managing a busy week

November 6, 2012

You’re busy this week, aren’t you? And probably next week, and the next, and most likely the one after that.

Yeah, me too.

busy busy busy

More often than not our schedules are filled with a number of events before and after work (or school) leaving us little time to do the things we long to do – relax and spend time with family! On weeks such as this one, I find that a few things really help me out to help keep me calm and stress-free. Hopefully they help you as well!

Meal Plan 

I confessed a few weeks ago that I had fallen off the meal planning bandwagon. Thankfully, I’m back in the saddle and meal planning like crazy! When I have a plan in place, I know exactly what I have to do when I get home (or the night before).

Prep

Yes, prepping food is a must. Chop up veggies, make a big batch of grains, throw things in the crock pot. However, I find that prepping has a lot more to do with food. I always find that if I don’t prep my house for the week, I’m much more stressed than normal. That means I need to make some time over the weekend to get my house cleaned and my laundry done. Having a closet full of clean (non-wrinkled) clothes takes the guess work (okay, most of it) out of getting ready for the following day.

Make a Schedule

Anyone else feel a crazy amount better when you actually write down what you need to do each day of the week? I always start out each day thinking, “oh my gosh i have so much to do and no time to do ittttttt blah blah blah”.

Busy busy busy

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Then when I actually write things done, they don’t seem so bad! I also live by my iPhone calendar. Now if I could only figure out how to have a separate one to merge for the Husband and my activities! Anyone know how to do this?

Make Time for Yourself

Speaking of scheduling, schedule some time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty about actually penciling in an hour every day just for you. Whether that means you get to sit on the couch and read, watch your favorite TV show, or head to the gym – just do it. It’ll make you feel so much better.

Ask for Help

I’m so fortunate to live around my family. There have definitely been days where we’ve relied on our family to let Charlie out when we won’t be getting home until later. I’ve also used my mom as my errand runner when I absolutely do not have time to run one. It is so amazing to know that if I don’t have enough time in my day to do it all, I have family who is willing to help out if need be.

Chill Out

Seriously. Just relax.

Chill out people

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Everything that needs to be done will get done. My favorite saying is, “there’s always tomorrow”. While it might makes me sound like a slacker, I promise I’m not. ;) It just means I know not to get stressed if something doesn’t get done. It’ll happen!

Question: What’s your favorite tip to get you through a busy week?

PS – US Readers, it’s election day! Go get your vote on!

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

alyssa - life a la wife November 6, 2012 at 6:13 am

I am the exact way – I plan my meals out on Sunday and do all of my grocery shopping/prepping for the week. I have to have clean sheets and laundry done too. Are we sure this doesn’t make us crazy?

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 6:24 am

Nope, not crazy! ;)

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Kelly @ Femme Fitale November 7, 2012 at 7:11 am

The only time I go crazy is when I DON’T plan ahead!!! :)

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Angie @ Pint of Goals November 6, 2012 at 6:18 am

I have also been feeling overwhelmed. Grading essays, social functions on the weekends and weekdays, yard work, etc. Last week on my drive home, I realized my breathing was really shallow. For five minutes I focused on taking really deep breaths. I felt a lot better after. I also repeat the mantra, “It’ll all get done.”
Great post!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 6:27 am

Love it! Mediation-like breathing always helps me too!

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Linz @ Itz Linz November 6, 2012 at 6:24 am

Just do one thing at a time!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Absolutely! – PS I still have to email you baaack!!!

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) November 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

That squirrel picture is amazing!!
I always feel like I’m having a busy week, but I say that EVERY week, haha, so maybe it’s just a busy life. A happy life though, so no complaints :)

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

:) It made me literally LOL

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Michelle@Peachy Palate November 6, 2012 at 6:26 am

Chill out…I need to do more of that and just slow the hell down. Making time for myself is key and the only way I really switch off is running or a big long soak in the bath! :)

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Loooove soaking in the tub. Don’t do it enough!

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Beth November 6, 2012 at 6:37 am

You are right, there’s always tomorrow!! With that being said I’ve got laundry to do or I won’t have any underwear for tomorrow! LOL!!
Not sure how to separate the calendars at home, but if you take your phone to the Apple Store they can separate them. They did it for me and my hubs. Yet another errand!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 6:38 am

There’s always bathing suit bottoms! ;)

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Tracey November 6, 2012 at 6:42 am

I get the house prepped by having clean laundry, fresh sheets, floors, kitchen and bathrooms cleaned but I am terrible at meal planning, shopping planning and meal prepping. I need to do that. Thanks for the reminder.

Someone said to me yesterday, about themselves, “I need to remember that God didn’t even do it all in one day, why do I think that I can?” I used that as a quiet mantra yesterday afternoon through the stressful and busiest part of my day.

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Love that!!!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance November 6, 2012 at 6:43 am

Great tips….I appreciated the reminder to ask for help. I’m terrible at that.

