In order to have a productive week, you must have a plan. This is especially important if you work from home.
Committing to a "weekly planning day" once a week will keep your mind distraction free and focused for the rest of the week. I suggest taking some time during the weekend to plan your week so that you aren't cutting into your weekday work-time.
So find a day, grab your calendar, and let's start planning.
Revisit your calendar from this past week and review what went right vs. what could have been better. By doing this, you're able to see what worked and what you'd like to do differently next week. If you expected something to take less time than it actually did, jot that down and make note of it for future reference. Make a list of any incomplete tasks and all new tasks that will need your attention this next week. Fill them into this week's planner.
It's easier to get through your weekly goals if you prioritized 2-3 important ones. Even if you only succeed at finishing those 3 goals, you will feel highly accomplished at the end of the week. Goals also don't just have to be work related. Set goals that are important to you, your family, or your business.
For example, my goals this past week were: clean out the fridge, launch my mini-course, set up an appointment to get the kitten's fixed
Go through your text messages and make sure you wrote down all upcoming appointments/events. You will usually receive confirmation text messages when appointment are nearing. If you have a separate calendar and planner, make sure you cross reference and add anything important into this week's planner. Jot down time, place, what you'll need to bring, etc.
4. Ask your family if they have anything going on this week
If you're married or have older children, check in with them. Write down work schedules, after-school clubs, or anything else they won't be home for. This makes meal planning, shopping, and planning days easier.
For example: Is your husband off on Tuesday? Maybe he can pick up little Johnny from his after-school club and they can grab a pizza on the way home
I love using this large family calendar. I have it hanging in the kitchen so that the whole family knows what everyone's up to.
5. Meal Plan
This can either be an intricate menu plan, a weekly schedule (meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, etc.), or just an idea of what you'd like to make this week but in no specific order. Take the day to go through the fridge and pantry and see what staple items you already have and what meals you can make with them. For perishable items, plan those dinners earlier in the week.
Meal prep doesn't have to mean taking an entire day to cook for the whole week. Of course, you can prep your meals like that if you'd like. It is definitely nice to have lunches ready to go throughout the week, or dinners ready to just toss in the skillet. But I'm weird with my food and I don't like prepping too many days in advance.
My "weekly planning day" is usually done on Saturdays therefore I don't do much meal "prepping", but I do like to prep in another way. I make sure to clean all my fruits & veggies so that they are ready to eat whenever my son reaches for one. I may also cut up any fruit that require cutting (melon, strawberries, etc) and plop them in a container ready to go. The good thing about this, is it's more likely to get you to eat healthy throughout the week if it's all prepped and ready to enjoy. For veggies, I like chopping up carrots, onions, and peppers so that I always have a little veggie ensemble to throw into my meals (eggs, soups, salads, etc.).
As for snacks, I take all the snackable fridge items (yogurts, cheese sticks, etc.) and remove them from their packaging so that they are ready to grab-and-go. For the pantry, I will again, take any snack packs out of their boxes and add it to our snack basket. I'll then add the loose snacks (Chex mix, cereal, pretzels, etc.) to an airtight container (or divide it into smaller baggies to make portion control/grab-and-go easier). Doing this ahead of time is so much easier when it comes to packing lunches, after school snacks, and trying to serve breakfast before the bus arrives.
Taking just one day a week to clean the entire house is exhausting and daunting. Not to mention, you then feel like your house is a mess the other 6 days of the week. I like to do a quick tidy every day to stay on top of things, but then do a more focused deep cleaning for each room on different days of the week.
For example: Monday = Kitchen, Tuesday = Living Room, Wednesday = Bathroom, Thursday = Bedrooms, Friday = Car
Even though you're cleaning every day, it's honestly so much easier and it feels so nice when your house is clean every day of the week.
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I like to keep a running grocery list on both my phone and by the family calendar. If anyone runs out of something or thinks of something that we need, they can easily add it to the list. Take your "weekly planning day" to go through the family list and add it to your master list. Whether you're running errands today or another day, you'll now be prepared with what you need to pick up from the store.
Bonus: sort your list by store to make it even easier!
9. Plan an errand day
Pick a day this week and make it your "errands day". After you're done planning for the week, you should know exactly what you'll need to help things run smoothly. This goes for groceries, business supplies, necessities, etc.
10. Plan your social media content
I turned my notifications off for Instagram years ago and I couldn't be happier. I am never going back. I suggest you treat social media like any other job. Too many times do we lose ourselves to social media. And we don't just lose time, we also lose self-esteem and even gratitude. So plan your content, get on, post and get off. Now that is what I call a productive day.
Bonus: stay completely off social media on Sunday's
Whether it's a family night, a date night, or a lunch with your mom. Plan some family time in your week. Family is so important, but sometimes we lose sight of this with all the working and running around we do. We always think "there's tomorrow". But when tomorrow finally comes, that little 6 year old boy will be learning to drive a car. Don't wait to spend time with your family. This is the most important thing in your schedule.
12. Go through your bills
Ugh. The dreaded bills, I know. But it's better to stay on top of them than fall behind and have to pay a late fee, or worse... get disconnected! Figure out what you need to pay now, what can wait until next paycheck, and if anything else of importance needs your attention. File away anything you've already taken care of; you don't need that clutter staring at you.
You can also take advantage of online apps/services like mint. Mint will keep track of all your bills and bank accounts for you. Having a professional service keep track of your finances will help free up some of your time so that you can focus on other things.
13. Plan for something fun
Just like it's important to have family time, it's also important to plan for something fun. Life isn't just all about work (whether it's work from a job, work from being a homemaker, or work from being a mom). It's important that you schedule some time to destress in order to help your mental wellbeing.
"Something fun" doesn't have to be something that's worth a lot of time or money. It can be something as simple as watching your favorite show with some ben & jerry's, or making your favorite dinner and eating it by the fireside with a glass of wine. Just find something that fits into your schedule/budget and do it.
14. Come up with a health goal for the week
And revisit last week's goal. Did you achieve what you were aiming for? This could be something small like remembering to take your probiotic every day, or something grand like committing to jogging for 45 minutes a day.
If you have an Apple Watch, you can track your fitness results on there. If not, you can download an app on your phone, or keep track the old fashioned pen-and-paper way. Whichever method you choose, make sure you're able to provide yourself with a summary so that you can see your progress throughout the weeks.
You can also track diet, water, sleep, and mood. It's always interesting to see how your week's productivity compares with the previous week depending on your health level that week.
Praying is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and others. Thank God for the previous week, and pray on the things happening in your upcoming week. Give your stress, your worries, and your problems all up to God. Let Him handle them for you, and thank Him often for that.
Some things I like to pray for: continued health and happiness for my family, the strength to get past any obstacles, energy to get through tiring days, patience to see things through, knowledge needed to succeed, for family & friends who had a tough week.