If you were to ask anyone close to me what my biggest weakness is, they would probably all say organization.
I totally skipped that lesson as a kid.
The fact that the most spontaneous human on the planet is writing a blog post about how to organize a weekly schedule is quite comical, but I believe it's essential if you want to accomplish your priorities.....so here it goes.
Before we dive into the details of what I plan, I want to be clear that developing the *habit* of planning out each week has been a work in progress.
I've had to schedule making the schedule.
For a long time, I took pride in my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants adulting style, but then these toddlers made their appearance into the world...which means it's a miracle anything productive has happened in the past 5 years without a consistent schedule.
Whether you're a CEO or a stay-at-home parent, you need structure and organization each week.
But don't expect your planning time to plan itself. Get it on the calendar.
I do it every Sunday while my kids are napping. And since I focus the best after a good workout, I always sweat before sitting down to do my planning for the week.
And guys, if things don't go as planned and you only get 12% of your week planned the first 6 times you sit down to do this, don't give up.....it's all part of the process of making this time a habit.
Despite the schedule I create, our life can get really chaotic...but we roll with it and work to get back to equilibrium.
If you start thinking, she's crazy for doing all of this--just know that I have worked my way into this schedule and I have had seasons where I was so buried in dirty diapers and laundry I was lucky to eat 2 hot meals per week.
This is exactly why I have devoted my life to empowering women to take charge of their daily habits so they can move from stuck and out-of-control to a life where they feel in-control and purposeful.
Before we dive into the specifics, here are some things to note:
+ I use the combination of a journal and Google Calendar to make my schedule each week. I find it helpful to jot initial notes down in my journal before scheduling the official stuff in Google Calendar.
+ I don't have a ton of flexibility in my schedule with taking care of my kids part time and working full-time hours in my business... so out of necessity, I stick to whatever I write down as much as possible. If you have more flexibility in your schedule, you might find you have the option of not adhering 100% to what you planned.
+ Creating a schedule allows you to prioritize what you want to accomplish each week and reveals to you that you indeed cannot do everything.
Food is what fuels us mentally and physically for the week ahead, so we place a big priority around healthy eating in our home.
Other than following the meal planning system above, here is how I make magic with food each week:
+ I have a list of our go-to meals that everyone in the house loves.
This is my biggest time-saving hack. It can take time to build up this list if you've just been eating at random for years but I highly recommend creating one and then storing the recipes on a Pinterest board or in a Google doc.
+ Create meal themes each night.
Mondays are chicken, Tuesdays tacos.....it's very easy for me to choose which meals we are having each night because a theme is in place. We change the themes periodically so we don't get bored but this structure saves the day!
+ Have back-up meals on hand.
Both kids are sick and you have a big deadline to meet on a project at work..oh and you burned dinner because the dog was eating the trash and you had to chase him down. Hello back-up meals.
We keep frozen veggie burgers, nitrate-free hot dogs, gluten-free pasta with pre-made tomato sauce, smoothie ingredients, etc on hand so a quick meal can be thrown together. Don't pretend like these days and weeks won't happen. Be prepared and make notes on your meal plan of what your back-up meals will be.
Workouts are a non-negotiable for me.
Sweat gives the body literal brain power.
According to Harvard Medical School Psychiatrist, John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, "Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory and learning."
Make fitness about more than the number on the scale or how your abs look. Think about it in terms of how it empowers your mind and body....and therefore, entire life.
Here's how I conquer fitness within my schedule each week:
+ I put my workouts on the calendar (time, place and type)
You can't just say, I want to workout more. You have to know exactly how it's happening and what's going down.
+ I listen to my body
If my kids kept me up all night and I have a really intense workout on the schedule, I might opt for a long walk instead (rather than skipping it all together). Exercise is a stressor to the body, so listen to what it needs that day.
+ I treat it like any other meeting and show up
If I have a dentist apt or a meeting with work, I don't skip it. Don't put your self-care on the back-burner. High-achieving humans dedicate daily time to physical and mental health.
+ Variety with a *schedule* is where the magic is at
Tues/Thurs/Sundays I go on 2-3 mile trail runs (on the trail a few blocks from our house). Mon/Wed/Fri/Sundays are strength training days (these days change from week to week). Saturdays are usually a hike or outdoor park workout. Every morning at 5am I start my day by walking the dog for 15-30 minutes.
Whether you're a CEO or stay-at-home parent, you have business to take care of.
I take entrepreneurship (and whatever goals I have) very serious. You either have a business or a hobby, but you can't have both.
But how do I manage to raise two toddlers, make healthy meals, workout, lead monthly events, etc?
I do it by prioritizing the things I have to get done and ditch distracting activities that take away from the important stuff.
Here's how I schedule weekly business:
+ I have a content calendar for blog posts, social media posts, etc
It's easy to just throw information at your audience but you need a plan behind that....otherwise you are going to be all over the place, making zero traction in your business.
For example, I write my weekly Tribe emails on the same day each week. I pick certain days per week (like today) to write blog posts
+ I have blocks of time scheduled for work (early mornings, mid-day when kids are at school or napping and occasional evenings)
Because I still have a kiddo at home more than part time, I don't have a traditional work schedule....for my full-time business.
That would be a huge problem if I didn't schedule intentional work hours.
I work from home (and various coffee shops) but I don't fold laundry when I'm suppose to be creating content for my business.
And I know exactly what I'm doing during those time blocks.
In the mornings I write, because I'm fresh. In the evenings I respond to emails and other things that don't require as much brain power. I record workouts and live FB videos during nap time (and I have the content created and ready to go in my weekly content calendar).
I also schedule when I check in with my online clients so I'm not just scanning FB all day long (huuuuge waste of time).
Okay, now it's your turn. Tag me in your posts and let me know how your weekly planning is going. Start small and work your way into the schedule you desire!