Categories
Productivity

How to Prep for a Productive Week

We’ve all been there (or currently are here). Every day starts to feel the same, especially during this pandemic. I’ve found myself feeling really unmotivated to start Monday morning. With the weekend feeling like an extension of the work week, but still not feeling productive in the slightest. And then comes more overwhelm because you feel like you haven’t tackled everything you needed to and Monday is here and you have a whole new set of to-do’s to add to your list. Phew. Okay. Take a breath. If you’ve been feeling the same way, here are some ways I’ve found helpful in setting up for a productive and fulfilling week. 

Clear space = clear mind

Managing full-time work and a side hustle means that I need to prioritize where I spend my time. But having a messy space is the #1 thing that sets me off when I’m feeling stressed. All I can think about is the mess around me. A clean space will help to alleviate stress heading into the work week. My goal is to set a specific day every week to get it done. Sunday mornings typically work best for me, but I’m also going to try Saturday mornings. Will keep you posted on what works, but everyone will be unique and what works for one person, may not always suit another!

Another helpful tip is creating a chore/cleaning list with your significant other or housemate. It helps to lay out what you both need to have in your home so that you’re feeling your best and can be the best versions of yourselves. Not the kind who wants to throw out every dish so that you don’t have to wash them anymore……just saying. 

Plan Monday on Friday

Friday afternoons are my admin/CEO days. It’s the time I set aside to sort through my emails, wrap up any tasks, send off any emails I needed to get sent and it’s also the time where I plan my next week. I’ve accepted that it’s just not productive or healthy to stress about the tasks that you didn’t get finished on Friday afternoon. It’s too late at that point and you’ll be worrying about it all weekend. Instead make a plan for the next week! Once I’ve sorted through my inbox, I check my task manager (our company uses Monday.com and I use Asana for my freelance work) and reprioritize my to do list, then have a look at the calendar for the week ahead and slot them in. Then you can relax knowing you’ve got a plan in place to tackle your to do list and it won’t be weighing on you all weekend long. 

Balance your weekend 

This is something I struggle with. I want to do all the things. And then I end up feeling like I’ve had zero time to actually rest and recharge. Setting aside an entire day to relax is just not realistic for me. I encourage you to schedule a slow morning or a Sunday afternoon to spend time doing things that make you feel relaxed. Maybe it’s a Sunday morning yoga flow or perhaps some journaling, or maybe you feel recharged baking on a Saturday afternoon. Whatever brings you joy and calm, make sure you have a solid block of time dedicated to just that. I’ve been trying to keep socializing to one day on the weekend. Instead of making plans for both days, I’ve come to realize I really need that time for myself one day a week. As they say – balance is key!

Social Media Detox

Being someone who works in Marketing and has a Social Media freelance business, I’ve noticed that being tuned in on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok has completely started to consume my day. What starts as “research” quickly turns into *mindless scrolling*. Even during the workday, I am guilty of getting distracted by my phone and constantly checking it. Sound familiar? 

I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and in Chapter 3 we start exploring the concept of cue, craving, response and reward. In one of his examples he uses social media where your cue is a problem like hitting a roadblock in a project, you are frustrated by this situation and to relieve your frustration, you pull out your phone and check social media. Your reward is feeling relieved. But now checking social media is associated with relieving frustration when you hit a roadblock at work. I think we log onto social media for a variety of reasons, whether it be boredom, or wanting to stay up to date on the latest or just feel a sense of connection with others. But a lot of the time you feel worse after scrolling and you feel like you’ve lost 2 hours or more of your life. 

So here’s your friendly nudge to take a day or two off social media. Doesn’t mean you can’t take all the photos and video of the exciting things you’ve been up to. But save them to your camera roll and post them later. Taking some time off your phone and off your apps will definitely help your mental health. During the week try scheduling social media time, or at least set a timer for yourself – it will help with the mindless scroll and make your time on the various platforms more meaningful. 

