If you have ever read one of my blog posts before, you may have guessed by now that I love me some organising! Being organised makes me feel all the good things – calm, relaxed, reassured, confident even! One of the things I find that has the biggest, most positive impact on my life and the life of my family out of any of the organising tasks I’ve ever engaged in, is planning my weeks. Whenever I go into a new week with a clear plan, I find the following things seem to follow:
- I feel less stressed and anxious
- I am calmer and more patient
- I don’t waste as much money
- I am late less often (but hey, no-one is perfect ;-))
- I am more productive
- My house stays cleaner
- I get more sleep and am less tired
- My family (including me!) eats better and more healthily
- I forget less
- I can think more clearly
- I exercise more
Those are some pretty amazing reasons to do something aren’t they? And when it’s something as simple as sitting down with a hot drink on a Saturday morning with your diary and a list, why oh why would you not do that?
So, I thought I would share with you the way I go about planning my week and maybe, we can all feel all those good things as we head into our Monday.
So, in order to plan out my week, I need a few things to hand. As I have mentioned in the past, I am very much a ‘pen and paper’ girl. I LOVE my planners and diaries and I don’t care what you say, I just cannot visualise my week or retain information as well when I’m typing appointments and reminders into my phone as I can when I physically write something down and see it before me on a weekly spread.
I keep a personal diary which I carry everywhere with me as well as a family agenda which stays open on the table in our hallway and another planner for work. Everything that comes up tends to get written first into my personal diary and from there, I fill out everything else.
So, as I mentioned, I try to sit down on a Saturday morning (I choose this time because if I don’t get to it, there is always Sunday to try again!) and I make sure every appointment and activity any of us has planned for the week ahead is in the family agenda and then think about how it will all work and whether I need to make arrangements for anyone to help out with anything (for example, whether we can organise lift-shares with another Parent or if we need to work around any appointments that clash with other activities).
The next thing I do is work out meals for each evening. Some evenings, we are all in different places at different times and I need to put something in the slow cooker so each of us can grab some dinner when we’re home and other days, we are all home together and we can sit down to eat together. We try to eat together whenever we can but with dancing, swimming, football, music lessons, meetings for work and volunteering, it can be a challenge!!
I will then grab my phone and do an online grocery order making sure we have all the things we need for the meals I’ve planned as well as items for packed lunches, breakfasts and anything else we might need. I usually order for collection either on a Sunday afternoon or a Monday evening so that we don’t get off track before we start!
Having everything on hand that we need for the week means less last-minute trips to the supermarket, less chance of resorting to take-away and less panicking that I don’t have anything in for dinner and no time to go anywhere to buy it!
The other things I love to have done by Monday morning are the washing, ironing and cleaning. I have created a weekly checklist which I have saved on my computer and I print one of these off each week and put it on a clipboard on the side of the fridge to remind me what I need to get done each day. I try really hard to get the majority of the boring ‘housework’ done gradually throughout the week but if I need to spend a bit of time catching up over the weekend, I will, because I can start my week off feeling relaxed and on top of things. Of course, this doesn’t happen every single week, there are times we are away over the weekend or we have back-to-back activities which don’t leave any time for any of this but if I can do it, I will and because I am the one that benefits from it the most in terms of my mental well-being, I have a good incentive!
I don’t go as far as planning outfits, but when I’m ironing, I will be thinking about what each of us will need to wear each day so that I don’t have to scrabble around looking for clean clothes before work and school.
The last thing I do is talk about the plan – it’s no good spending the time working out what’s going on and who’s doing what if you don’t tell everyone! So, I will usually chat through the week with hubby on a Sunday evening and then, every morning in the car when I’m dropping the children at school, I will turn down the music my daughter is inevitably playing for a couple of minutes and run through the day in detail (who’s got what going on, how they will get home, who will take them where, what and when they will be eating and anything they need to do to cover off their responsibilities throughout the day) and then quickly mention the overall plan for the week so they know what’s happening too. I find they are both less stressed and more relaxed if we have a plan!
So, tell me, what things do you do that help you feel better going into a new week? Do you spend a few minutes planning ahead? I would love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments. Have a wonderful remainder of the long weekend – and hey, we get an extra day to plan our week! Just as well as we’ve been away!! 😉
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