How many times have you walked out of the office after a long week and muttered the phrase, “There’s just not enough time in the day!”? Too many times to count? Here’s some good news: we’ve all been there. And some better news: there are ways to get everything done and keep your sanity.
I’m going to help you reclaim control of your work week by giving you one commitment to make each day. (Don’t worry — I promise they’re simple!) Implement them into your schedule, and truly do commit to them. It might be an adjustment at first, but if you give them a chance you won’t regret it!
Plan and prioritize your week. Never underestimate the power of planning ahead! You might prefer to keep a calendar, day planner, or electronic schedule to stay organized, or you could go old school and simply make a to-do list. Find whatever works for you, and start each Monday by taking a moment to figure out exactly what needs done as well as what takes the highest priority. Double-check deadlines, go over assignment expectations, then plan the best schedule to get everything completed. Personally, I like to keep my plans of action written down — I love the satisfaction of crossing off an item on my to-do list!
Take an hour for yourself. I bet you constantly think you’ll take some time to yourself…you know, eventually. Well, I’m going to insist you do it every Tuesday, because self care truly is important to productivity. You can do it at any time of day, just so long as you spend one full hour doing something just for you. You might want to catch up on that book you started ages ago, take your dog for a hike, or have lunch with an old friend. It may seem like a lot of time, but you’ll be surprised at how it flies by! Make it count and do something that will give you a little dose of happy.
Meditate. Hump day sure has a way of making you feel behind schedule, doesn’t it? Calm your anxious mind with meditation. You can do it in the morning before getting ready or wait until you’re about to start your work day. You may even choose to do it throughout the day as a way to keep yourself focused. Just find a little time to quiet your worries, focus on your breathing, and get yourself to a more peaceful place.
Evaluate your week’s progress. Really stop and think for a moment about your work week — what went well and why, what didn’t go well and why — and see how you can make improvements. How’s your week going? Are you getting through your to-do list okay, or do you need any extra help? Is there anything else you need in order to be successful? Don’t just mentally go over your next steps, take a few minutes to re-establish why that’s the best plan and if not, how to fix it.
Recognize your successes. Look, it’s easy to focus on that one little task you couldn’t finish before the weekend. But don’t! Instead, think of all the things you did accomplish. Look at all those tasks you crossed off your to-do list. Stop and really give yourself credit for all the hard work you put in. Then, focus on enjoying your weekend. Leave work at work, give your brain a break, and recuperate!