7 Tips to Reclaim Your Workweek Sanity

Managing Work Stress
Written by Ellen Goldman

You may think you are accomplishing more by staying up late and squeezing in a few more tasks. Lack of sleep leads to a decrease in focus and efficiency, more mistakes, a decline in your immune system, weight gain, and an increase in irritability.

Even a wellness expert can experience an insanely busy week, but they’ve got the tips and tricks on how to reclaim their sanity.  

When I woke this morning, I realized I had forgotten to take care of an important business project I promised to complete last week. I was flabbergasted! This is not like me. My tasks are well planned out, scheduled, and usually done on time.

My second thought was this monthly article is also a few days behind schedule. How ironic to be writing tips to reclaim your workweek sanity, when clearly, mine has been a bit upside down lately.

I began to analyze how easily my calm and organized weeks had slipped away from me the past month. True, my travel schedule was quite busy, I did get sick which left me low in energy for several days, and multiple snowstorms forced me to rearrange and reschedule appointments.

But I’ve gotten through hectic times before. So, what was different about the last few weeks as compared to others when life had thrown me a curve ball? I sat down and looked at my list of the tips below, which were already written and ready to go. And there it was. Tip #1-Planning. I hadn’t done my weekly planning the way I usually do. As a matter of fact, days into the new month, I hadn’t even completed my monthly planning calendar.

Now you know even I, the Wellness Coach, have to work at reclaiming my workweek sanity from time to time. The minute I’ve finished writing and posting this article, I will be spending time planning my month and weekly tasks. And when that’s done, I’m taking an exercise break. I’m calmer and happier just thinking about it!

Tips to Reclaim Your Workweek Sanity

1. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Set aside a specific time over the weekend or on Monday mornings to plan for the upcoming week. List all of the professional and personal goals you want to accomplish by the end of the week.

2. Prioritize the tasks and eliminate any that are not essential. Scrutinize the items on your list to make sure they are aligned with your core values – health, family, financial security, meaning and purpose. Make sure you are doing the things you really want to do and are important to you, not those you think you should be doing.

3. Put self-care tasks on your calendar first. Schedule in the time for exercise, meals, and “me time”. If you are not taking exceptional care of yourself, how can you possibly give your best to your loved ones or your business? If you fall apart, what happens then?

4. Work on the most challenging, complicated and highest payback tasks first. We often waste time working on the small, easy tasks that we can quickly cross off our “to do” list first, which makes us feel like we’ve accomplished something. Figure out what’s causing your procrastination. If the project is so large it feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller tasks. If you’re not really sure how to do something, ask for help. Putting off important things saps our energy as we worry about when we will finally get it done.

5. Stop multi-tasking. Stay fully engaged with whatever you are doing, when you’ve set the time aside to do it. Shut down distractions such as email alert buzzers. Let the machine take your calls. Draw strict boundaries around work time and personal time, and don’t allow those to be crossed.

6. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You may think you are accomplishing more by staying up late and squeezing in a few more tasks. Lack of sleep leads to a decrease in focus and efficiency, more mistakes, a decline in your immune system, weight gain, and an increase in irritability. Lack of sleep will end up costing you time and happiness, rather than gaining anything.

7. Schedule in break time and have some fun. No matter how busy your week is, taking a break from the work and doing something fun will re-energize you and be well worth it. When you return to your work and responsibilities, you will be more focused and efficient, and a lot happier.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?

It took awhile to realize that “you can have it all” was a great big lie that women were being told, which only led to guilt, burn out and exhaustion. No one can “have it all!” But, if we prioritize what’s most important to us, we can have what we want. I’ve accepted that my home doesn’t have to be perfectly in order everyday. I’ll never cross every last item off my to-do list, because there will always be more to add. And not every single day will be a perfect balance between personal.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?

I truly appreciate my ability to stay organized and plan my days, and my abundant energy. Energy and time management allows me to tend to the needs of my family, career and myself! I never neglect self-care because I know when I am taking care of me, I am better able to care for everyone and everything else.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?

One of my most rewarding achievements is having created a successful, entrepreneurial business while raising my daughters, and always sticking to my value that family came first. My girls grew up with a working Mom, but never felt neglected or resentful of the time and attention my business took. A major goal is to break into the speaking circuit, and spread my message that it is possible to thrive both professionally and personally. By elevating self-care to the top of our daily to-do lists, we become happier, healthier, and more productive in everything we do. I also hope to write a book some day soon.

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?

When it comes to my family, I can definitely get a bit “preachy” when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. They are pretty forgiving, because they know “mom is a health nut” and take my comments in their stride and with humor. However, I am extremely careful with all others, and never give advice unless asked first.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

Career! I can’t imagine another profession that would be so rewarding. I have the opportunity to help people live happier and healthier lives. I meet and work with amazing individuals, and I learn as much from my clients as I believe they learn from me!

About the author

Ellen Goldman

Ellen Goldman created EllenG Coaching to help overextended business professionals and entrepreneurs who are worried about their health and happiness, and are either exhausted, burnt out, out of shape, overweight, or all of the above! Through her coaching programs, motivational talks and online courses, she shows clients how to integrate health into their busy lifestyles with simple, small steps that lead to massive change, resulting in greater energy, focus, productivity and happiness every day. With 30 plus years experience in the health and fitness industries, working as a personal trainer and certified wellness coach while raising her family, Ellen knows first hand that you do not need to sacrifice your health and happiness to have a successful career. Her mission is to help others thrive both personally and professionally. To learn more about Ellen and her wellness programs, visit www.EllenGcoaching.com

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