Busy weeks are some of the hardest to conquer. It can be easy to feel stressed and exhausted, yet your week hasn't even started. (Cue the Sunday Scaries.) Whether it's at work or at home, you may find that your calendar and to-do lists are particularly packed one week and things can feel hectic and stressful as you try to get things done and care for yourself and others in the process.
Like most things, it's about your mindset and attitude. Busy and hectic don't automatically mean stressed and tired, unless you allow it. Here are some tried and true ways to reduce busyness, stress, and disorder from your hectic week so you can flourish – and maybe even relax a bit.
Do some prep work. If you know things are about to kick into high gear in a week or so, consider what you can get done now — or the pieces you can put in place for success later. Will you be working late? Meal prep beforehand for healthy, delicious meals your family can enjoy and less stressing about what's for dinner or consider trying a meal delivery kit to save time on grocery shopping and prep. Will you need a hand getting your kids from place to place? Enlist grandparents or a babysitter to do pickup and drop-off. Are you heading off on a vacation with a lot of moving parts and travel stops? Pack as much as you can in advance and make an itinerary to reduce confusion along the way.
Organize by order of importance. If you've already made a to-do list, now's the time to put some rigor around it. Highlight the tasks that absolutely must be done first and list the rest in order of importance to ensure you're crossing your proverbial Ts. If you're a visual person, try color coding. If you tend to daydream or forget small tasks, keep Post-It reminders where you'll see them.
Finish the hard stuff first. Rip off the bandage and do the things you really don't want to do first. It will help reduce procrastination later and give you something to look forward to. Need help staying motivated? We've got tips for that.
Adjust your mindset. A positive attitude can go a long way! If you approach your busy week with a negative mindset, it will likely be a lot harder to accomplish everything. That big work project could really impress your boss. The small bathroom renovation project will make mornings so much easier. Start your day off on a positive note and you'll be amazed at how much better things feel.
Say “no.” It is possible to take on too much! Knowing your limits is hard, but it's so important for your well-being and balance. If you've hit your max capacity either personally or professionally, set boundaries if you can. Can that project wait a few more days? Would your friend be super upset if you pushed happy hour out until things are less stressful?
Take breaks. Burnout is so real. Avoid it by taking regular breaks even if you have to schedule those breaks. Step away from the computer and take a walk with your dog or a favorite podcast to reset and get some clarity — and maybe even spark a new idea or two. Studies have shown that walking can also boost your creativity.
Delegate when you can. Are there certain tasks that you can hand off to a family member, a friend, or a coworker? If you're feeling really overwhelmed, ask for help. If it's hard for you to ask for assistance, let go of those feelings and reach out to someone you trust.
Give yourself grace. It's possible you may not accomplish everything you set out to do, and that's OK! We're only human, so don't feel like a failure if your busy week didn't quite live up to your expectations. Congratulate yourself for making it through and pat yourself on the back for what you did get done — your resiliency and dedication should be celebrated!