As moms, we know generally which hours of the day we are available to do all the things. But, our to-do lists can overflow very quickly, if we aren’t intentional about planning our time.
Let’s jump into why you should plan your week, and a step-by-step guide for how to plan your week to be productive.
*If you love these tips, grab your FREE Weekly Planner Printables for signing up to my email list!*
Benefits of Planning Your Week
We’re moms, we’re human, and we have a LOT on our plates. Some things take more time than others, some things are harder to get done, some things are super annoying.
If we don’t have a plan, we gravitate toward the things to do that are EASY and FAST. It’s part need for instant gratification, part needing to multi-task a lot of the time.
When we DO have a plan for our weeks and days, we feel much more in control of our time. That’s because we ARE more in control. We can plan to stay ahead of any interruptions. We can make sure our weeks have a healthy work-life balance.
Best of all, when we plan our week, we intentionally concentrate on the things that matter most to us.
How to Plan Your Week To Be Productive: a Step-By-Step Guide:
1. Take note of any “non-work” events & appointments.
If you have any school events, doctor appointments, kid playdates, etc., these should go right into your schedule.
Consider adding scheduled family time, if you find your family is sort of “everybody doing their own thing” more often than you would like.
Also, don’t forget about date night! Just schedule it!!!!! And pick out a nice outfit! Check out these great ideas by Amy from theidearoom.net. We all could use some pointers to talk about something other than the kids/house.
2. Schedule in any work events and appointments.
If you have any:
- phone/video calls,
- networking meet-ups, etc.,
…double check to make sure they are in your planner.
About networking: If you have a job and are working remotely, get into that office at least 2 times per month. It’s not fair, but remote workers have a harder time getting promoted – out of sight out of mind. If you are out of state, make sure you are equipped for video conferencing. Give yourself every advantage to be seen and heard as an actual person, contributing meaningfully to your business.
If you work for yourself, you know how much word-of-mouth means to your bottom line. Google “[your niche] networking events near me.” You have awesome, happy business cards right? Just try it once.
3. Add your exercise days into your week.
Tracy Anderson says if you don’t get active DAILY, you risk mind-muscle atrophy.
Atrophy basically means one day you can’t “do the stuff you used to do.”
Bare minimum, schedule 30 minutes for exercise a few times a week (20 minutes working out, 10 minutes to shower or change clothes).
One of my favorite ways to sneak exercise in is to walk around the block while I’m taking a phone call. If I can swing it, the change of scenery and fresh air are a plus.
If workouts at home are your jam, here are some great YouTube videos.
4. Were you slacking in any one home-related area last week?
Make it a point to schedule a little time to attack it in your calendar. For example, papers are piling up, or you put paying the bills aside, or the bed sheets didn’t get washed. Whatever it is will probably take you less than 30 minutes to handle.
5. Pick ONE day of the week to do your outside shopping.
Whether it’s groceries, Target, banking, or Sephora, try to fit our outside shopping into one day. Give yourself 2.5-3 hours, but try to cap it at 2 hours while you are out there.
Going shopping 2-3 times per week is going to make you spend more money. It wastes time and gas. Your time is more valuable than that. Get used to making a shopping list and sticking to it.
6. Pick ONE week day for your online shopping.
Any birthdays or holidays coming up? Do you have a free shipping situation at any stores?
Schedule 30 minutes once per week for any shopping you can do online.
If you find yourself in Target a lot for example, chances are you would easily reach their free shipping minimum. My kids knock the minimum out of the park with their Pepperidge Farm Goldfish habit.
**BTW, if you do a lot of shopping online, you absolutely MUST sign up for a money saving app. You are throwing free money away if you don’t use one.
I love 2 of them:
1. Rakuten – Rakuten has an app, website AND Google Chrome extension. So, wherever you are shopping from online, you can use Rakuten for cash back. It works at a TON of popular stores like Macys, Walmart, Ebay, Sephora, Kohls, and sometimes Amazon.
It’s totally free – when you sign up though my link you get extra cash back as a thank you after you make your first purchase! The cash back can be anywhere from $20 to even $40 with your first purchase!
Here’s my video where I take you shopping at Michaels.com to show you how ridiculously easy it is to use!
2. Honey – This one is more of a “desktop” Google-Chrome extension, but it is super easy to use. You just download the Chrome extension and whenever you shop online, Honey automatically searches the entire internet for available coupon codes. You can save on literally any purchase from a store’s website that has active coupon codes – from Bed Bath & Beyond to Doordash. No more signing up for every single coupon code site out there.
