowing I have healthy food options from Weight Watchers sitting in my freezer, ready to go is a huge relief. And now, with their new recipes, I have even more healthy dinner choices than before. Huzzah!
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR DEALING WITH A CRAZY BUSY WEEK?
** FYI – so far I have tried the Thai Green Curry, Thai Red Prawn curry and the Mango and Coconut Chicken from the new Gourmet Weight Watchers range… and I am LOVING the shake up to their make up! There is a heap of vegetables in each meal and some really interesting flavours coming through… not to mention wild rice and even quinoa (in the ‘light’ range) as a carb alternative. Even the classic menu has had a bit of a revamp with chunky meat and extra veg (which just meant a whole lot of extra goodness to my Beef Hotpot meal!).