I have always worked Saturdays. Always. I have been in the workforce over 20 years & even when I was a social worker with a traditional day job, I was still required to be on call on weekends. I do not mind working Saturdays. I would rather have a weekday off to do things when places are less likely to be crowded.
A few weeks ago, I realized just how stressful Saturdays have been. Especially, when I was working 60+ hour weeks, everything was crammed into Saturday night because that was my only night home. In my efforts to rewind real slow, I had not yet made adjustments to that routine. Until now.
Up until a few weeks ago, Saturdays went pretty much like this: come home from work and immediately start the laundry, as I typically have two loads per week. Then, I had to start preparing a week’s worth of food because when you have multiple food allergies, you can rarely do food on the fly. Then, I would have to sit down and write some paper for school, which in my educational programs have typically been 20 pagers. In fact, I have it down to a science. Once all my background prep work is done and I am ready to start actively writing, I can typically crank out 20 pages in 24 hours. To put the pressure on even more, I was also trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, due to my Sunday morning long run. Whew. It makes me tired just writing about how it used to be, but is no longer.
Once I identified that this routine was the cause of so much stress, I was not only able to realize that I needed to make a change, but that the stress all started with dirty laundry, literally and figuratively.
While cramming all that stuff into Saturday afternoon was once a necessity due to an over packed schedule, I now have more free time and control over that time.
I no longer do laundry on Saturday. I do it during the week, often one load at a time. Since I am home more, I have the luxury of doing laundry whenever and not trying to cram it into a schedule.
I also no longer need to have monster paper writing sessions in which I am cranking out 20 pages in 24 hours. Unless I have procrastinated ridiculously with my time, I now have several days during the week to work on school.
Making these minor adjustments to my schedule have been hugely significant in lowering my stress levels and increasing my happiness. Dirty laundry is just another reminder that although we may spend 40 hours a week working, what we do with the rest of the time we have is purely our choice.
What areas of your life are you able to identify as creating stress? What routines can you alter or change in order to decrease your stress and save some time?
I have noticed that now when I come home on Saturday and no longer face piles of dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively that my weekend goes much more smoothly.
I still have not yet found the cure for procrastination when it comes to thesis writing, so if you figure that one out, let me know.
What dirty laundry can you change today?