How to Set Up Your Week for Productivity

I intentionally take one day off a week. I started this practice 2 months ago and am so thankful that I did. Prior to this, I was just go, go, go and didn’t rest, felt pulled by my to-do list, and was starting to burn out again. I knew the feelings of burn out, I had been there before. 5 years ago, I left teaching to become a full-time entrepreneur and work at home mom because I felt the same feelings start to creep in. Now that I’m running my own business and family, I decided I needed some preventative measures to make sure that I was still taking care of me.

 

Hence… my Saturday’s off. I decided to take Saturday ‘off’ so that I could really just do what matters. The only work that I do on Saturday is what I just feel like doing, no pressure or to do list. On Saturdays, if I don’t want to do laundry, house cleaning, or other ‘mom duties’, I don’t. I don’t really make too many plans unless it’s something we really want to do. Oh… and I take a nap.

 

I really love my Saturday nap.

 

But in order to make my Saturday rest day really work for me, I needed to make sure that I had a system for being very productive the rest of the week so I could relax, guilt-free. And once I decided that I was going to schedule out a day of rest, it became so freeing. The week started to go more smoothly because I knew that I had a day to chill coming up, I didn’t feel guilty anymore about letting myself decompress, and I just started to laugh and enjoy our family time more.

 

productive mom

 

I chose to have my rest day on Saturday rather than Sunday for a few reasons. Sundays, since we go to church, still have us on a schedule to make sure we get out of the house on time. My husband delivers the newspaper as a side job right now so, he works Sunday mornings and I want to make sure I can give him rest time when get gets back at 6 am before we go to church. Sundays are also my day to set my week up for success. I may do some grocery shopping (though I often like to do that on Saturdays. I actually really like grocery shopping because I love to coupon and it’s a hobby for me and on Saturdays I get to go without kids!), I’ll meal prep so that I can save time during the week, and I’ll work on organizing my week, my planner, and other work tasks that I need to have a super successful and productive week.

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There are a few things that I like to do on Sundays to make sure that my week goes as smoothly as possible and I am going to share my system and routine with you! I think that if you spend some time on Sunday (or whatever day you choose to set up your day) preparing for the week then, the rest of the week CAN be more productive and run smoother. I find on the weeks that we are away or I don’t take the time to do this system, the week is much harder. Things fall through the cracks, I feel more stressed and I start the week feeling behind and having to play catch up on Monday (which then sets my whole week back)

Creating a Sunday Routine

Meal Prep

The #1 thing that I suggest you start your Sunday with is meal planning and preparation. I actually have a system where I make the meal plan on Friday, shop on Saturday and cook on Sunday so that I don’t do it all on one day.

However you decide to do it, make sure you plan out your meals for the week. We keep it pretty basic and have a rotation of 2-3 breakfast, lunch and dinner options each week. My husband doesn’t mind eating the same thing each day and it’s easy to be predictable with the kids.

I’ll spend some time doing some basic preparation like cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, cooking up rice, steaming veggies, browning some ground turkey for quick lunches, and boiling some eggs.

I then make sure that I have listed out what’s for dinner each week so that I can check the fridge and see what I still need to get at the store. I try my best to make our plan from what we already have to save money and not have to go to the store as much.

I suggest even packing out as many salads for lunches in Tupperware as much as possible (even if you stay home) because then you can grab and go instead of preparing things. This helps a ton if we decide last minute to go to the park, or meet up with friends because the food is ready to go. It also prevents me from running out of what we need or knowing what i have to stop for.

Cleaning and Organizing

 I have a cleaning system where I do a little cleaning each day so that it doesn’t pile up but that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything on the weekends. Often after my Saturdays off, my house needs a little more TLC since I probably didn’t do as many dishes or pick up as much. And what I have now just come to accept as a mom is that my house will probably always be covered in stuff, things will be out of place, and everything will just be sticky.

 But that doesn’t mean I won’t try to make it just a little cleaner. I also find that when the clutter builds up, my anxiety peaks and for me ‘outer order leads to inner calm’ so taking time on Sundays to clean up really helps.

 My suggested Sunday system includes laundry (I do 1-2 loads each day so that it’s easy to put away so my Sunday laundry is normally the same), sweep and mop the floors, vacuuming the playroom, and doing a Zone clean up.

 We do a Zone Clean Up as a family after church on Sundays where everyone is in charge of a room or area (My 11 year old or husband normally does a zone with my toddler). I put on a 15 minute timer and everyone is in charge of putting away things that don’t belong in their zone. This really helps all of the out of place items to find their way back home and means that I”m not the only one picking up the books that have been on the floor for 2 days and everyone walks around (you know what I’m saying!)

 Before I go to bed on Sunday, I make sure that I’ve done my typical evening routine and an additional 15 minute clean up. There is nothing more exciting for me (I know this is going to sound really nerdy haha) than waking up on a Monday morning where there are no dishes in the sink, my kitchen table is cleaned up, and the clutter is gone. It’s really my favorite way to start the week.

 

Organize Your Weekly Calendar and To Do List

 

The last thing that I do to set my week up for success is to make sure I have a plan in place. Often, people ask me how I can be so productive and get so much done and, while I have some hacks that help, one of the things that helps is that I always take the time to plan.

 I took a training with the Franklin/Covey system once that really changed the way that I planned. I learned all about the power of weekly and nightly planning and have since been implementing it for years. It’s what I do in my life, what I teach the moms that I coach and what I teach in my e-book and course; Design Your Day; Time Management for the Busy Woman.

 

On Sundays, I take out my planner (I use a mix of a paper planner from Erin Condren, google calendar, and Trello) and look at my week ahead.

 I start with putting in all the dates of things that I cannot change like doctor appointments or meetings. We use a family calendar in the kitchen so these things always get written on their first and then transferred to my digital system.

 After those dates are in, I then plan out what tasks I want to accomplish that week. I create a list of personal items, business items, and projects (around the house and for work) that I want to complete. I break them down into 20 minute tasks so that I know they are manageable and easily can be accomplished in a day, rather than overplanning myself and getting frustrated when it doesn’t get done. 

Next, I go into my planner and actually assign 3-5 tasks for each day. I split them up so that I Pick 1 personal task (call grandma, put pictures in frames etc….), 3 work tasks (write a blog post, create images, email clients….) and 1 project task (brainstorm ideas for a birthday party, work on mother’s day scrapbook etc….).

 Assigning those things to a day BEFORE the week starts allows me to know what is going to happen and have a plan. This way, when it’s nap time and I get to work, or I have free time after dinner and want to work on a project, I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I can just take action.

 

 Trust me when I say that if you set up your week for success you WILL be able to get more done, feel more accomplished and actually take a day off to rest and not feel the mom guilt!

 I challenge you to start using this system (or one that works for you) to take more control in your life!

If these tips helped, make sure you share on your social media and PIN them for later!!

 

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