5 Ways to Calm the Chaos During a Busy Week
Be and feel more organized
Hello beautiful You Be You Girls! This week, I did not have a great start to my week. It was a very unorganized Monday and I was able to pinpoint every reason why. So, I decided to write it all out in a post to help YOU learn from MY mistakes. As we enter a new week, we often feel that impending chaos that comes with Mondays. Busy work schedules with back-to-back meetings, deadlines and demands. Chores to be completed and meals to be cooked during our so-called “free time” throughout the week. Maybe you have some new fitness challenges you’re aspiring for that need to be worked into the planner. And if you’re a mom, go ahead and add a whole bunch of activities for the kids’ to the schedule as well.
Getting organized is key
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming or almost impossible to get all of these things accomplished throughout the week. And then, even more gets added to you plate as you attend those meetings, brainstorm during your run or answer some emails. Today, we’re going to talk about ways to get yourself organized before the week begins and how to manage what the week throws at you.
3 ways to prepare yourself for a crazy week
1. Make your lists for the week on Sunday night
On Sunday night, sit down and make your lists. Here are some of the lists that I make every week:
- Chores: Cleaning, errands, grocery shopping, laundry, ironing, gardening, lawn mowing, home repairs, etc.
- Errands: Some weeks, errands are the bane of my existence. We live in the country so I try to do them all in one day, usually on a Saturday or Sunday. For this reason, I want to make sure I know every errand I need to run for that week. Of course, there are certain errands I need to run during the week, so I’m sure to work them into my schedule.
- Meals: Plan out your meals for the week – breakfast, lunch, dinner and don’t forget snacks. Make a list of the meals you want for the week then make a list of the ingredients you need to pick up at the store. Even better, see if your grocery store has an app to create your grocery list. My local grocery store, Wegmans has an awesome app. You can search what you need then it will list every single brand and version of that item. Then, once you add the item, it tells you where to find it in the store! This has cut my grocery shopping time in half!
- Work priorities: go through you project list, conference calls, meetings, and other deadlines and write down everything you need to do for them. Once you’ve written them all down, prioritize them. I like to use a 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C or High, Medium, Low priority type method. One a piece of paper or in OneNote, write down “High,” “Medium,” and “Low” (or whatever method you would like to use). Now go through each item and place them under the appropriate category. Now you know what you need to tackle first!
- Birthday, Anniversary & Thank You Cards: I LOVE receiving cards in the mail. Therefore, I really try to make an effort to send cards to the special people in my life. If this is important to you, on Sunday night, take a look at any birthdays or anniversaries coming up that week. I will note in my planner which day the card needs to be sent to make it to that person. BONUS…pick one person to send a thank you card to each week. Trust me on this one, it will make that person feel loved and appreciate. And you’ll be happy you made them feel so loved.
2. Fill out your planner on Sunday night
Whether you’re using a weekly or daily planner, take it out on Sunday evening and start filling it in. If you’re using a daily planner, note all of your meetings, dinner dates, kids activities, medical appointments and fitness classes into each hour of the day. If you work a 9 to 5 job or shift work, block that time out on each day that you work.
Another option is to use your work computer calendar or phone to keep track of your schedule. Either way, make sure you’re ‘writing’ it all down somewhere. This will help you find the time in your week not only for everything on your to-do lists but for your downtime and family time.
I mentioned down time and family time. This is really important. Sometimes us You Be You Girl boss ladies are go, go, go all the time and we forget to take some time to stop and smell the roses. Our brains need time to recharge; I know mine does. I have a full-time job, a side gig and this blog. I love each one of them. But sometimes, I have to remind myself to just chill the heck out.
If setting aside downtime or family time is challenging for you, then schedule it in! And please, oh please, stick to it! This is something I had to learn early in my career. Trust me on this one…you’ll thank me, I promise!
3. Sundays are for meal prep
Ok so you’re probably thinking you want to skip over this section because you’re expecting a lesson in weight loss or something of the like that. Nope, not at all. Please, stay with me here. I don’t care if you’re making cheese and bacon stuffed burgers with mac n cheese or kale salads with salmon, meal prep can be a life saver!
To give you an idea of how you can prep your meals, this is what my Sunday meal prep:
- Smoothies: I love, love, love my smoothies in the morning. Especially in the summer. On Sundays, I set out the fruit, vegetables, hemp hearts, seeds and mint. I measure the right amounts and put them into sandwich baggies and freeze them so they’re ready to toss into my blender with some water and plain yogurt. Voila! Breakfast done in about a minute.
- Chop veggies and fruit: On Sundays, I chop any veggies and fruit I need for the week. I chop what is needed for either recipe or for snacks.
- Lunches: If I have my lunches ready ahead of time, I am not only more likely to eat healthier throughout the week, I am able to just grab and eat when lunch time comes around. Win, win!
2 ways to make your week run smoother when the shit hits the fan
It’s bound to happen. You attend a meeting or get on a conference call and your to-do list double in size in a matter of one hour. Or, your boss adds throws a huge project at you with a quick deadline. Or, you realize you have company coming this weekend and need to get the house ready. These things happen. This is life. But you are a badass You Be You Girl and have got this shit covered.
1. Do a brain dump when you brain is going bananas
This is something I learned from Melissa Ambrosini’s Mastering Your Mean Girl: The No-BS Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic and Becoming Wildly Wealthy, Fabulously Healthy, and Bursting with Love. Check our my must read post on this incredibly awesome book for more awesome tips!
We all have those times of day in which our brains just start running, sometimes sprinting, through all the things we need or want to accomplish. Whether it’s something we want to get done right now, sometime today, this week or next month. It often comes at us all at once. Maybe it’s while you’re working out. Or first thing when you wake up. Sometime I experience it’s while I’m cooking. Most of the time, it’s when I’m in the shower.
The concept here is find that time of day or during whatever activities it is that you do where your brain starts doing the rat race and have a way to get it all down. For some, it might be simply writing it down in a notebook. Others might keep it in the notes sections in their phone or use an app to keep track.
My favorite is to use my Amazon Echo Dot. I actually keep one in my bathroom so when I have fleeting thought while all sudsed up, I can just say, “Alexa, add Call Mom to my to-do list.” Then it’s stored on the Amazon Alexa app on my phone.
2. Plan tomorrow’s top 3 to-do’s today
This is a concept I learned from another great book, Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life by Jason Selk. Selk suggests identifying the critical three things you absolutely must accomplish tomorrow today. Then of those three, which one is an absolutely, without a doubt, no excuses must be done item. This is your “one must.” In other words, your Top 3/1 Must to-do’s. For example, as you’re wrapping up your workday, before closing up shop, take the time to identify what you need to accomplish tomorrow. Of those tasks, what are the three things that absolutely must happen tomorrow then pick the number one most important task you much accomplish. Write them down.
The next day before you do anything – check emails, answer texts, go on social media – get those two things done! As Nike would say, just do it. The idea here is that you are tackling your tasks with intention, getting them out of the way first thing in the morning, and my favorite part is that they are then out of your mind so that you can handle what the rest of your day throws at you.
Stop feeling the overwhelm
I’m a strong believer that “being busy” really isn’t all that cool. I would much rather enjoy my life and live a life of happiness and peace. Being organized and prepared before my week begins and getting myself organized throughout the week have gotten me one step closer to feeling less overwhelmed by what life throws at me. I hope these tips will help you feel that way too!