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Me too!

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Kim L. November 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

Try the Cozi app – it’s a calendar app that my family uses and we love it. I ‘manage’ the calendar and each person has a color coded dot to designate their activities. We all have the app on our phones and everyone can check the calendar and add events when necessary. I print a weekly copy of the calendar and put it on the fridge at home for quick reference. It’s been a wonderful tool!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Thanks! A lot of people have mentioned that to me!

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char eats greens November 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

I REALLY need to start meal planning again AND prepping. You wouldn’t think 2 little things would make such a difference, but you’re right, they make a HUGE difference. I seriously need to do that next week (haha already putting it off!), especially since my due date IS next week…I’ll need super organization in place!!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

EEEEK!!! Next week!?!?

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats November 6, 2012 at 6:44 am

Lol I suck at meal planning, granted I have a very free schedule this semester… just some looming projects that I’m completely avoiding… oops. I almost think having less of a set schedule makes it harder for me to get anything done.

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Those projects will haaave to be done someday!! :)

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles November 6, 2012 at 6:53 am

I’ve definitely realized the benefits to “to-do” lists and schedules! When I have what I need to do and when I plan on doing it written out, it’s a lot more likely to get done.

And scheduling time for yourself is SO important – otherwise you drive yourself crazy!

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Kelsey November 6, 2012 at 7:08 am

Ahhhh I needed this today because I’m in the midst of a crazy week! Thanks for the gentle reminders:)

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Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life November 6, 2012 at 7:13 am

Ohhhhh, so THIS is why we haven’t been gchatting on a regular basis this week!
Haha…kidding. ;) Good luck this week!!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

haha we got a good chat in this morning!! I didn’t forget about you.

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Lauren November 6, 2012 at 7:14 am

I think having a plan is essential for me during a busy week. If I don’t write out everything on my calendar, I would be a mess.

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

you and me both!!

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Kim@hungryhealthygirl November 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

I try to do all of the above. And you’re right, when I plan my week out it is much less stressful. I try to use Sunday as a planning day. That is the day I do grocery shopping, meal planning, housecleaning, call meal prep, and list making. Doesn’t make for a very relaxing Sunday, but at least my week is less stressful. ;-)

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Parita November 6, 2012 at 7:36 am

Vishnu was telling me about some app that can take calenders and merge them. I’ll ask him what it’s called and get back to you!

And I agree with all of your tips, especially the last one!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Thanks! :)

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Lindsey November 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

Meal plan for sure and semi plan workouts to make sure I still get them in to keep stress away :)

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots November 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

it is so refreshing to know that there are ppl out there just like me! I am such a planner and sort of drive my boyfriend crazy and sometimes myself!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm

It’s okay – it keeps us sane!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

Lists and schedules are a must for me. If I lost my planner, I’m pretty sure my whole life would be thrown into chaos :shock:

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Katie @ Livehalffull November 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed too lately and I need exactly the same things to function during the week! One thing that I’ve been doing lately that helps me feel less overwhelmed is doing loads of laundry throughout the week. So simple, but not having to do six loads each weekend makes things more manageable! Also, I’ve been making a conscious effort to give myself time to relax-it helps SO much!

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Jennifer P. November 6, 2012 at 8:26 am

There’s been a lot on my plate recently too. I find that writing everything down helps so I dont’ keep it running through my head all the time. What has made the biggest difference for me lately is prioritizing what absolutely HAS to be done today & what can wait. I’m so bad about trying to get it all done at once & getting overwhelmed.

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 6, 2012 at 8:44 am

Great tips! Lists and meal planning always help me feel more sane!

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Natalie @ Free Range Human November 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

I totally agree about making a list. It does take so much stress off to do just see what needs to be accomplished in black and white. Not to mention the satisfaction of marking stuff off!

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Annette@FitnessPerks November 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

Def food prep. Helps SOOO much! Oh, and having a husband who’s okay with eating refried beans in a tortilla for dinner….. yah. that actually happened. Last night. I was SO in over my head with everything. Love him :)

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:39 pm

haha! My husband ate cereal tonight. Whatever! ;) In my defense, I did have dinner for him all ready in the fridge, but he chose cereal. He’ll eat it tomorrow.

