5 Tips For A Stress-Free Work Week
I am always looking for ways to make my workday and workweek a little less stressful. Over the last few years,I have amassed a few tips, some by accident, some by simple trial and error, that have helped minimize the day to day stress we all feel at times.
1. Plan Your Outfits for the week
You’re probably thinking, “well, of course Captain Obvious”. We all know planning ahead helps cut back on how much time we waste. But I don’t think this can be stressed enough. Planning even at least one thing that takes up a massive amount of your time can work wonders. For me one of the major things has been planning my outfits for the workweek on Sunday night. It’s sad how much time I wasted in the past not doing this. I hated getting dressed for work. It had stopped being fun in my late twenties. And I love fashion. But the pressure of putting together an outfit that was A. Work appropriate B. Weather appropriate and C. Made me feel and look good, was too much. If only the computer system that Cher in Clueless used actually existed. But it doesn’t. And so I started simply doing all the frustrating bits on Sunday night. And it has seriously changed my morning routine for the better. And if you can handle it (I have yet to become this zen or minimalist), try building a capsule work wardrobe. I love the idea of this and have implemented a few tips from the capsule wardrobe ideology ( instead of having five pairs of black pants, I now have 3 that I rotate for work: one straight leg, one wide leg and one cuffed hem). Planning your outfits ahead of time gives you the chance to be a bit creative with your looks. I have made it into a bit of puzzle game: I pick out two outfits with pants, one outfit with a skirt, one with a dress and one “wildcard” outfit. This is usually what I will wear on Fridays. And the best part about it is if you wake up on Tuesday and don’t feel like wearing what you picked out for the day you can just swap out that outfit for Wednesday or Thursday’s look.
2. Take your Shower or Bath at night
I love taking showers at night. It’s a great way to wash the stress of the day off and it actually helps me sleep more soundly. It’s also a great way to relax. You can use aromatherapy products to help you unwind. The other perk is that you effectively add an extra ten to fifteen minutes (if you take really long showers lol) to your morning the next day. Think about what you can do with that time. Or maybe you can even sleep a bit longer. Crazy!
3. Meal Prep
Okay, I have to make a confession. I don’t do this. Meal prep just doesn’t work for me. Why? Because I’m a Gemini, that’s why. Seriously. I sometimes think oh, “I will have a bagel, a yogurt and some fruit tomorrow morning”. And then tomorrow morning rolls around and I want avocado toast or a breakfast sandwich from the market in my office building. I’m just too mercurial for it. But I know people who swear by it and say that it has really helped add time to their days. Most people I know who do this do it on Sunday. They will cook their lunches for the entire week, divvy them up into containers and voila. And I know a few who do it for breakfast as well. So don’t let my wishy-washy appetites discourage you from giving this a try.
4. Lists, baby, lists
That’s right folks. Lists.They are your friend. I make lists for everything. Knowing what you have to get done helps so much. My method is to write out my tasks for each day - things that absolutely have to be done. I then write down any secondary things - things that are not a priority, but I still want to do. I usually do this in my Gmail Calendar and list them as “tasks”. As the day goes on I mark items as done. Don’t overwhelm yourself. I try not to add more than 3 item must do items to any given day. It can self-defeating to list a bunch of items and then not finish them. Be honest with yourself about you can accomplish that day. If you truly feel you can do more then do more. Another list trick? If you are anything like me, you have all of your most brilliant ideas and thoughts right before you fall asleep. And sometimes for me these things keep me from having a good night’s sleep. My brain just swims in all the crap I need to get done. So recently I started writing all of those things down in my Notes app on my iPhone. Any crazy thing that pops into my head. From needing to buy the cats a new cat tree, to remembering to make a dinner reservation or doctor’s appointment. Pull it all down on the list. You will sleep so much better for it.
5. Stop Multitasking
Yeah, you read that right. For what seems like eons it has been drilled into us that multitasking is an art form. We listed on our resumes as a skill set. We were told to bask in our ability to Get.Shit.Done. Welp - turns out that’s a load of crap. A recent study shows that multitasking actually has the opposite effect. It makes us less efficient. So recently I have heeded the study’s findings and began to make the conscious choice to only work on one thing at a time. And the results have been magical. I feel less stressed, more focused and I get things done quicker. I chalk it up to that cheesy and yet accurate mantra of “living in the moment”. By focusing on one task instead of attempting to complete three my mind isn’t swirling with a million different thoughts. I’m not stressing about getting everything done at the same time. Another great side effect of this is less mistakes and errors.. Sometimes having a one track mind can be a good thing!
I hope you all found these tips helpful. What do you do to help you manage your stress during the workweek? Let us know in the comments!