Let’s be real, we all have to deal with stress in our daily lives, whether that’s due to work, our personal lives, or both. Unfortunately, stress is just something we have to deal with, especially in the Western world, because of the nature of our lives and how so many people are sucked into the hustle culture. However, it doesn’t always have to be like this, or at least we can find ways to make our weeks less stressful and still be productive; today I’m here to show you how.
When you’ve got a stressful week ahead…
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Do you ever lie in bed on a Sunday (or even Saturday for some) thinking about the stressful week that lies ahead of you? Do you feel anxiety rise when you think about that? Do you dream of when it will be the weekend again, even though you pack your weekends to be able to have some social life, and sometimes end up even more stressed?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, sadly this is the reality for many. Stressing about how stressful the week is going to be is actually the norm for many people, especially those who work an office job, spend long hours at their desk, have very demanding lives and little time to just chill.
But I’m writing this blog post today to help you deal with stress in a better way, and hopefully, decrease it in your daily life so that you can still get things done and achieve your goals in a productive way, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health.
In case you didn’t know, stress affects your body in many different ways, and you can read this very interesting article that explains exactly what happens to our bodies when we’re under stress. Because I’m passionate about productivity in every area of our life, I know that in order to achieve high-performance levels, we need to keep stress down.
How can I have no stress days?
If you started reading this blog post hoping that I’d have the secret recipe for “no stress days” I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t have that. And I believe that if anyone tries to sell you that, they’re probably lying to you. As I’ve said before, in our world today and in our society, it’s pretty much impossible to have zero stress in our days.
Even if we planned the perfect week – trust me, I know a thing or two about planning, something unexpected would still happen because that’s just life, and it’d throw your plans out the window or it’d bring some sort of stress in your life.
So what I’m going to be sharing with you are just some ideas to decrease stress, not eliminate it, unless you wanna go and live up on a mountain by yourself 🙂
If you want to know how you can try and be prepared when the unexpected happens, I suggest you read this post I wrote.
What preparations can I make on Sunday that will make my whole week less stressful?
Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t actually prepare anything on a Sunday. For me, Sunday (or in fact the whole weekend) represents a Sabbath day, it means resting, it means I’m doing nothing, nada.
As much as I love planning my days and weeks, I don’t fancy doing that on a Sunday because I’d much rather spend the weekend out with some friends, or chilling on the sofa the whole day with some good food and Netflix (yep, I have my lazy days too).
So instead of prepping things on a Sunday to have a less stressful week, I do it on a Friday afternoon before I end my workday. I like to do it then because I know that by doing it this way, I can fully spend the weekend relaxing, not worrying about a thing because everything has already been sorted out. Also, even though I’m usually pretty tired by the time Friday evening comes, I push myself to make one last effort and then I treat myself to a warm bath, a glass of wine, and a tv show (I like to call myself the queen of self-care, feel free to grab some of my ideas here).
But now it’s time to share with you my 5 ways to make your week less stressful, I hope you’re ready!
How to make your weeks less stressful
1. Plan in advance
If by now you haven’t learned this on my blog, then we need to talk…
Planning is at the core of everything I do, and planning in advance is the n.1 reason I don’t get too stressed in my life.
I know there are some people out there who are free spirits and love winging it, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that in small doses, but you definitely can’t wing it when it comes to working on your biz. Imagine waking up on a Monday morning and just wondering what you fancy doing or just doing random things that don’t have a strategic purpose. You wouldn’t trust your doctor to do that, right? So you shouldn’t be doing that in your business either, even if it’s not about saving lives.
A major reason why people are stressed is simply because they don’t plan ahead and they step into the day without a serious strategy in place. Planning in advance takes away most of the stress, and it’s the first and most important step you need to take.
Just make a note of what’s supposed to happen in your week, what goals you want to achieve if you’ll have any meetings and the routine tasks that you need to complete.
2. Schedule your time off
This step should sort of happen at the same time as the first one because in order to have a less stressful week, you need to schedule activities that will enable you to reduce that stress.
So before you map out all the other responsibilities and commitments you’ll have to fulfil (apart from the work ones), make sure that you schedule your time off. Obviously, I’m not saying that you should book 3 hours off every day because that wouldn’t be realistic.
But as I was mentioning at the beginning of the blog post, I like to book my weekends completely off work and only focus on social activities or time on my own. In addition to that, I have a little me-time every evening after the workday is done, because I’ve learned that I can’t just be on go-go mode the whole week and then try and get as much rest as possible on the weekend.
So in the evenings, instead of continuing to work or doing other activities that consume my energy, I like to take some time to do a facial, read a few chapters of a book, watch a show, pray, just to unwind.
3. Focus on your priorities
A lot of the time we’re stressed because we try to do everything at once, when simply put, less is more. So my recommendation is that you focus on your top 3 priorities for each day, and as long as you’re able to complete those tasks, you know you’ll have done a good job.
If anything else comes to your mind aside from those top 3, and it doesn’t have immediate urgency, then I recommend you put it on a categorized to-do list that you’ll tackle when the time comes for it.
4. Schedule a time for everything else
What does this even mean? I mean that apart from planning your workweek and figuring out your top 3, and apart from scheduling time to rest, you need to schedule some time to take care of “everything else”. By this, I mean all those admin things that happen throughout the week, that you can’t complete immediately, but that you’ll still need to get done.
You know when emails come through, you need to pay a bill, you need to book an appointment, check-in on someone, those types of things?
If you never schedule a time to get the admin stuff done, you’re likely not going to ever get it done as it will soon be forgotten or worse, it will just stay at the back of your mind making you feel stressed about it, but you don’t have the time to focus on it and get it out of the way.
5. Get your home life in order!
Listen, I’ve always said this and I will always say it: you need to take care of your personal life as much as you do your business.
Just because you’re an entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to cook, clean, shop, tidy up, etc. right? Unless you have a team of people who work for you and look after your personal life, you’re likely going to have to take care of it yourself.
And especially if you’re a woman, you know you wear many hats in your life, even more so if you’re a mum (I know that because I’ve nannied for a long time, and sort of felt like a part-time single parent, and it’s no joke).
I know we’re talking about business and productivity at work, but the truth is that that’s only half of it, and you can’t neglect your other responsibilities. And if you do and you’re not organised enough, what’s going to happen is that you’ll have a lot of stress on your shoulders and your personal life will be a mess. So take some time to think about a meal planning schedule, a cleaning schedule, and any other thing that you need to do as part of your housekeeping.
Conclusion on how to have less stressful weeks at work and in your life
Alright, friend, I hope my post was useful and that it allowed you to see that whilst living a stress-free life is not really realistic, it is possible to have less stress in our daily lives. Put these tips in practice and you’ll soon be able to have less stressful weeks and more peace in your days.