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Amber K November 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

Food prep keeps me on top of my game, at least until I eat all of my hard work ;)

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Lindsey November 6, 2012 at 10:53 am

I’ve been wondering about this for awhile (for you and other bloggers), but how much does your husband help you with the cooking, cleaning, and prepping stuff? Sometimes it feels like you do everything (or maybe you have a division of labor that isn’t explicitly stated in the posts?) Not trying to be judgy, just curious!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Great question! I do complete a lot of the household duties – in my husband’s defense though, he runs a business. That means he goes to work for 12 hours, and then comes home and does more work in his office most nights until he goes to bed. I give him a lot of slack in his busy season, but when he’s less busy he helps me out more. He takes care of all the finances (something I NEVER want to have to do!)as well as a lot of the “outdoor” duties. I do things like cooking, cleaning, and laundry… for the most part. It isn’t always the case, but it works for us!

oh, and I’m also a control freak, so I actually wouldn’t want him to be mainly in charge of the cleaning/laundry. ;)

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Rachel November 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

I”ve been stressed lately and but always find that a meal plan for the week keeps me grounded.. that and a good Pilates session haha

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Tara November 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

My husband and I are so opposite, I am (was?) spontaneous; he had to have a list for everything and did not do ‘spontaneous’. I use to roll my eyes at his lists, feel overwhelmed and stressed by them. I did things when I wanted to/felt like doing them.
Now 12 years of marriage later, I truly appreciate his lists! I find it is helpful not only at home but at work as well. And its a great way to list all that needs to get done, and divide and conquer!

And I love to spend my Sundays food shopping prepping food/meals for the week. It is most appreciated on Monday mornings, knowing all my breakfast, lunches and dinner are set, and nothing to have to worry about after a 12hr day!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

haha my husband is SO not a list maker!!! Hopefully someday he’ll learn to appreciate my lists.

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Erika November 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I use to do all of my laundry on Sunday but now I start on Thursday and do a load a night and this way it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and if I don’t end up being home all day Sunday then it’s no big deal.

Meal planning and prepping are great but I also like to make sure I make extras for left overs or freezing.

Multi-task!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I do that a lot as well. Or during the week if the Husband notices a lot of his work clothes are piling up, he’ll throw in a load for me which is really helpful!

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Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles November 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm

No joke! Let us all know if someone is smart and knows how to do that with the iPhone calendars!!! ……life just keeps moving faster and faster, doesn’t it!!!!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

:) How are you doing, friend? How’s your little man, and even more, how’s your healing process going?

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Megan @ Fiterature November 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I’m pretty sure you could create a new “Hubby and I” calendar on your iPhone and then share it privately with just him. You both can edit it and it will show up on your iPhone calendar, just in a different color. Make sense? Here’s a link:
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2690

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Thanks!!!!

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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Love this post! I am just a stressed out person by nature. I always right a to do list for every single weekday! I’d feel totally scatter-brained without one!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I am a stressed person as well!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl November 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

The two organizational strategies that I rely on most are meal planning for the week and creating a “to-do” list for the week every Sunday. When I do these two things I always feel much more organized, relaxed, and ready to tackle the things that I need to get done.

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Meal planning has been a life saver for me these past two months. Why did I not start doing it years ago?! I’m a big fan of lists too… that feeling of crossing things off them is so satisfying!

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

hahah! I’m on and off with meal planning. But now that I have the extra stress of grad school, I totally need to stick with it!

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Giselle@ahealthyhappyhome November 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

My week goes much more smoothly if I can plan out meals, prep food, get all the laundry done and have a nice clean house. However, more often than not, all these things do not occur on Sunday so I’m stuck doing it during the week. The one thing I always get done though is meal planning. It helps me to stay on track with healthy eating :-)

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Missy November 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm

My tips…
BREATHE…not the deep breathing stuff…just whatever you are doing it, while you are doing it…latently notice and make sure you are breathing.

also I say …not really out loud but…”First things first” …and it helps me focus on one task at a time. Like when your bone tired and just home from work and yet feeling like you just walked into workplace #2 — (or in your case as a student – workplace 3).

Slacker? LOL. I really did giggle at your “it may make me seem like a slacker” — those of us who’ve followed your writing for years know that is just..kind of hilarious. You are opposite of slack.

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cleaneatingchelsey November 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

:) Thanks friend. I try!

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kaity @ kaityscooking November 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm

ahh im the same way with everything you said though i dont have an iphone ( ibeen living under a rock but i am gettin one friday yay) i have my little planner that everyone makes fun of me that i bring with me and have to write in stuff even if it is to just study i just feel so much more organized and though working out is my me time and really makes me zone out and clear my head i need so me “lazy” time some days to sit and do nothing and i try to do that even if its just at night one nite a wk keep hw everything that i am always crazy about out of the way… but meal planning is a big thing to, having no power all wk i cant wait to go food shoppin tm so i can make some real food lol

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Sara @my less serious life November 7, 2012 at 5:46 am

great advice, chelsey!

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janetha November 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

ha! that someEcard is SO FLIPPIN TRUE

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated November 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I think I like the “chill out” tip the best. That’s the one I need to remind myself of quite often! ;)

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Lindsay @ HeathForagers November 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I love these suggestions. They are what I TRY to do every weekend so that I have a good week. My only problem is finding the time to get these things done. I had been preparing some grains and veggies ahead of time on the weekend and it had been working out but I have stopped finding time for this. Also, I find my husband doesn’t eat them because he seems to have an aversion to leftovers and so I am forced to make sure I eat them all before they go bad. I find balancing life is an ever changing task!

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