Friday, June 26, 2015

Planning for a Successful Week

Planning for a successful week

The weekend - TGIF!  Friday through Sunday are the universal days where people unwind and indulge after a long work week. Whether you spend these days shopping, going out or curling up with a good book or movie, most people approach the weekend with a clear plan on how they will be spending this free time. In most cases, it's what people look forward to all week and are "just trying to make it to the weekend."

But what if we approached the remaining days of the week with the same vigor and intensity that we do the weekend?

Don't get me wrong, I think the weekend is a great time to let loose and let go of the stress that may of accumulated throughout the week. But I also think we should live for everyday, not just the weekends.

Life gets busy for everyone. There is no way around that. But I try and find ways to relax and stay productive every day of the week so that I'm not just living for the weekend. One way I do this is by carving an hour out of my day (typically Sundays), look at my upcoming week and break it up into 3 buckets:

- Professional/Work: What meetings do I have this week or what tasks must I accomplish?
- Personal/Health: What workouts do I have planned, what will I be eating this week?
- Personal/Wellness: Have I scheduled time with my significant other, friends and family?

These are the three categories most important to me every week, and I suggest identifying the buckets that are most important to you. Look at your schedule and see where they fit in or how much time you are giving to them each week. 

I know when I start to feel stressed, overwhelmed or down, it's typically because one of these things is out of balance. Maybe I haven't worked out enough, or haven't made enough time for friends and family. Whatever it is, I try to identify it and make room for it. Even if it means canceling one of these things to fit in another. Sometimes you have to make trade-offs.

Once I see what I have planned, I continue to build out my week around in. Based on the schedule I know what days are best to fit in a work out or what days I may want to consider cooking a quicker meal because I know I'll be home later. Knowing what I plan on eating helps me make a solid grocery list and also makes it less likely that I'll eat something unhealthy when I already have the ingredients for a balanced meal at home.

I even take it a step further by planning what I will wear each day of the week. While that may be too much for some of you, I am not a morning person, so the less I need to think first thing in the morning, the better.

So what does it look like when I'm all done planning? Each day of the week I know what I'll be wearing, what I'll eat that night for dinner, what meetings I have, and what I need to accomplish to make the most out of each busy day. Then, when the weekend comes around I don't feel so bogged down with chores or running event to event because I've spent my week actually living.

If you are attempting this method, I highly suggest investing in a good notebook or planner. I always have at least one Moleskin on me and I keep my Corie Clark Purposeful Planner on my nightstand. It's like my Bible for the week.

So there's my method - how are you making the most of your days? Let me know what tips & tricks work for you in the comments below!

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