As entrepreneur moms, we have a lot on our plates. Work commitments, soccer practice, dinner, laundry and maybe if we’re lucky, a little time to ourselves. Follow these six steps to set yourself up for a productive week.
I don’t know about you, but I often start the week out strong, yet by Wednesday, it feels like life is completely out of control. As moms and entrepreneurs, it is so easy for our weeks to get out from under us. With a little planning, you can get, and keep, control of your week so you can do the things you have to do. And, maybe, fit in some things you want to do, too.
Feeling unprepared and out of control is one of the biggest stressors for me. And, when I’m stressed, I’m much less productive and fun to be around. By making a plan for my week, I’m able to hit my goals, get stuff done and maintain some sanity in my life. I like to plan for the next week on Thursday or Friday. By doing so, I can see if there’s anything I need to do over the weekend to help out the upcoming week. Following these steps helps me set my week up for success.
1. Look at your calendar
Whether you have a single calendar for all the areas of your life or multiple calendars, it’s a good idea to check out what’s coming up in the week ahead. Make note of things you have going on. Have a big meeting on Friday? Do what you need to do early in the week so you’re not stressing out on Thursday. Going to a birthday party on Saturday? Pick up a gift the next time you go to the store, or order one on Amazon, to avoid making a last minute trip to Target on Saturday morning. Kid have a science project due next week? What supplies need to make it onto the shopping list? What work can they do this week so it’s not a scramble to get it done on time?
2. Create a meal plan
Guess what? Your family is going to want to eat and they’re going to want to eat every.single.day-and multiple times per day! Yes, you could do takeout or fast food when you don’t have anything planned to eat, but it’s much more economical and healthful to eat (mostly) at home. This is a lot easier to do if you have a meal plan and a plan to get that food into your house. A lot of women get overwhelmed by the idea of making a meal plan, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can plan super simple meals and having a meal plan will still help your week feel less chaotic. My kids have to pack a snack for school every day and they pack their lunch more often than not. Having a plan for easy breakfasts, snacks and lunches helps a lot too.
3. Go shopping
After you’ve got a plan for what you’re eating in the week, make your grocery list. Add in other items you need and any sale items you want to buy. Once you’ve got a good list, make a trip to the grocery. For the past few weeks, I’ve been using Clicklist at Kroger. It requires a little bit of advanced planning, but my store has started offering same day pickup which has been great.
If you need anything from Target or other store, it’s nice to have a list so whenever you’re there or have time to drop in a store, you know exactly what you need and don’t have to make multiple trips because you forgot something.
4. Review your goals
I’m a huge fan of goal setting. If you don’t make goals, it’s going to be hard to know where you want to go-whether in business or in life. But, making the goals is only a small part of making those goals a reality. To reach your goals, reviewing them has to be something you do regularly. Look at the goals you’ve made. What can you do this week to get you closer to reaching those goals? Add those to your to-do list. If you don’t make things that are “important” a priority, they will always get crowed out by things that seem “urgent”.
5. Make a list of things to do
List of must-dos
Every week is going to be different, but you need to make a list of this that have to be done. Depending on what you have going on, this list could be pretty short. This is only stuff that has to be done—appointments, deadlines, that kind of thing.
List of like-to-dos
This is the list where the extra things you have to do go. This list is made of things from your goals list (I know, there’s some disagreement on whether these or should be must dos or like to dos) or things you would just generally like to get done in the week but have no firm deadline.
6. Add in some self-care
As moms and business owners, it is so easy to put everything, and everyone, above our own needs. Put at least one thing on your list of MUST DOs that takes care of you. Some ideas: sheet mask, an hour at a coffee shop by yourself, a yoga class, a long walk, or a nice bubble bath.
You have a lot going on each week, but you want to do what you can to make the week productive. To have a productive week start by looking at your calendar. Make a meal plan and go shopping. Don’t forget to review your goals and make a to-do list for each week. And, you will eventually burnout if you don’t regularly add in self-care.