When sh*t hits the fan, keep your cool.

At genYOU HQ, we’re getting ready to enter the busier end of our 2019 … we also know that you’ve just come back from what was probably an epic – and well-deserved  – uni break!

So what better time to chat to you about all things #timemanagement? Most of the time, you can’t fight the crazy … instead you have to embrace it, and be as prepared as possible, so that you can keep your cool when sh*t hits the fan.

Lisa and Saara have put together a special guide just for you, with all their tips, tricks and hacks on how to best manage your time and energy when the crazy hits (and to keep yourself sane amidst it all).

Saara >> 

1 // Fresh Air

I am the biggest champion for getting outside and taking a breather. Literally. You’d be amazed at what can happen when you remove yourself from an environment where you spend most of your ‘hustle’ time. For most of us, that’s in front of a computer, inside an office/library/uni room.

Try the following to grab your breath of fresh air:

  • Head outside during your lunch/study break
  • Get off your bus 1 stop earlier than your usual stop, and walk the rest of the way to your destination!
  • Literally schedule in “fresh air time” on your weekend planner

2 // Switch off.

I know, I know. You’ve heard it allllll before. “Limit your tech time, it will help so much.” But seriously. Switch off and limit your frickin’ tech time!

In our digital age – pretty much all of our assignments and work hours require digital use. In our personal time we use digital for entertainment. It’s a constant ‘on’ button, that once turned ‘off’ actually has a pretty drastic effect on our hormones, stress levels, health, anxiety and general sanity.

Switch it off fam – make use of that ‘do not disturb’ function that has been developed for a reason!

3 // If you need to schedule in your ‘fun’, then so be it.

We all need something to look forward to/work towards/reward ourselves with. So if you need to schedule in your ‘fun’ – then do it!

I schedule in token weekends where I drive to the coast and stay for the full weekend. Obviously I can’t do this every weekend because a) I have general life admin responsibilities I need to use weekends to carry out and b) these ‘mini-getaways’ wouldn’t feel so lush if I was enjoying them EVERY weekend.

Whatever your ‘fun’ might look like, make sure you pop it in your diary and don’t compromise on it! A word of advice … choose moments where it makes the most sense … I don’t schedule in these weekends off the back of an event week (as I actually prefer being at home and recovering). However, I do schedule them in the weekend BEFORE things really ramp up … as this keeps me relaxed and ready to embrace some #hardwork!

4 // Pay extra attention to your health.

You’ve got to realise that when things get crazy, you NEED to tune into your health.

For example, I prefer to go to the gym in the morning at 5.00am. Sure it means that I have to get up at 4.30am. But it also means that I’ve got my kick of exercise for the day, and it generally makes me feel more energised!

However, when things ramp up at work, being up at 4.30am also means that I could potentially be switched ‘on’ for over 12 hours. That adds up quite quickly if you’re doing it 5 days a week. It’s also a surefire way for your immune system to start dropping in strength.

So when things start getting busy, busy … I usually start planning my gym-going for the evening instead. It a) lets me sleep in to a reasonable time and b) means that I’m not exhausted when I arrive at work.

On the weekends, I always make time to do a long run. It’s something that I try not to compromise on no matter what. But regardless of how much running-endorphins-obsessed-Saara wants to exercise the stress away, sometimes what I actually need is a whole day in bed, watching Netflix and sleeping. So what’s what I do. Give your body what it needs during the ‘crazy’ and you’ll make it out the other side still intact!

5 // You’re allowed to feel overwhelmed. AND you’re allowed to complain about it! 

There’s nothing worse than trying to have a rant about your schedule and your friend or parent or random-stranger-whose-opinion-you-didn’t-ask-for pipes up with “Oh I’m sure it’s not that bad. Keep on keeping on.”

No no no no. Sometimes all you want to do – and all you NEED – is a good ole’ complaining session (with no interruptions!!!). And that’s 100% okay!

Lisa >>

1 // Clean up.

As I write this I have visuals of my dad literally laughing out loud. I am, by nature, a (very) messy person and he takes joy in poking at me for this. So there is a little bit of irony in the fact that the first thing I do when it’s getting a bit crazy is invoke ultra clean mode. I need to physically remove the clutter around me to free up space in my mind. And once you have cleaned up, you would amazed at how good everyone else around you feels in the cleaner space. It truly brings out the zen.

2 // Make and maintain your task lists.

Anyone can make a list of things they need to do … but I believe the secret to really good task lists is maintenance. Not only do I make a new list weekly, but throughout the week I highlight, cross off and update the list. And then next week I make a new clean list, free of the old done tasks and full of the next lot of crazy. Again its a small investment in time to get it out of my head and onto paper.

And on that note – fun fact – despite us as a team having some excellent digital task management software which we use – all of us at genYOU HQ use paper lists for personal day to day tasks … there is a satisfaction that comes with crossing off a task that just can’t be replicated online.

3 // Prep your food.

Busy times often mean long days for me at work. I’m often in the office by 6.30am and not home until after 6pm. Food is not something I want to have to hassle thinking about. So on Sunday’s I prep lunches for the week and even set about having bits and pieces ready-to-go for dinners. I also plan meals that I know are quick to throw together.

Not only is this good for my sanity … but I end up saving a truckload of cash on take away meals … because trust me … at the end of a 12-hour day the lure of Uber Eats is pretty strong.

4 // Constantly review your priorities.

I like to think of myself as super woman. I can do it all.

I also tend to forget that there are only 24-hours in a day … so it’s super important that I constantly review my priorities and have honest discussions with the team on what can and can’t drop.

It’s tempting to say “everything is important and everything is urgent” … but that doesn’t help anyone. Sometimes important things need to drop and you have to acknowledge the consequences.

But for me – I would rather know I have the bandwidth to do 5 things really well than 8 things half-assed.

5 // Exercise.

Another piece of unfiltered truth for you. I am not a person who loves going to the gym. I do it coz I know it’s good for me … and yes I know I feel better for it … but I will also do all I can to get out of it.

So when I I joined the gym last year in the 6 weeks leading up to one of the craziest work periods I’ve ever been though it was quite out of character. On the one hand, it seemed like a completely hectic time to contemplate adding more into my schedule. I was working long crazy days and had way too much to do.

But that is exactly WHY it was the perfect time to be doing that. A 45-min class at 5.15 am was no big deal on my day. But endorphins and knowing I had done something for myself made it worth getting my butt to the gym.