My favorite part of the week is Sunday afternoon or early evening. This is the time I set aside for planning my upcoming week. This crucial time sets the tone for my entire week ahead and the better I plan, the more productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable my week will be.
I know myself pretty well and I thrive with schedules and routines. Not everyone does. For some people the opposite might be true. If you are not a planner, but more of a moment-by-moment type of person, the thought of planning may be uncomfortable for you because having too much structure gives you stress. You may like the freedom to change your mind in an instant and you might think that “planning” prohibits that spontaneity. The truth is you can plan your week, your way!
Everyone can benefit from a little planning. Whether you plan every detail of every day or you only plan your lunches is up to you. You can plan certain aspects of your week without having to organize everything.
Your week will feel smoother when you take control. For those who work many hours away from home, Sunday planning could be a life changer for you. Once the alarm clock rings on Monday morning, to the final bell on Friday evening, there is little time to stop and regroup.
Planning your week will reduce the amount of stress you experience. We all need lunch and dinner every day of the week. We might have some appointments, fun events, and want to go to the gym. No matter how busy you are, a little time set aside to plan may transform your week into a stress-free schedule.
During this crazy time of sheltering in place, planning is still relevant. You may have discovered that your life has slowed down considerably. Planning can actually help you get more done and be more efficient with your time.
What do I do during my planning time?
- I sync my calendars. I keep a physical planner and use my phone when I set appointments. I make sure that everything on my phone is written in my planner for the week.
- Next, I look at what I need to be prepared for every appointment and event for the week. Is there a birthday to celebrate? A lunch date with a friend? Doctor visit? I gather what I need for each event. For example, if I am visiting a friend and have a gift to bring, I wrap it and write in the card. If I am going to the doctor, I find the paperwork I need to bring with me or maybe write down questions that I want to ask. If I have a gym class, I get my mat and bag ready. If I do not have something I need, I would rather find that out on Sunday.
- Another way to save time each morning is to plan your outfits. I used to have my daughter choose her five outfits for the week. We would hang everything she needed on one hanger and put them in her closet. If she didn’t feel like wearing something she originally picked, it wasn’t a big deal to adjust her outfit.
- Finally, I plan my food for the week. I make a big salad, cut up fruit, cook a batch of brown rice, and stir fry veggies. I prep as much food as I can for the upcoming meals. I eat healthier when I plan, and it saves me so much time during the week.
Start small by planning one aspect of your week. Maybe this week, you pick out your clothes for each day or you could meal plan and prep. Even the smallest step will reduce your stress for the days ahead.
Sunday planning does take effort, but it will save you valuable time later! It will feel great to take control of your schedule and be prepared for everything you have on your calendar.
Featured photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash.