Wednesday, March 2, 2016

10 Ways to Prepare for the Work Week


I have a longing to craft something! The sewing machine sits on its shelf collecting dust, the paints remain dry and untouched; Returning home from our previous tour only two days ago with only four more days left before the next tour begins, I am feeling pressed for time. And it is killing me that I can't reach the end of my to-do list which is my favorite part:

We were given two full days off to recover before returning to the studio, but where does the time go?

One of the things I miss the most while I am on tour is Boswell, my car (I named it!) On tour we travel all together in a big tour bus, or we are shuttled around by our hosts or volunteers, SO returning home to my own car is a sweet reunion, a refreshing reacquirement of independence!

And with that, one of my favorite things to do upon returning home from tour is grocery shopping! Don't get me wrong, on tour we are well fed! Our sponsors and hosts are responsible for providing our food, and usually "our cup overfloweth". We never have to worry about going hungry, and the food they provide is always nutritious and delicious, but often towards the end of long tours I end up missing my own kitchen. There is something special about having the option and freedom to do my own grocery shopping, and the choosing, creating, and planning of my own meals. This is only one thing out of many things on my to-do list, that I have to tackle upon arriving back home from our trips. I have a whole procedure of tasks I like to accomplish each time I return home from a tour. Below I have provided the lowdown of what these things are. They are also just practical activities that can be attended to on weekends to prepare us for any given upcoming week!

#1 Unpack and Reorganize. Obviously, you can conceive that once returning home from a trip one would have some luggage to unpack. Being a part of this touring ballet company, I feel like I am constantly living out of a suitcase. When I do get to unpack and resettle in the place I pay rent for, it is a wonderful feeling and I like to do it right away in order that no time is being wasted in getting back into the swing of things. Perhaps you are not traveling? To prepare for you work week I would say organizing your purse, briefcase, or book bag etc. would fall under this category. I don't know if you are anything like me, but know matter how much time I spend organizing my purse and dance bag, by the end of the week they are both a catastrophic mess! Take time to reorganize yourself. Make sure all the essential items you need in your bag for that week are stowed away and accounted for. And remember to remove anything that was put in your bag, that does not belong there! We want to steer clear from collecting too many long forgotten mysterious items lost at the bottoms of our bags.

#2 Laundry. This is another task I just like to get over with right away. Separating the lights from the darks, walking to and fro from the machine with mounds of clothing hoping not to drop an unmentionable on the way, working in shifts and around the housemates in getting a chance to use the dryer, and then there is all the endless amounts of folding and sock matching that awaits me. Laundry is a time consuming arduous task that keeps me tied down to the house, but if I plan my day just right I can find some good multitasking activities to accompany the duration of each wash cycle.

#3 Decide what to wear. Some people love planning out ahead of time all of what they want to wear for the coming week. While I do not customarily do this weekly, I do occasionally plan outfits ahead of time considering if there are any particular special events coming up. As assembling a cute outfit can be VERY time-consuming, planning them ahead of time can be very time saving! I also look into what the weather will be like for the approaching week which I also take into consideration when planning outfits ahead.

#4 Tidy up the house. I do a little bit of cleaning each weekend. I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day after everything is cleaned. It helps to start off the week neat and organized creating a distraction free environment promoting productivity.

#5 Grocery shop/ meal. As I have already touched on, this is one of my favorite tasks on the to-do list. Because I usually find my cabinets and refrigerator quite bare getting back home from tour, I prefer to tackle this task pretty promptly upon returning. I am trying to get better at planning and preparing meals on the weekends, so I spend less time during in the kitchen during the week. I love searching on Pinterest for creative yummy recipes, and after I decide which one to make for the week I very methodically compose a grocery list including all the ingredients necessary for the recipe and then some other snacks and things that will get me through the week. As I shared in a previous blog entry about my New Years Resolutions, I'm trying to be more responsible with following a good budget, which will intern produce better grocery shopping, which will produce better cooking, which will produce the ultimate goal of eating consistently better. Setting aside some time on the weekends to meal plan is helping me to fulfill that resolution.

#6 Review budget and finances. I am not the best at keeping up with my checkbook or with budgeting and all that stuff so periodically I have to set aside some time to play catch up, reevaluate my finances, and update budgeting records. It is a great feeling to start off the week aware of what all is in the bank accounts and knowing that my bills will be covered.

#7 Update my calendar. Tour life and home are like to different worlds that move at very different paces. When I am are on tour, all I do is refer to the very well constructed schedule that our tour director prints out for us and I go where it says to go and do what it says to do; a consistent busyness involving performing, teaching and meeting people. Being at home the busyness is inconsistently comprised of so many different things; ballet rehearsals, working at Fresh Ink, my housekeeping job, prayer partner get-togethers and date nights with friends. When I get back home from tour and before I begin a new week, I like to make sure that my calendar is straight. On my calendar, I also like to include my friends' birthdays because they are important to me.  And even though there is Facebook, and many other apps that help us to keep track of things I still make sure to write EVERYTHING down for extra reinforcement and so that everything can be found in one spot. I suggest getting a cute agenda that you can enjoy writing in.

#8 Check email and clear electronics. Decluttering the electronics in your life is essential to promoting productive days, considering how much time we spend working on them. Out of convenience, I usually download all sorts of files, photos, and documents to my computer desktop so that they can be easily found, but by the end of a busy week my desktop can look quite overwhelming. I have to go back and put things into their respective folders. It feels better to start the week with a clean slate and clear desktop. To ensure that my devices are freed up and working fast, I often eliminate the uneccessary items in my storage, delete browser history and the cookies that collect. Be sure to take time to delete frivolous emails so that you begin your week with a clean inbox.

#9 Stretch out and exercise. After several travel days of just sitting on the bus, I try to make it a priority to get some good stretching and some simple exercise in. It helps me to physically feel better as well as boost up my moral with all the happy endorphins that exercise creates.

#10 Update social media and review blog functionality. This is another favorite task of mine to accomplish, but it is most imperative that I save this task for LAST and NEVER first, because we all know how much time we can spend surfing social media. I try to restaint all internet surfing to just the weekends, more or less. With intentions of solely updating statuses and a quick facebook feed check, I can easily get distracted and lost in the world wide web clicking link after link after link after know what I mean? After I am sure I have completed all other tasks, I allow myself time to have fun gleaning info from the world wide web as well as sharing some; updating photos, pinteresting, youtubing and blogging! I love visiting other peoples blogs and other online material that inspires me to be a better blogger. A good blog is high maintanence and requires much attention so I tend to my blog throughout the week and on tour as well. Besides just writing blog entries; editing pictures, responding to comments, and networking also demands much of my time. On the weekends is when I like to take time to review my blog to make sure images are being displayed correctly, links are working properly and so on.

...And after all that is said and done,

I am ready to take on the world!

* fun fact: I mentioned the word "time" 24 times in the blog entry!  O.o

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