The Secret to a Productive Week.

I think planning is something that I have struggled with in the past. I used to be a sometimes planner where I was only occasionally making plans. Recently I started making it a weekly thing where I allow myself time on Sunday afternoons to just sit down and plan my week or even my month if I really have a chance. I use this as a form of “me time”. The better scheduled I am the less stressed and overwhelmed I’ve become. I feel like the reason everything was so hectic before was because I wasn’t actually planning anything and flying by the seat of my pants everyday.

I realized that the days where I did have a plan were the days I was most productive, less stressed, and much more pleasant to be around.

When I have a plan in place it makes it easier to have small stuff to look forward to or even remember (because I have the worst memory on the planet). I love when I get a new thing on my agenda such as a coffee date or a nail appointment. I like keeping busy but still making time for social events or personal days. I don’t plan my day’s out to a T but I try to get a general idea of what I’m doing for the week. Especially with all my new ventures. I have blog posts to schedule, group posts to schedule, facials to schedule, time to work out, family time, my 12 hour days to get in order, any overtime or call days I may have signed up for… I have a lot to consider when scheduling and I try to prioritize each and every one of them. 

If you are new to creating a weekly plan or even if you are a sometimes planner like I was, creating a plan and writing it out for the week actually provides you with greater flexibility.

With these 3 simple steps you will

  1. Know what happens when and

  2. Make smart decisions when things come up. 

This may seem like a daunting task but literally once you get the hang of it it will literally take you no time! Now I know when we’re going to the grocery store and when to make a grocery list instead and realizing my fiance and I are both off and just deciding we needed to go because we were low on an item or two. 

Three Simple Steps:

Review Your Calendar:

Yes, you’ll put it on your calendar and you’ll likely get a reminder if you’re using a digital one but when you’re getting pulling in a million different directions this isn’t helpful.

Check with things that are already in place such as your work schedule, meetings, kids practices, birthdays, holiday’s and other celebrations you might have that coming up week.  Then I consider appointments from dentist and doctor to hair and nails. Next, I go into more depth such as household work, grocery shopping, bills due, etc. 

By reviewing your calendar before the week starts you’re able to remind yourself what you got going on that week and prepare yourself for the week ahead.

Meal Plan:

Meal planning is something that took a while for me to take a grasp on but it has changed my life so much. Now that you know what’s going on during the week, it will be easier to choose meals based on your schedule. You can plan 15-minute dinners on busy nights and some special meals on slower nights.

I also received an instant pot for Christmas and that has made my life significantly easier as well. I have my dinner meals planned out for two weeks but it’s also felxible enough that if something comes up or if something has to change then we can switch it up or make something quicker. Crockpots and Instapots have saved my life, let me tell you!

Start by looking in your fridge, freezer and pantry to see what you already have. Taking this step first will give you ideas and ensure that you don’t buy what you already have (which is great for your grocery budget).

From here, look at your calendar and start planning around what you have going on. Keeping the food you already have in the house in mind, choose meals that won’t stress you out. Soccer practice night might mean grilled cheese and soup. A night with no activities might mean BBQ chicken with salad and potatoes. Husband working late one night? Breakfast for dinner it is!

Your To-Do List:

Finally, Finally, it is time to create your to do lists.

The goal of this step is to make a to do list for each day of the week. The key is not to cram too many things into one day.  

For the to do list, try to keep the list to 2-3 things a day. Yes, that’s right, I said a day.

Why? Because life happens while you’re planning. Things come up, priorities shift and you need to allow yourself some wiggle room. Some days you will accomplish much more than you had on your list.

If you do get everything on your daily to do list accomplished and you still have some time and momentum then you can move on to the next day’s task. If you don’t tackle the do list, you can easily add those tasks to the next day and you will not be overwhelmed.

 

Let’s be real, do you think planning your week mean you have to follow it to a “T”? No, of course not. Emergencies happen and things come up . The key to success during your weekly planning session is doing the steps in order. Don’t skip ahead to meal planning and don’t start creating to do lists before you know what you have going on during the week and don’t cram too much in one day or overwhelm yourself. 

Let me know if there are any tips and tricks that you follow during your planning session, I would love to hear them!

with love,

c.p

 

 

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