It’s also free! Check it out & sign up through my link. You also get rewards points, redeemable for gift cards to your favorite stores.
7. Review Short-Term and Long-Term Goals.
DO NOT CHECK YOUR TO-DO LIST FIRST!!!!!
DON’T do it……drop that list right now…..I SEE YOU……You are SABOTAGING your goals!
You can feel “productive” in the short term by checking things off your list. But, real productivity comes when you use the time in your weeks intentionally, so your goals and dreams are being realized.
Review any long and short term goals you’ve set for yourself this year.
Examples of goals can be:
- A specific career path
- To retire at a certain age
- Travel the world
- Committing to a specific exercise schedule
- Reaching an income milestone
- Visiting a certain country on vacation
- A savings goal amount
- Paying off your debt
- Starting college
Try to keep your list of goals in a place where you can see them every day. Review them when you plan your week.
Think about what you need to do to move forward, whatever that means for you. Not the busy-work.
Prioritize at least HALF of your week time to actionable steps toward those goals.
If you need help with this, check out my post on organizing your goals in your planner.
8. Review Your To-Do List and Organize Your Tasks, Using the Eisenhower Matrix.
I now give you permission to check your to-do list……
Priority is a funny thing. In some ways, everything on the list is #1 priority, otherwise why would it be there?
In other ways, that list of things we “need” to do is really just our brain’s sneaky, sneaky procrastination tactic.
Sometimes, we need to buckle down and give our time the respect it deserves.
I personally use the Eisenhower Matrix to decide what gets priority on my schedule. Basically, all of your tasks, work and life, can be sorted into one of 4 boxes:
- Urgent & Important – Has to get done and only you can do it. For example, a client/project deadline, emailing a teacher, or paying bills should go in here.
- Urgent but Not Important – Things that have to be done, just not specifically by you. Yes, your 7-year-olds can take out the garbage and fold their own clothes.
- Important but Not Urgent – Scheduling your yearly physical, or long-term family or life goals without a specific deadline. You have already blocked out half of your work time to move these things forward, now’s your chance to set the time.
- Less Important & Not Urgent – If it’s not important and not urgent (ex. scouring your inbox for coupons), it doesn’t go in your planner this week. Get it off your to do list, out of your planner and out of your life forever.
Guess what? I included an Eisenhower Matrix on my FREE weekly planner template! Get yours here for signing up to my email list…
**The very first time I used the Eisenhower Matrix it took me a while to fill up the boxes. I was second guessing myself about which things were really a priority. Now with practice, it takes me less than 2 minutes to skim through my to do list. So if you try this once and it’s frustrating, don’t give up!!
**Don’t skip writing your WHY in the top corner – it will keep you focused on what matters most.
Here’s a great article that shows how to use this matrix in a little more depth.
9. Front load your week with the most productive tasks.
Fill Monday and Tuesday with your “Box 1” tasks, and sprinkle “Box 2” tasks throughout the rest of the week.
Give the rest of your tasks to someone else, or drop them. They are most likely a waste of time, and are holding you back.
10. Schedule a review at the end of the week to track your progress.
Take a second to be proud of yourself for what you accomplished, and if there is anything that didn’t get done that is nagging you mentally, make sure it is in Box 1 and get it done early next week.
How to Plan Your Week in 15 Minutes
Do you need a quick jump-start to plan your week?
Here’s my video with my 5-step, 15 minute method to plan your week, and make sure the right things get into your planner.
While you’re watching, consider subscribing to my new YouTube channel!
How can I make my week better?
Here are some helpful tips for planning your week intentionally and effectively:
Do one thing at a time. At times, multitasking is necessary. But for those “Box 1” tasks, consider scheduling some alone time to focus. If only small chunks of private time are possible, try to break the task into smaller parts.
Make sure to include your morning routine. Here is my post for some morning routine ideas.
Create shortcuts in your day. Make enough dinner to eat for next day’s lunch, chop dinner veggies in the morning, take out clothes the night before, and give some chores to other family members.
Schedule time off. Don’t forget about your self-care and mental health.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Weekly Planner Template!
Use this Eisenhower Matrix and Weekly Planner to crush your week!
Now you know how to plan your week to be productive. I’m high-fiving you right now through the screen. Your week is looking CRAZY productive.
This week, you will crush your to-do list and catapult yourself forward – your best life is waiting for you.
It’s cheering you on.
Your family is cheering you on.
I’m cheering you on.
P.S.: Let me know how hard you crushed it this week! What methods do you use to prioritize your day? Tell me in the comments!