By Stephanie German.
The week can be chaotic, especially if you are running a business. In my case, I am working, have kids, have started a business and teach as an adjunct professor at our local university. Needless to say, our weeks used to be crazy. When Thursday hit, I was a terrible adult, a terrible wife, and a terrible mom. And dinner usually consisted of pizza.
I am sure you know what I am talking about
There is much to get done each week.
Extracurricular activities... the list goes on and on.
Let's get back to basics. Preparation! I'd like to share with you the five actions I've implemented that have made an immense difference to my week (and my stress levels). They may seem simple but it's so easy to skip over them when we feel overwhelmed.
1. Meal planning and grocery shopping
I want to eat healthy during the week and I know that if I don’t plan out what we are eating in advance, we usually end up with something with eggs or cheese or spend more money on food that isn’t healthy. I’m sure you want to make good food decisions as well.
On Saturday morning, I grab my meal planning whiteboard along with my cup of coffee, sometimes open up Pinterest, and plan our meals for the week. We have our staples (Taco Tuesday!), but I also like to try something new. I take the time to see what I have in the refrigerator and pantry, and plan accordingly.
I make sure to plan for all meals plus snacks. On Sunday afternoon I shop to get everything we need for the upcoming week.
When meals are planned, I can prepare anything I might need the day before. Before I started meal planning, we would wing what we were having from day to day, which led to many trips to the store during the week.
2. Prep lunches and snacks
If I take 20 minutes to prep our lunch and snacks on Sunday, it is one less thing I have to do in the evening or morning during the week. Instead, in the morning we can grab already prepared items and put them in our lunch bags.
A week ago I forgot to prep for the week and decided to wing it every morning. My stress level definitely increased.
Take the time on Sundays to prep your food for the week.
3. Laundry and outfit prep
I don’t love doing laundry on the weekend, but have found it seems to work out best. For some, it may work better to do a load through the week.
Besides doing laundry, I think through what clothes I may want to wear the upcoming week and place them together in my closet. Having a general idea of what I want to wear (and what I wore the previous week) reduces how long it takes me to get dressed. I do the same for the kids.
4. Schedule the week ahead
On Sunday evening, I sit down with my calendar and plan for the week ahead. I look at what my kids have scheduled. I think about when I want to work out and when I will find the time to write. I plan when I will read. When I will work on my business. I even plan out which chores need to get done during the week.
I figure out what is important to me and schedule it in my calendar.
I look at the following weekend as well to see what events we might be attending. I hate having to buy a birthday present last minute. If I know it is coming up, I can plan a quick trip to Target on my lunch break to get it done.
5. Plan fun or self-care
The weekend isn’t just for getting things done, although of course that does help the week run smoother. The weekend is also a time to relax.
Going to the movies, for a walk in the park or a pedicure are my picks to get out of my normal routine.
Make sure to plan something fun for yourself on the weekend. You will be thanking yourself for taking the time to focus on you!
The week is full of activity, of to-do’s and want to-do’s. When you take time to prepare, it takes some of the stress away during the week. If you’re anything like me, you will begin to thrive instead of simply surviving!
Stephanie German is a coach and freelance writer specialising in productivity, intentional living, and leadership. Stephanie desires to help individuals discover and live out their passion. She loves helping women discover what is important to them and to help them live prioritised, purposeful lives one step at a time. She’s married to one awesome man and has two spunky little girls. You can connect with her on her website, From Here to There.