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Countdown to Rejoining The Working World- Help Me Transition Back!

First of all, THANK YOU, Dear Readers, for your congratulatory words!!! Your kind thoughts and well wishes mean SO much to me. I'm so proud and thankful to have such kind-hearted blogger friends!!!

Needless to say, it has been quite a celebration in our household for the past few days... After landing on my flight back to NYC (more on the Dallas trip soon, it was *beyond* fun and eventful!!), I walked to baggage claim and was surprised by a familiar face- Mr. Wonderful had traveled all the way to the airport to surprise and congratulate me! He was standing at the baggage carousel, an ear-to-ear smile on his face and a bottle of Veuve in his hand. Beyond adorable. We headed home, and went out to a celebratory sushi dinner.

The next morning, I woke up to the smell of breakfast... Mr. W snuck out of the house while I was still asleep, and ran to the corner store for my favorite breakfast sandwich. He surprised me (again!) with breakfast and bellinis in bed. Ladies, I almost died *right there* and went straight to Heaven. I can't tell you how great this man is to me! We rounded out the celebration weekend by ordering the HBO channel for our apartment (SUCH an extravagance for us!), and catching up on one of our favorite shows- Big Love (HIGHLY recommend it!!!).

It dawned on me today, in the middle of room cleaning and laundry folding, that these were my last few days at home full-time! I'm both elated and nervous at the prospect of rejoining Corporate America. I've gotten into such a great routine over the last 5 months, I have an irrational fear that I'll never cook a decent meal or have the laundry done on time again! It feels like the first day of school, all over again!

Here's where you come in, Dear Reader! I would love for you all to share some of your favorite time-management skills!

What helps you manage your career/household /schoolwork/volunteer/church time? I'm talking cleaning schedules, meal planning, packing your lunch the night before work... ANY suggestions would be *greatly* appreciated! Nothing beats a case of the nerves like feeling 100% prepared beforehand... Please help me get there!

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Lauren said...

I need all the time management skills I can get. I will be checking back for hints!!

Maria said...

Plan your outfit the night before and either keep it in your head, or lay it out physically. I had a 1 hour commute each way from Queens into Manhattan during college, and let me tell you that strategy gave me more sleep time in the morning! (Well that and learning how to fall asleep on a subway with the ipod blaring - my stop was the last on on the N/W in Queens so I was always guaranteed a seat! - and getting up at the right stop helped alot in terms of catching a few winks, too).

I also find that right before bed, I final "tidying up" helps alot in terms of the mornings - you don't have to rush, you feel more relaxed getting ready and that way it keeps the place tidy enough so that all you have to do are the breakfast dishes and make the bed in the morning. That way, you have a nice, tidy apartment to come home to and get on with what you need to do in the evening as opposed to stressing out that you need to clean the apartment before you get on to do anything else (like making a curry from scratch! I attempt that tomorrow after my night class, of all times).

Now if only someone can help me curb my procrastination skills...

Sweet Bea said...

I find to-do lists to be invaluable. Beyond that, I also love the Getting Things Done (GTD) breaks your to-do list down into the smallest details so you can really see what you need to do.

Good luck, love! :)

ACL said...

I have recently been introduced to the wonders of Microsoft Outlook calendar color coordinating... have yet to sync with the Blackberry but I can easily see (by color, and neatly typed, not scrawled in handwriting) when I have which types of appointments... and the handy task bar at the bottom in invaluable for the above advised to do list, complete with a virtual check mark :)

Mojito Maven said...

I have to second Maria...very helpful!!

I also make to-do lists, tidy up as i go, and try and get a good nights sleep.

Mrs. Newlywed said...

Well, as you know I am a lover of menu planning and scheduling my life out week by week.

Dear, before I got laid off I worked out everday, worked 50+ hours a week, and got dinner on the table almost ever night.

As long as you schedule accordingly you will never feel stressed. The key is to get as much sleep as YOU require to not feel worn down.

