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

First Overnight Trip

 
 
 

Traveling for Work with a Newborn

The first time I travelled after the baby was born was my first week back at work.  I took a day trip to Houston and that was ROUGH. I had never pumped on an airplane or an airport bathroom / pumping lounge. I mean, heck, I had barely pumped period! In addition, I was still so physically exhausted at 3 months postpartum, that travelling / pumping / working / getting home late at night was exhausting.

Read More

2019 Goals: January – March



Benjamin Hardy says that New Year’s resolutions don’t work and setting them for the whole year is a lost cause.  Instead, he recommends setting actionable goals for every 90 days.  This approach sits well with me as I have set quarterly goals in the past and feel that they are more realistic.  Below are my goals for the first 90 days of 2019:

Create a Business Plan

Something that I have wanted to do for a long time is start my own business [or side-hustle for where I’m at in my life].  I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs [my dad started his own company shortly after my parents got married, my mom had her own shop, my aunt and uncle run their own businesses, etc.] or if it’s just my inherent nature.  My intention for the first 90 days is to create a business plan and see where it goes from there.

Drink 30 oz of Water Upon Waking 

You have to drink a ton of water when you’re nursing.  I’m so thankful Katey McFarlan [one of my fave bloggers] mentioned these hospital water mugs in her instastories because I wouldn’t have known to take them home from the maternity ward otherwise.  These mugs make it so easy to keep up my water intake because they are 30 oz. if filled to the brim. [My girlfriend recommended I drink one of these after each nursing session and that was great advice as it’s helped to keep up supply! Throughout this process I have noticed that when I drink a mug full of water on an empty stomach in the morning, I have less bloat and better digestion throughout the day. So my goal is to do that first thing each morning!

Write Down Your Goals Every Morning

Here’s another gem from Benjamin Hardy: Write your goals down first thing each morning. He suggests that this will keep you oriented throughout the day towards what you’re trying to accomplish. I’m going to try this out!

Read [or Listen to] One Book per Month

This was a goal I set last year and to be very honest, I only kept it through March.  Everything after that was baby books… [I track all of my books that I’d like to read and am reading on Goodreads.]  I’m hoping that this year, I will re-set this every 90 days and do better!

Do Pilates 1x a Week 

This year, instead of looking at fitness as an unnecessary cost, I want to look at it as an investment.  This is not an area that comes easy to me and I always push it to the bottom of my list.  One thing that pregnancy really brought to the forefront was my weak core.  There was one week where I could barely walk due to nerve pain shooting down my lower back and into my leg [caused by movement in a joint, essentially caused by my weak core.] And while you can’t always prevent that, I know that I need to strengthen my core to try and avoid that in that future.  So, my goal is to start a pilates regimen.

It’s hard to believe that we’re discussing 2019 plans and that the new year is in full swing.  [I remember writing out my 2018 Goals…] We are moving houses this week, I’m starting to travel for work A BIT and Baby Z has started solids.  I told my husband that I have a feeling this year is going to FLY by, just based on how busy I already feel.  So here’s to holding on tight in 2019 and enjoying every moment – the challenging along with the joyous.

I’d love to hear about your resolutions in the comments below. Let me know what you’re striving for in 2019!

My Morning Routine to Increase Productivity

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Hopefully Monday wasn’t too rough and you’re now in the flow of a wonderful new week! Over the last couple of months I have been focusing on how to maximize my productivity throughout the day.  It’s a journey and I do not have it all figured out yet.  But I have learned several tricks [like my sleeping hack I blogged about last week] that really help, and one of them is having a solid morning routine.

MORNING ROUTINE

Here’s my schedule starting from the minute that I wake up:

Read More

Current Faves: Apps, Podcasts, Business Leaders

Hey y’all!

It’s finally fall and I feel like I’m living my best mini-pumpkin overloaded life over here. [But seriously, I just snagged a bag of mini white and orange pumpkins from Tom Thumb…insert *squeal* here].

As we enter into the new season and the start of Q4, my goal-setting and personal development self is operating at an all-time high. I think it also might have something to do with the fact that Rosh Hashana was last week, which is the Jewish New Year for anyone who doesn’t celebrate. 🙂 The New Year always brings out my desire to create new resolutions or at least revisit old ones. [Check out out my 2017 goals and H2 goals.] I plan on writing up my Q4 goals in the near future!

Today I want to chat about some of my favorite podcasts, apps and business leaders that I hope help you in your day to day lives.  I am always on the search for the best tools and thought leaders to help me become a more efficient businesswoman and now blogger/influencer.

My Favorite Apps, Podcasts and Business Leaders are listed below.

Shop the Look