Career Development, Professional Growth

10 Pro Tips for Taking Control of Your Week

If you’re anything like me, you are energized and ready to conquer the week on Monday mornings. But then the mid-week slump hits, and you need an extra push to finish out the week strong.

I have good news! Regardless of your situation, there are always small changes you can make to help you tackle your week.

Here are 10 tips for taking control of your week:

Plan Ahead: Before you leave work on Friday, reserve 15-30 minutes to do a quick overview of your upcoming week. Are there any important deadlines to meet? Do you have any meetings you need to prepare for? Write it down. When I realized my anxiety around meetings stemmed from a lack of preparation, everything changed for me. A little bit of preparation goes a long way, and you will feel more in control and ready to conquer anything that comes your way.

Check Your Mindset: Sometimes a change in mindset does the trick. When negative thoughts start to creep in, I immediately start thinking of things for which I’m grateful. There will be days when things don’t go your way or go as planned. Putting things in perspective and focusing on gratitude is a surefire way to stay positive, regardless of the circumstances.

Challenge Yourself: If you want to grow professionally, you want to be on the lookout for stretch opportunities. Today’s workplace is more demanding than ever, and it may not seem there is enough time to take on additional work, but there are small ways you can challenge yourself daily. You can ask your manager or coworker for constructive feedback or find more efficient ways to do your work.

Cultivate Your Relationships: There are times when I catch myself sending curt-sounding emails and only reaching out to people when I need something. I’m not saying you should go crazy with the emojis or smiley faces in your emails, but it is essential to remember the human side of business. Get to know your coworkers, remember birthdays, write a thank you card, reach out to one of your contacts on LinkedIn. Investing in workplace relationships is always a good move for your career.

Eat the Frog: Figuratively, not literally! You probably have a task you’ve been procrastinating, and it’s following you like a dark cloud. Believe me, I’ve been there! Eating the frog is when you focus on the task you’ve been avoiding first thing in the morning or whenever you start your work. The sooner you get it off your to-do list, the better you will feel.

Write it Down: Starting a journaling practice can be intimidating, but writing down your daily or weekly reflections can be one of the best things you can do for your career. It doesn’t have to be complicated—it can be as simple as writing down a few sentences or making a list of bullet points. Just as long as you reflect on your career and keep track of your accomplishments, strengths, and opportunities.

Avoid Multi-Tasking: As a reformed multi-tasker, I can tell you that focusing on one task at a time will boost your productivity. Studies show that multi-tasking does not work and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. You’ll start seeing a difference in how you work when you minimize distractions and only focus on one thing at a time.

Protect Your Time: Have you noticed here’s always a fire to put out? Always. It doesn’t matter if you plan and think you have everything under control, someone will always need something from you. Saying no to people is uncomfortable and sometimes downright impossible, but setting healthy boundaries will keep you in control of your time.

Go Easy on Yourself: Remember, you are doing your best. There may be days when you’re not, and that’s normal. You are not a machine. It’s so easy to be self-critical, especially when something doesn’t go your way or get the so-called constructive feedback that doesn’t feel “constructive”.

Have Fun: Schedule something fun throughout the week. Whether it’s lunch with a coworker, grabbing your favorite coffee in the morning, or a workout class. Whatever brings you joy, make sure you make time for it!

I hope you enjoyed these tips! Let me know in the comments below what you do to take control of your week.

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