It’s like a tornado sweeping through and causing utter chaos. You're left scrambling to repair the damage in an unreasonably calm fashion. By the end of the day (and worse, the week), you’re so flustered from a forced calm outwardly that you are ready to burst from the pent up energy. How are you to keep up like this?
Last week was an immensely busy work week for me, much like the one I described above. It’s safe to say I’m back into my “busy season” and will be until next summer. With the goals I established for myself at the start of last summer weighing on my mind, I admittedly worry about being able to maintain a busy schedule and still achieve inner peace.
Certainly this is something we all want. I can’t be the only one. Getting ahead of this may be just the ticket to success. There are a few essential things you can start doing now to manage the busy season in your own life.
- Establish some basic boundaries with your time. Whether it be how frequently you are willing to check email (research shows we spend an usually large amount of time on the internet and in our emails each day when we don’t need to), when you are available for calls and work related tasks, or scheduling hours of your day for specific priorities. Make the time and set the necessary boundary now.
- Make time for pleasure. Self-care can be an impossible task because it requires you to make yourself a priority. Making time for pleasure can be a nice alternative. Start small. Maybe you give yourself an additional 5 minutes in the car before you go in and pick up the kids. Or take 15-minutes to read a book you’ve been missing before bed one night. You can even sneak away for a brisk 15-minute walk at the office. It doesn’t have to be much, but it needs to be something pleasurable for you.
- Delegate when possible and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but the truth is you have a support network of people willing to help out. Whether it be in your work relations or personal life, it will do everyone good if they can pick up some of the responsibility. They cannot be responsible if you don’t give them the space and opportunity to be.
- Give space where space is needed. The goal always seems to be to reduce angst and pressure by eliminating as much of the workload as possible. This can be an unrealistic task and an endless cycle with little achieved towards the larger goal. Know when to take the break or postpone the work for another day. It may be just the thing you need to dig back in and finish the task strong when you’re more able.
- Plan ahead but give yourself grace when necessary. Do what pre-planning you can for your week ahead. Whether it be setting up meals in advance, outfits for the work week, or making the list of tasks not to be left undone - arrange it before the week starts if time allows. Be reminded that this is two-fold. Pre-planning can be helpful, but also time-consuming in the moment. Knowing this, be kind and show grace to yourself if you don’t get it all done. You are a warrior and you likely thrive under pressure. This means that having things undone throughout the week won’t be end all be all. There is always next week.
Try one of these tips this week and see how you feel about it. If you’re already using one or have another that's not listed, leave a comment below letting me know what it is and how it’s been working for you!