I am a huge fan of schedules [see my blog today], planning, and more planning! Every Sunday I put out clothes for the entire week in the FRONT of my closet so I can pull it right away.

While I haven't been working I have been trying to stick to my scheduling, planning, etc so that I don't have to worry too much when I go back to work


Gwen said...

Okay...don't laugh at me but I have a few suggestions.

First I plan all of my outfits out for the next week on Saturday morning and then get them all organized/ironed and ready to go. I even write down what shoes I'm going to wear so the night before I can hang the entire outfit outside of the closet and layout my shoes & other accessories.

Second I do pack lunches the night before. I just put everything in the lunch bags and then put the entire bag in the fridge. That way its cold and ready to go. I do this for 3 of us every night. But if you are packing...say cookies...I put them in individual packages when I get home from the grocery store.

I also use a cleaning system which is 100% needed in my home since I'm super weird about it. Some nights I vacuum & dust. Others I do laundry. Set yourself up a mini chore chart and check off the items as you go. Lists always help me.

If you can keep on top of your cleaning in the evening (I do housework as I'm cooking dinner) then you can do a good clean on Saturdays for a couple of hours. I normally get up at 7 on Saturdays and have the house "perfect" by 10. Then on Sundays I do what I feel has to get done, grocery shop and iron clothes if I didn't do it on Saturday.

You will get your schedule down. It takes time and patience but you'll figure out what works best for you.

Good luck & Congrats!!! I can't wait to hear how your first day goes!!!

Mandy Rose said...

I am SOOOO excited for you!!! Congratulations on the new job! And what a great man you have!

Mrs. Cup said...

I schedule my entire day ahead of time. Be as specific as possible. You will really be motivated to get things finished when you know you've only budgeted 15 minutes on it.

So excited for you!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Yay for Mr. Wonderful, he did good! I agree with the other gals! We try our best to clean up before we go to bed so we don't have to wake up to a mess, I make to-do lists too, and definitely try to plan an outfit the night before, and at least the meals for the next day too so it's easier to prepare the next day, I'll take out ingredients that are not refrigerated and set them together on the counter and any cooking equipment needed, and then even group items together in the fridge so it's easier to pull out. You'll do great, don't be hard on yourself if it doesn't happen everyday, do what you can and it will get easier the more you get settled in :)

Channa said...

Good Luck! Here are a few of my tips; I try to make my lunch while I am making dinner, that elements 2 things at once. I also get everything ready the night before, so I can sleep an extra 10 mins. I take 30 mins every night to do something just for me, like watch a show or take a bath, just to feel like I had some me time. I also say No to things. I am very organized so everything has a place in our house and so I make sure everything stays in it spot to make it easier to find and clean up stuff. (of course I do not have a job right now but these are things I do when I have a job)

Saskia said...

I've just got a little tip... when you cook an evening meal, try to cook double the amount you need so you can reheat it the following night or freeze it for sometime later.

I'm so excited for you to start your new job!!

Saskia x

Lucky in Love said...

I'm a huge planner with the meals. On Fridays I will plan every meal we are going to have from Saturday-Friday. I will make the grocery list that day so I won't have to waste time doing it on Saturday...and we can just go to the store. This saves me a ton of time during the week so I don't have to try to come up with something to make, and I know what meat to take out the night before to defrost. I know we would be eating frozen meals every night if I did not plan.

We do laundry every Sunday. It's just the two of us so this works for us. I find it better to concentrate on it one day instead of spacing it out. I tend to fell like the laundry never ends if I do it multiple days.

Also, while the meal is cooking...I do things in the empty the dishwasher, go through the mail...anything that can be done in a few minutes. This also really helps me.

Good luck!

Shorty said...

It's very cool to hear about Mr. Wonderful's treats to you! Love to know about the romance, gratitude and respect going on in relationships!

