My Weekly Planning Process

Shop the Post:

 

In order to feel at peace on a daily basis, I need to know that I have been productive. If I’ve wasted a day scrolling through social media and focusing on unimportant tasks, I feel anxious and unsatisfied.

Something that I have realized during my maternity leave is that I need to take small steps towards my goals everyday, even if it’s just completing one item on my to-do list. [I also know I need to give myself grace during this time of my life because most days I’m lucky if I get to shower. 🤪 I don’t want to be so focused on getting stuff done that I miss soaking up this precious time with my baby. It’s all a delicate balance, wrapped in mom guilt with a side of toddler hugs and kisses. 😋]

That being said, I am my most productive self when I take the time to plan out my days and weeks. I typically use Sunday evenings to get organized for the week ahead as well as the following day. I also plan out the upcoming months in terms of major events. The whole process is detailed below:

MONTHLY PLANNING

For monthly planning, I use the Snow & Graham calendar.  I love the beautiful images and the calendar squares are big enough for writing.

I use my monthly calendar for major events, trips and birthdays. It also serves as my editorial calendar for my blog. I write out my blog and instagram posts on the days I plan on posting them.

I typically try and fill it out for the next three months. It allows me to take a quick glimpse and see what major things are coming up. I usually make these updates at the beginning of a new month. I’ll also make revisions as we go. This is not a weekly activity but I wanted to include it in this post to give you an idea of my whole planning process.

WEEKLY PLANNING

For my weekly schedule, I use the Rifle Paper Co. Weekly Calendar desk pad. Here I list out any appointments or meetings that my husband or I have. [I take these directly from our phone. My husband and I share our iPhone calendars with each other so that we know what the other person has going on, and any family events that are occurring. This has been huge in helping us stay in sync from a schedule perspective.] Although these events are in my phone, I’m an old-fashioned pen and paper kinda gal and love having it in physical form where I can easily see it.

In addition to these events, I also do our family meal planning on my weekly calendar. Every Sunday, I figure out what I will cook for the week. Normally I cook on Sunday night, Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I try to prepare as much as I can during my lunch break so that I don’t have as much to cook when I get off work. [Working from home allows me to do that which is a huge blessing.] I try and make enough for two nights of dinner and for two lunches for my son. He eats mostly what we eat, but since he hasn’t perfected the art of silverware just yet, I sometimes modify certain foods to make it easier on him. Friday night we get tacos – it’s become a weekly tradition that we look forward to! Saturday night we’ll also go out. [These days post-baby, we’ve been picking up sushi and I’m in heaven! 😇 10 months without a tuna tower was far too long, haha.]

DAILY PLANNING

For my daily schedule, I use the Brendon Burchard high performance planner.  If you need to do your daily planning quickly, you might consider another planner. This one is time-intensive and very thorough. However, I have found, that when I really spend the time to fill it out, I am my most productive. [I fill it out after my son goes to bed.]  The secret for me has been to block out my day in 30 minute or 1 hour time intervals. Within those timeframes, I list out specifically what I need to get done [i.e. finish X assignment, respond to emails, call Alanna, etc.]. If I don’t write EXACTLY what needs to get done in a certain timeblock, I’ll find myself wasting so much precious time with filler activities like social media scrolling and the like.

I have by no means perfected this strategy because I am a procrastinator and work best under pressure.  My natural tendency is to wait until the last minute and then crank through whatever task remains.  However, this approach allows me to get things done in advance and to know what’s on the horizon.   Having everything scheduled out in chunks helps keep me on task.

On my daily calendar, I list out all work, personal and blog activities that I have to get done throughout the day. I plan out when I cook our meals, schedule out my work to-dos and my time slot to work on the week’s blog post. All personal tasks are framed in orange and all work-related tasks are pink.  My morning [meditation / journaling] and evening routines [putting the baby to bed, dinner, etc.] are in blue. You can see this shown in the pictures above.

I do my daily planning the evening before. When I skip this step, I’m highly unproductive the next day and will forget to do important things.

The weekly and daily planning are the two most critical components of the planning process. When I started implementing this approach I noticed that I was able to get so much more done during the day. I also liked having a physical place where I was keeping track of my accomplishments for the week. Whatever I don’t get done the day before, I move to the next day.

Before I started doing my planning like this, I used to have a running to-do list that I tried to get through each day. This was a much less effective strategy. Unlike now, I didn’t know exactly when I should be doing each task. I would get to the to-do item when “I had time,” and that proved to be completely inefficient. My productivity was left up to chance, which is not an efficient approach.

I hope this post gives you some pointers that will help you in your weekly planning. Is there something you do that makes you incredibly productive? Or do you have a favorite journal, pen, etc that you use that gives you the boost you need?? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments below!

Shop the Post: Write-On Calendar // Weekly Calendar // High Performance Planner // Initials Mug // Agate Coasters // White Bowl // Moss Balls

Thanksgiving Outfit Idea & Life Update

Shop the Look

Hello friends!

