Ways to Stay Organized & Stress-Free During a Busy Week

Whether it’s finals, the holidays, or tax season, we all have weeks when it seems unreal that so much can be expected of us in so little time. Here are a few tips to help make your life a little less hectic when you’re going a mile a minute.

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  1. Determine your priorities
    As much as we’d like to be, we are not super heroes or time travelers. Sometimes everything we want to do simply cannot be done in a certain amount of time.  It’s important in these situations to look at the big picture and identify what, realistically, we are able to accomplish.

    For example, there times I find myself stressed because I’m not able do everything I would in my normal routine on top of everything required for work. It’s in these situations that I have to step back and take account of what is necessary and what is desirable. Often times my “priorities” aren’t things I desire most but that would cause me the most grief or trouble if not finished.

    It gives me peace of mind to know that I am accomplishing everything I determined to be of priority and it is extremely liberating (though difficult,) to say “I can’t do that this week, and that’s okay.” An essential part of being successful and doing your best is knowing your own limits.

  2. Prep & Plan
    Once your priorities are laid out, look ahead at your week and identify the periods you might be overwhelmed. Write down what you need to get done and when it needs to be done by. Not only are people more likely to achieve what they set out to do when they write down their goals, but by doing this you may actually find that a) your schedule isn’t as overwhelming as it seems and b) there is time in your schedule for you to fit in some of the more desirable tasks that didn’t make the first cut.

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    Next, brain storm what you can do to save yourself time. A huge thing for me is making sure I have meals planned out so that I’m not scrambling around or reaching for convenient (read: unhealthy) food.

    Each night I take 20 minutes to prepare some fresh fruits and vegetables and take stock of what’s in the fridge for my meals the next day. I also like to make sure the coffee is ready to go and turn on the automatic timer. This way, I won’t wake up in panic or find myself scrambling to throw something together, only to be disappointed (and hungry) later on.

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    Another way I try to simplify is I check the weather for the next day and think about what I’m going to wear. Honestly, I usually pick out my outfits when I’m in the shower. I have a pretty good idea of what’s in my closet and even if I don’t end up wearing exactly what I planned, it still helps going in with an idea of what I’m looking for.

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    Miso- always has to be at the center of everything.
  3. Know your bed time.
    Super important but very easily disregarded. Sleep. Is. Crucial. There is nothing that can make a busy week worse than being tired. Fatigue makes you irritable, irrational, and underperforming. Aim for a solid 6-8 and count back from when you need to wake up. Make sure you’re in bed by that time, with screens off.

    I know all of this sounds obvious but far too many times have I gotten into bed at the right time and then played on my phone or watched TV for another hour. That doesn’t count as sleep! If you’re too wired when you hit the sheets, try reading a book or magazine. I can feel my eyelids drooping within 30 minutes almost every time.

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  4. Be Flexible – and forgiving
    Even if we planned out every day for the rest of our time on earth, things still wouldn’t go exactly as anticipated. Such is life. That’s why it’s important to always be reassessing the situation and how it relates to our priorities. Maybe the bus is late. Maybe it rains. Maybe a project takes longer than expected. Shit happens. Do what you can.“We can’t direct the wind but we can adjust our sails” Someone said that.

    I personally have a hard time going off the script. It stresses me out. But it can be helpful to adopt a “go with the flow” mindset. For example, exercise is high in my priorities so if I know I have a lot of events after work, I’ll switch to a morning work out schedule instead of exercising at night. Or, if I’m not able to squeeze a work out in at all, I’ll walk to work instead of taking the bus. It’s not what I originally planned, but it’s something and it’s better than nothing.

    On the flip side, some weeks I’m so stressed and exhausted that I can’t even think about going to the gym. So I give my body rest instead and I don’t freak myself out about it. Like I mentioned before, being successful is about knowing your limits and knowing when to give yourself a break. When life gives you lemons, take a nap. Then get back up and crush it.

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    I hope these tips are helpful for you guys! I’d love to know what helps you during a busy week. Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Super Easy Strawberry Dutch Butter Cake

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Pre-oven

Ingredients:
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1+ handful of strawberries (I used 5 but next time I’ll definitely use more.)

Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Melt butter
– Add sugar and flour. Mix until all ingredients are well blended and it takes on a cookie dough like consistency.
– Pack in to nonstick pan. I used an 8×4 loaf pan. The amount of butter in it keeps you from needing to grease it but I used nonstick to be safe.
– Place halved strawberries on top and pat them in to the dough with a fork or spoon. Sprinkle with sugar.
– Place in the oven for 30 minutes.

Voila! If you can resist, let it cool before cutting in to it & enjoy 🙂

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Lazy Weekend

Maybe it’s just my general busy-bee disposition but I have a tendency to qualify my lazy days as “days I’m not running around with my head on fire.” So for me, this was a lazy weekend.

After Miso woke me up to feed him yesterday around 7am (I got lucky – it’s usually 5,) I had my morning coffee, read through some emails and checked out a few of my favorite blogs.

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When I started to get hungry the fridge was looking pretty bare so I headed over to one of my favorite little markets down the street.

I had a croissant (meh) and one of the best smoothies I have ever tasted. It was avocado, coconut water, cilantro, and kale. It was the perfect balance of creamy, refreshing, and fulfilling. When I get a new blender (mine burned out the other day 😦 ) I need to remember to replicate.

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I kind of felt like hanging around because I love the atmosphere and get serious interior inspo but I had some errands I wanted to get done before the snow started.

I’m always looking for ways to declutter, clean, and organize my house more efficiently and I’ve been really inspired by a new book I’ve started reading called “the life changing magic of tidying up” (I’ll do a review when I finish it.)

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I felt like shopping around so I decided to pick up a few things we need around the house, including storage containers and these Cynthia Rowley curtains.

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Afterwards I stopped home to research some new recipes I wanted to try this week and headed out again to get groceries and pick up my day cleaning.

The snow storm had me in the mood for some comfort food so I spent a few hours making crock pot macaroni and cheese, garlic artichoke quiche and strawberry dutch butter cake while doing the laundry.

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Cooking is so therapeutic to me. I love setting up shop in the kitchen, throwing on a podcast, and tackling a recipe.

While everything was cooking I tidied up the house, binge watched some KUWTK (yikes) and played with Miso.

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I regret that I didn’t have enough time to work out because I’ve gotten into a really good groove but after I finish this post I’m going to hit the gym. Chris is going to take over the TV for the Pats game so I’m thinking I’ll grab lunch with a friend to avoid the general yelling/loudness that’s inevitable with the playoffs.

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Wishing you all a restful (or comfortably productive) Sunday! xx

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