I agree with many of the other tips...pack your lunches the night before, cook enough at dinner so you can take left overs for lunch, stay on top of your ironing/laundry so you can pick out your outfit the night before.. One thing I'm still working on is how to manage my housework. We are a pretty tidy family and pick up as we go, but I'm thinking if we did specific chores on specific days of the week then I wouldn't have to worry about spending hours cleaning on the weekends, because I love having my time off...including time off from chores.

Enjoy your last few days to yourself! Can't wait to hear about your first day back!

brown eyed girl said...

I agree with many of the commenters. I always clean on the weekend, do the laundry, and I wake up early on Saturdays and Sundays to be sure that I can get the house tidied. I clean the house every night, just a little run through and put things away or organize the remotes on the coffee table, little things like that. I don't plan my oufits but it may help! I also keep my leftovers in tupperware containers at the front of the fridge so they're easy to grab when I am packing lunch in the AM. I keep fresh fruit in baskets and grapes in a colander in the fridge and grab them and stash in my lunchbag as I pack my lunch.
I'm sure you'll figure out a routine and be rarin' to go!

Undomesticated Newlywed said...

I'm still trying to figure out the whole scheduling thing, but what works for me is:

1. Meal plan for the week on Saturday or Sunday and do your grocery shopping accordingly

2. Decide who will cook dinner on what days during the week (it helps relieve the stress that it's all on you)

3. We have one day a week that we get take-out so we don't have to cook

4. Make your lunch for the next day while your cooking dinner (it saves on clean up time)

5. I use my weekends to catch up on laundry and my lunch hours to pick up dry cleaning when needed.

6. During the week I'll try to do one load of laundry a night so I don't feel so overwhelmed on the weekends.

7. Try to plan your outfits out the night before.

8. I do a deep cleaning of my house every two weeks and just tidy-up after every meal at night to keep the place in order. I can't stand a messy house!

9. And I make crazy to-do lists like no other...I just love crossing something off when I know it's done. It's such a great feeling.

10. My biggest struggle right now is trying to find time to work out...I have no idea where I'll fit that in!

Good luck! You'll do great!

The New Black said...

I am a HUGE fan of Big Love!! I used to live in Utah, so I get a lot of the references that others might miss. As far as I am concerned, HBO can do no wrong...they are the home of my two other favorite shows:Sex and the City and The Sopranos. If you get to splurge on a channel, HBO is definitely the one to pick!

Prepster said...

My biggest piece of advice is to give yourself some grace. Women today try to be perfect at everything and I assure you nobody is perfect at all things at all times. Give yourself grace to leave the laundry until saturday, or putting away dishes until you need to next load the dishwasher.

My strategy is simple, keep the house clean enough to live in Mon-Friday and then Saturday is deep clean day - Laundry, dust, sweep, mop, bathrooms, mirrors, every other week I do baseboards and windows and wipe down kitchen cupboards. I load dishes in the dishwasher after dinner, leaving only my drinking glasses to load at bed time and then start the dishwasher as I head off to bed, this keeps dirty dishes from piling up. Then the next night either cheffie or I unload the dishwasher while the other cooks.

Making the bed, and keeping the coffee table and end tables clean are three things I do in the morning that make me feel like I'm coming home to a clean house no matter what else is going on.

I cannot stress this enough... leave one day unscheduled... I do all my cleaning on Saturday so that Sunday I don't have anything to do but church. You really do need a day of rest and relaxation, and if you schedule every minute or try to squeeze too much in it will be overwhelming.

Hanako66 said...

I LOVE Big Love too!!! As far as time management goes, I try to plan my outfits the evening before too. I started taking photos of my outfits and saving them on my husband makes fun of me, but it saves so much time. I try to do one big cleaning item per night after work like 1 load of laundry, or scrubbing down the kitchen, bathroom, vacuuming one room, etc so I do not spend my entire weekend cleaning. Also, one of my greatest indulgences is an every other week housekeeper. As far as exercise goes...I blogged about KettleWorx yesterday. It is only 20 minutes a day 3 times a week which is a commitment that I can handle:)

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