Prepare, Plan, Prioritize; Getting through the stress of UTA weekends
By Air Force Master Sgt. Shawn Arnold, 477th Fource Support Sguadron First Sgt.
/ Published March 17, 2014
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Monday mornings may be the hardest part of a UTA weekend. You are dragging from working all weekend, probably on your eighth day straight of work, with another four more days to go. Additionally, the errands and chores you take care of on the weekends remain undone.
Although the greatest stress of UTA weekends tend to show up on Monday morning, it doesn't have to. Preparing, planning, and prioritizing before you sign-in can help you avoid the stress of UTA weekends.
Feeling there is too much to do and too little time can lead to stress. Think through how you will handle day-to-day issues like childcare or family commitments. Make a checklist of what you can accomplish before the weekend and what can wait. Include all the things you usually do on a weekend, even things like taking out the trash or grocery shopping.
Plan your time around your weekend UTA duties and time commitments. Commit yourself to only what you realistically will have time to do. Make a plan of how you will handle unexpected stressors. An example might be having a back-up plan for childcare or pets if you might end up working later than expected or if your primary caregiver has other commitments.
The week before UTA, as you tailor your checklist leading up to the weekend, prioritize what needs are required and what can wait until later in your schedule. Put the most important or urgent tasks at the top of the list, and least important at the bottom. Knowing what is important to you helps you decide how best to use your time. Limit the list to tasks that are absolutely necessary. And remember to schedule time to rest before Friday.
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