Make time for FUN

If there’s one thing you add to your weekend to-do list so that you can start your week off on the right foot, please follow this tip. HAVE SOME FUN. As the weather begins to warm up and we’re able to get outside, make some plans to go for walks and connect outdoors! Plan a sightseeing road trip, grab a coffee and sit outside, do something that will give you some joy, while also (and of course) following local health guidelines. Life is so precious, so don’t let the constant pace of life and your to-do list stop you from enjoying it. 


Whether you take all of one of these tips, I hope it helps to set your week up for success. You got this! 

Categories
Inspiration Lifestyle Wellness

My Favourite Journal Prompts for Gratitude

As I mentioned in my previous post, being “temporarily” laid off has actually been a positive – or at least I’m choosing to look at it that way. I’ve always been the type of person who was busy doing something. I worked full time in retail, while I was studying full time completing my undergraduate degree, I was singing on the side, trying to have a semblance of a social life, stay connected with friends and family, think about building my future, etc etc etc. There’s not a moment where I thought all of it would stop. And yet, now it has. I’m still obviously thinking about my future, but I’m living each day now kind of excited to do things. I’m excited to have my morning coffee and write in my journal. I’m excited that I’m trying out intermittent fasting. I’m excited that I get to walk the dogs when it feels like a good time to walk them. I’m excited about creating content like this. Of course there’s still grief, worry and anxiety during this uncertain time… but it seems like priorities have immediately shifted, and I’m choosing to see the positive in this.

When I think back, I was happiest when life was simpler (wasn’t everyone?). Creating vlogs before vlogs were a thing, re-designing my room every September because I loved the feeling of a fresh start, researching because I was curious about the world and not because it was assigned to me. Simple. This pandemic and what’s happening in the world is terrible, frightening and worrying. But when reflecting on what brings me joy (courtesy of Rachel Hollis’ #Next90Challenge), I realized that when things are a bit slower paced and I am able to really connect with myself, my family and nature, that I am much more fulfilled. I think a big part of this realization though was facilitated by finding and writing down gratitude in the little things. I know that there are plenty of resources on gratitude practices (heck, I’m following one right now), but I figured it could be helpful to share some questions to ask yourself to find gratitude in your day, even if it’s small. So if you’re writing down things you’re grateful for (and if you aren’t, you should) and you need a bit more guidance than just “things you’re grateful for” prompt, then take a look at some questions I find helpful below.

1. What inspired you today?

Ask yourself this question: What inspired your today? Did something bring you joy? Maybe instead of asking what you’re grateful for, you can ask what inspired you. Did you see something on social media? A hilarious meme? An encouraging message?

2. Who did you connect with today?

Just because we’re social distancing right now, doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. Did you reach out to virtually network? Did you have an amazing team meeting? Who did you chat with that brought you joy?

3. What had a positive impact on you today?

Think about an action, task, comment — literally anything that had a positive impact today. Did you try a new at home work out? Did you make a delicious and healthy breakfast? Did someone pay you a compliment? Did you journal or practice some self-care?

4. What is something small that happened that brought you joy?

It can be as small as having a clean kitchen, to watching the sun rise. Ask yourself: what is something small that happened that brought a smile to your face? I must say, having a clean kitchen and tidy space had brought me a lot of joy during this period.

5. What action did you take today?

Maybe you made coffee this morning with your favourite creamer. Perhaps you went for a long walk. What is something that you personally did – for yourself or others – that made you feel gratitude.

These are some of the prompts I ask myself when writing 5 things that I’m grateful for each morning. It’s easy to say “having a roof over my head” and sometimes, yes, given these uncertain periods, it’s absolutely something to be grateful for. But I think you can dig deeper and find the little hidden gems in your daily life. Sometimes rephrasing the question and looking at it through a different lens is what you need to truly see the good that’s in your day.

Graditude Prompts_pinterest

 

What are some things you’ve been grateful for during these crazy times?