For most people there’s no such thing as a “typical week.” Between work, keeping up with the family and other tasks, stressors just pile on top of other stressors. If you’ve had enough of it all and are ready to slow down the pace, there are steps you can take to lessen the load and remove some of the pressure along the way.
When it’s time to streamline your weekly routine a little bit, these tips can help:
- Set priorities – In any given week, you’ll have things that are “routine” and must always be completed. You’re also likely to have new tasks come your way that will have to be handled. Prioritize everything that has to be done and focus on those items first. Once the major jobs have been completed, work on the lesser items, but don’t stress over them.
- Set a schedule – Putting together a daily or weekly “to-do” list with priority jobs is an excellent way to keep things in focus. Set a schedule of what needs to be done each day and cross off items as they are completed. The sense of accomplishment that comes with each finished job can be a stress reliever in and of itself.
- Break down big jobs – Whether it’s a massive report due on Friday or serious house cleaning that needs to be done before company arrives on the weekend, break down big jobs into smaller, more manageable chunks. Once this is done, schedule them out over the course of the week to ease the burdens.
- Learn how to decline politely – You can’t possibly take on 15 new projects in a single week, so don’t be afraid to say so. Pay attention to what you have to do at work and home and learn to graciously decline obligations you simply cannot handle.
- Enlist some help – Whenever you need it and it’s possible, don’t be afraid to accept or enlist help. Getting the kids to assist with chores doesn’t make you less of a parent. Asking co-workers to pitch in on projects makes you a part of a team, not a burden.
- Take time for yourself – Perhaps one of the worst things most of us do during busy weeks is forget to slow down even for a few minutes here and there. Do take some time to relax and unwind. Even if you can only pull off a short meditative session on a Wednesday or a long, hot bath in place of a shower on a Monday night, the time will help you recharge.
When it’s time to take control of your life, there are simple things you can do to de-stress even the most hectic of weeks. With a little practice, your normal routine should flow like water in a river and “bad” days can be made just a tad better.