Know Your Rhythm
As you can probably tell from my lack of posts, I’ve been insanely busy the past week. Between my full time job, volunteering at Haberdash (we’re running an fun, fashionable contest this week), planning TEDxSanLuisObispo and helping Amber and John revamp their wardrobes (I’ve started a pinboard for them if you want to check it out), I’ve been going from one meeting to the next without too much time for anything in between.
Lest you think I’m some sort of superwoman, however, let me tell you that if I can keep up with a crazy schedule, anyone can. Here are a few of my top tips for simplifying your life and managing your stress during a busy season…
1.) Find your rhythm- Admittedly, I stole this tip from Google’s VP of location and local services, Marissa Mayer–one of the busiest women in the world. She encourages her employees to figure out what they need to do in order to avoid feeling resentful about their job and the amount of work they do each week. For some people, that means making sure they don’t miss a weekly get-together with friends or maybe it means being there to pick your kids up from school or attend their soccer games on Saturday morning. For me, it’s being home to cook dinner and veg out in front of the TV with Hubs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. (If you have not watched 30 Rock, Parks and Rec or How I Met Your Mother, I recommend you start Netflixing them now!) Whatever it is you need to do to feel like you still have a personal life, do it! And then work your butt off in between…
2.) Make to-do lists- Whether you use a mobile app like Evernote or keep a planner or a pad of paper in your pocket or purse, figure out what list-making method works for you, make a list and then cross things off as you get them done. No, making a list doesn’t mean you’ll accomplish everything you want to in one night (in fact, I’d say I only cross of half of my to-do list on any given day) but it does provide you with a visual reminder of what you want to get done that week.
3.) Plan the night before- Pack your lunch. Lay out your outfit. Set out food to thaw for dinner. Do whatever you need to do the night before to make the following day a little easier. You won’t have to get up as early the next morning–which means you’ll get a few more minutes of shut eye and ultimately be less grumpy (and feel less like you’re participating in a fire drill to get out the door in the morning) the next day.
4.) Utilize available resources- If you manage multiple social media accounts like I do, use Hootsuite or another social media management tool to make tracking your accounts easier. If you send emails on a regular basis, try MailChimp or another email management tool. These tools come loaded with pre-designed email templates and they manage your unsubscribe list and track open and click through rates for you. Both Hootsuite and MailChimp have free versions, but they’re well worth the $5.99 and $10 per month you pay for a few added management features.
5.) Paint your nails a neutral color- Yes, I know. It sounds dumb. But painting your nails is time consuming and if you’re like me, you feel the need for a polish change as soon as you spot the first chip. If you paint your nails a neutral color, the imperfections in your polish will be less noticeable, which means you’ll spend less time taking off and putting back on a new nail color. I can usually get away with changing my polish once a week, which, if you’re hard on your nails, you know that’s quite a feat. My current favorite polish? SpaRitual’s Sun Salutation Shimmer.
Most importantly, know when you need to disconnect. Earlier this week, I was feeling rather stressed by a few things at work and so I took off for the afternoon and worked remotely…from the beach (see picture of my ocean view above). No, I can’t do that every day (and yes, I did get actual work done) but I knew that I needed to get out from behind my desk in order to feel refreshed.
What about you? How do you manage your time and your stress level on a busy week? Share your tips in the comments below!