This week, I’ve realized what a big difference it makes to stay on top of the little things at work and in my personal life. Even in the midst of a crazy week, I now know that I should always make time to stay organized, and clutter-free; it makes me feel more accomplished, even if I’m doing the bare minimum to get by!

I was busy at home and at work, and I neglected to clean up my personal and work email inboxes. I’ve spent most of today going through and cleaning up/organizing my inbox and it is amazing how much more free I feel! I hate having lingering issues/questions/loose ends in my email, especially at the end of a long week. I like to go home secure in the knowledge that I did my job that day to the best of my ability, and being organized is one of the ways I measure that.

I’ve also neglected doing my usual day-to-day maintenance around my apartment: picking up clutter, clearing off counters, etc. Clutter, as you can probably tell, makes me anxious so to have let some surfaces around my place get that way means that I had a crazy week! Rather than stress myself out by ignoring the details in my life, those are the smallest things I can take care of to ensure that I have a smooth week.

What about you, readers–do you have any tips for staying sane during a particularly hectic week?

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I can’t believe it is the fall season already. Between the bouts of bad weather, needed home repairs due to the rain here in Philadelphia, and increased writing activity, I’ve been quite busy these last few weeks. In fact, I ended up skipping my week to journal here at Unveil Your Brilliance. As the saying goes, “life happens.” The trick is to find a way to get back on track when things occasionally go off the rails.

Even then, there comes a point in your life when people will demand your time and energy, and you have to say “no.” I remember when working for Epic Careering a saying in various forms stuck with me. Basically, if you don’t take control of your time, someone else will. A key component of success is knowing when you are at your limit, when to prioritize tasks, and when to decline some requests. This also applies to your life outside of work, especially when people (not your employer) ask for favors. Of course you want to help family and friends, but it is possible have all of your free time taken away if you don’t set boundaries.

For me, my mother had asked me to redo the résumé of one of her friends. It was a task that required me type up what was on hard paper, plus hand-written notes to include in updating the résumé. The document also had to be properly formatted. I said I could help her on a certain day of the week, but that day came and went without the résumé being delivered. Then it was suddenly dropped in my lap a day late, a half hour before I had to start getting ready for work. I pushed back and stated the friend would have to wait a few more days since the request wasn’t on the day agreed to, and I already had plans for the following days.

While I ultimately finished formatting the résumé on a Saturday night, I set my future boundaries. No more volunteering me for requests, and no more last minute requests (outside of emergencies). Having a day and time really sets up what works for me and what doesn’t work, versus sudden out of the blue requests. Sometimes you have to say “no.”

 

Do you make a habit of saying “no” often when it comes to your time?

Stack of Papers by Jenni C of Flickr

Stack of Papers by Jenni C of Flickr

Finally! Today is the first day in I’m not sure how long that the sun has been out for more than 5 minutes! It’s doing wonders for my mood. I haven’t been in a bad mood, per se, for the last couple of weeks (basically the entire time that the weather has been less-than-desirable), but the humidity, cloudy skies, and rain has certainly taken their toll. Usually, I love cloudy and rainy days; they make me feel like I can go home and get comfy with a blanket, a hot cup of something to drink, and a good book. But many cloudy and rainy days in a row is overkill.

Does anyone else feel that the weather affects their mood and emotions and then, subsequently, their physical health? I’ve felt run-down and sniffly for a couple weeks now (I truly think the humidity wreaks havoc on my allergies) and that has affected my drive to get anything done at work or at home. Truthfully, my apartment looks like a hot mess at the moment. You’d think that during bad weather it would be the perfect time to tackle any indoor projects I’ve been meaning to do, and I had just that intention! But with the consistent bad weather, I lost my motivation. I just wanted to sit and do nothing when I got home from work and on the weekends. Usually, I would say this is fine! Do what you want! But for me, too much of that put me in a less than stellar place in life.

I’m taking full advantage of this weather today–I’m going out to dinner with a friend tonight and it would be wonderful if we could walk around before or after. It’s just so nice to finally have not only sunny weather, but cooler weather. I’m most definitely a fall kind of girl, so I say bring on the scarves, sweaters, and thick socks :).

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I have been so busy these past few weeks and though I feel tired and overwhelmed sometimes, at the end of the day I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I went through a period of a month or so where I felt down, behind in work and in things around the house, and overwhelmed with life in general. It was a bad feeling and I wish I could have done something about it earlier. However, I recently came out of that funk and I feel better than ever. I was finally able to give myself permission to be human and to be me, with all of my faults and positive attributes. I’ve been more productive at work and when I get home at the end of the day, I feel ready to tackle a project. I allow myself to relax for a bit after work and that gives me the mental and physical energy to keep going and doing what I want to do.

So give yourself permission to relax if you need it. Or work out. Or dance or laugh or cry. I felt overwhelmed for a few weeks because I was trying to do too much without letting my body rest. I won’t make that mistake again. I’m meditating regularly, eating reasonably well, and trying to stay active. I’m taking care of myself and I feel great about it. So give yourself a gift once in awhile–take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Don’t ever feel that everyone and everything should come before your own sense of well-being, because that’s just not practical. How can you take care of others if you need to be taken care of, too?

How do you practice self-care, dear readers?

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My lunchtime view at work.

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