It can be very difficult as a professional in your 20s to feel like you are getting and staying ahead of the curve. There are times when, instead, you feel like you’re simply trying to stay afloat. While our twenties can present lots of opportunities both professionally and personally, it can be a bit overwhelming at times trying to navigate both these areas of our lives when we feel like there is so much uncertainty and so much to be figured out. The two of us can often times feel a bit torn between loving the fact that there is so much newness and opportunity in both our careers and personal lives, while simultaneously resenting the unknown and (sometimes) instability that can make the twenties feel like a rollercoaster. This fluctuation within itself can be the source of a lot of our twenties anxiety, but what we have found with time is that the best thing we can do is to take baby steps. Of course, there are major steps that need to be made in the future and major leaps to be had but that one small step of action or planning is more helpful in reaching those big leaps than staying paralyzed in the uncertainty. One of those small baby steps that has added up over time- is to set up our week ahead on Sundays to plan and coordinate our personal and professional lives. While this can look different each week we try our best to stick to a routine that consists of organizing and planning on all fronts from career obligations, to self-care to personal obligations to give us some sense of clarity heading into the new week.
Four Ways To Prepare For The Week Ahead:
- Prioritize Sundays. My mom used to always tell me how Sundays were her favorite days because she could plan organize and look forward to the week ahead. Personally, (Maddie here) this used to confuse me because I felt like Sunday Scaries were real even before I knew what they meant. But with time and some maturity, I have begun to pick up on this admiration for Sundays to organize and despite whether or not it’s become my favorite day, it is a day that if done right I find myself more relaxed and enjoying my Sunday and looking forward to the week ahead.
- Spend time early on Sunday afternoons to sit down and look at your calendar for the week ahead. Check the events that are already on your calendar and check for downtime. Getting a good overview of what your week looks like will help you plan around the events and add in some self-care and task completion.
- Plan for your meals and put together your grocery store checklist. Think of what meals you want to enjoy this week and see what ingredients, drinks, snacks, and condiments you may be in need of. While the two of us prefer to grocery shop on Sunday to prepare for the week- find the best day and time for you and your schedule to do one big grocery shop for the week. This will save you time and money by avoiding making multiple last minute trips to the grocery store throughout the week for those ingredients you are in need of to finish that tasty meal you were looking forward to enjoying after a long day. This also saves money, by preventing yourself from resorting to that very convenient but costly take out orders and food deliveries that no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, do end up costing significantly more than if you were to cook at home! For some yummy ideas for the upcoming week- check out our fun easy recipes!
- Set up your self-care on your calendar. It should be an appointment on your calendar like any other work and personal obligations would be! Make sure you coordinate to know when in your schedule you will partaking in some self care. While each week may be different and you may be stressed for time- think of ways that will work so that you can make sure you are getting that self-care in. For some ideas for self-care with only a few minutes to spare check out our self-care with five minutes to spare.
- Set up your movement schedule. Whether you schedule in a half hour walk, a morning stretch session or sign up for a morning cardio class at that new studio you’ve been wanting to check out- write it down and make sure you have it blocked on your calendar for movement time. Moving is essential, especially for those of us who find ourselves sitting on our computers for hours on end. Any movement to celebrate and take care of your body will help you in the long run and impacts all areas of your life, even if it seems minor it makes a huge difference.
- Schedule Personal Development Time. If you are a commuter find some great podcasts to download and listen to during your commute. Having podcasts or audio books can be great for those on the go to designate some time to areas of interest that may be outside of your usual work but can allow you to use your brain on other areas of interest and learn new things. Learning is critical and any form of learning can help your mental health helping your personal development. This also gives you opportunity to see that there are more areas or more career possibilities of interest for the future. Sometimes we find ourselves getting stuck on having one path and can forget to stop and look around at all areas of possibility. Plus having extra curricular activities was essential in school so why not as an adult?!
- Go back to your schedule and find the unschedule times and look at it against your to-do list. Look at any long list items of the to-dos that you may have been putting off and schedule them for that off time. Whether its calling back your friend from college, planning a girls night for you and your besties to get together this month, or it’s even simply putting in some time to your dating life and spending time swiping and starting convos in hopes of setting up a date in the near future- think of all the areas that you want to balance this week and schedule it. Of course, if you have a busy week with minimal time left to yourself don’t feel obligated to schedule it- if you just want to know that you have free time to yourself and leave it open- that makes total sense!
So now that you have your week organized, you can look forward to having some clarity heading into the week and set your weekly intentions and goals for those obligations you have scheduled. Take some time to visualize of what a successful week would look like for you and the personal, professional intentions you want to keep throughout that week. Also taking time to appreciate the areas that you felt good about the previous week can help you plan your intentions and focus for the upcoming week!