Do Yourself a Favor: Work week edition

1) Lists and a lack thereof

The comfort I take in lists is great - they allow me to outsource my memory and ensure I don't let a task slip through the cracks. They won't go away. In fact I think of more efficient ways to list-make all the time.

However what has been great recently is that sometimes I think about the ten to fifteen seconds it would take me to add one more thing onto the list and end up deciding that it wouldn't take much longer to just do the damn thing and be done with it now. Let's call it list diversion.

2) No. 2 on this list, coffee

If it's coffee, tea, a bottle of water, or all three, get those set up at your desk before you sign into your work station. It's easy to get caught up as soon as you start the day and all those to-dos are so much more enjoyable with a hot beverage in hand.

3) Power the heck through

The go-getter in me is really satisfied at the end of a long Monday because I've already cleared so much off of my plate. No one likes to have something linger over the work week and there's nothing worse than staying late on a Friday to wrap up things you'd promised by "end of week."

Everything done today is something I don't need to do later. That mindset really helps me tackle Mondays. The idea is to lighten the work load gradually - doing my future self favors with each completed item.

4) Gear up on Sunday nights

Everyone has a different approach to Sundays. Sometimes I get the Sunday blues too, but I've found that a great way to deal is to actively get a head start on the week.

Picking out an outfit or two or more for Monday and beyond. Pack your weekend leftovers into lunch sized containers. Take your wallet and keys out of the clutch and put them back in the tote. This type of minutiae can really make an impact on my mental readiness to start a new work week.

5) Week night fun

While it's so tempting and so easy to fall into a stupor of TV and takeout by the time you get home, pushing yourself to live life fully on week nights does wonders for making the week feel fuller - and over time it really combats those moments when it feels like all you do is work.

Last week I met up with both Meredith and Morgan on separate week nights. My sister is in town this week and so is Leigh. Last night I slammed down a few bites of watermelon and sips of cold seltzer to revive my tired, hot, hungry self upon arriving home before cooking a meal with Kev. It was delicious and absolutely worth the effort.

6) Drink water

When I'm sucking down coffee and only getting up for refills, a whole day can go by without a single sip of water. I kick myself at the ends of those days.

Drink water. It won't kill you.

7) The right outfit

Building a work wardrobe I love took many years and several jobs. I went from fashion, where the salary to style expectations ratio is absolutely absurd, to banking, where pantsuits are the uniform, to City government, where you see suits and sequined skirts in the same office. By the time I got to this job, I'd finally found the right balance between my own style and my work style.

Finding your right work wardrobe is, in a small way, like finding your voice. Investing in it (time and thought too, not just $) is important even if you'd rather be buying vacation or party clothes.

8) Take a break

This piece of advice is one I heed sporadically. I admit that I can get swept up in the zone and not surface for a long time. Sometimes Kev has to remind me to turn my work-self off and not sign in from home for one or two nights. The point is that the world won't end without you, and it's important to remember that.

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