A lot has happened since we last spoke! We welcomed our second baby into our family and she has been the biggest blessing. Needless to say, life has been a rollercoaster of emotions these past two weeks [mainly happy with a side of “how do we manage two babies and stay sane?”] Ha! 

LIFE UPDATE

SECOND BABY

My mom has been staying with us since we came home from the hospital, which has been a HUGE help. The hardest part of the newborn phase [for me] is the lack of continued sleep. So mom has been staying up late watching the baby while I get some sleep in between feedings. We are so fortunate to have her helping us and we do not take it for granted in the least!

In between the feedings and snuggles with the new babe, I’m adjusting to nursing, not working [office work, that is], trying to spend enough time with my oldest all while eating my weight in cookie deliveries and rugelach. [For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a Jewish pastry that I craved throughout my pregnancy. My mom bought me some once I got out of the hospital and I have been having at least two, err maybe three, each day. 😬 I told mom that once this bag was finished, we couldn’t buy anymore. 😅)

NURSING

In terms of nursing, breastfeeding is definitely much easier for me this time around. My daughter latched on on day two, whereas it took my son and I about two weeks to figure it out. I also know to drink my Mother’s Milk Tea and eat my lactation cookies to keep up my supply. I talk about that more in this post.  With my first, after I delivered I went back to eating like I did pre-pregnancy, which was a fairly low-carb, standard-calorie diet. I quickly learned that it was not conducive to nursing as my supply dropped significantly. I now let myself eat pretty much whatever I want [within reason], and I find I eat more while nursing than I did while pregnant. In addition, I try and drink 30 oz. of water after each feed.  This step is critical to keeping up supply as well. [New mamas, take note: save the 30 oz. plastic water jug they give you at the hospital! It’s great for your water chugging needs postpartum.] 

BODY

From an overall physical standpoint, I did gain a few stretch marks on my stomach this pregnancy.  I was lucky to have avoided them last time.  I am not complaining though as I am beyond blessed to have been able to carry a baby am so grateful. However, I am kicking myself for not putting on any cocoa butter or moisturizer. I even have some from my first pregnancy sitting out on my bathroom counter! Ugh. My daughter was almost a pound heavier than my son so maybe that’s what did it.  I also think the stretchmarks developed last minute as I didn’t notice them throughout the pregnancy.

MIND

Mentally, having a second baby has been easier because I have already been through this process once. Every little thing is not new and I’m not stressing out about every minor detail. Of course there are new challenges, such as spending enough quality time with my first when my newborn needs me so much right now. Sleep deprivation and hormonal mood swings are all still part of the picture, but expected, and therefore not as stressful this second time around. [Of course this is just my experience and I’ve talked to a couple of moms who felt the second baby was much more stressful.]

All in all, I am so grateful for this blessing in our lives and can’t wait to share what I learn with you all as we go.

THANKSGIVING OUTFIT IDEA

Now onto the holiday season that’s right around the corner! Thanksgiving is just two weeks away [What?! HOW??] and I think it’s safe to say that it’s my favorite holiday. Being Jewish, we don’t have all of the Christmas excitement that December brings [Hanukkah is wonderful but obviously not as mainstream or celebrated like Christmas.] So I think that’s why I love the Fall season and Thanksgiving so much. Being with family, eating delicious food, decorating your home and front doorstep with all the fall foliage and pumpkins…what could be better?!

Every year, I look forward to [and sometimes stress out about] my Thanksgiving Day outfit. This is usually my busiest time at work and if I’m not diligent about planning ahead, the holiday can sneak up on me.  We usually go to a big family lunch at my husband’s cousin’s house.  In terms of an outfit, I try to pick out something casual and comfortable [I do not hold back on seconds or thirds at Thanksgiving!] 😛 Sometimes I’ll go with jeans and a nice top, and other times I will wear a dress with boots if I want to feel a little dressier.  

OUTFIT INSPIRATION & SOURCING

We shot this look when I was 38 weeks pregnant and this dress is so comfortable and cozy.  For any pregnant mamas looking for a dress that is casual, yet still feels put together at the same time, this one is it. Not to mention, it’s not constricting at all and is only $28! I love Old Navy for their basic maternity dresses and this one does not disappoint.  

For my non-pregnant ladies, I linked a couple of sweater dresses that I think are really cute as well.  I decided to dress up my look with these knee-high boots that I got from the Nordstrom Sale last year, but you can also make it more casual with flats or flat boots. The heeled boots I’m wearing in the pictures are sold out at Nordstrom but there’s some sizes left on Amazon.  I also linked a few similar options below.  I threw on this large scarf [I got mine in a little boutique in Canada but this one is very similar] and paired it with my Tory Burch purse.  It’s an older style no longer sold but I love this one! Reminds me of the Gucci Marmont.

I hope this look inspires you as you put together your outfit for Thanksgiving!

Shop the Look: Maternity Dress [similar, non-maternity options: Sweater Dress, Sweater Dress] / High-heeled Boots, sold out [same but from Amazon, similar, similar] / Flat Boots / Scarf, in Camel / Purse, old [similar]