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A lot of people ask us how we do everything we do. I work 20 hours per week as a Physician Assistant, Greg is full-time as a Flight Attendant, we have a party rental company, a real estate investing company, we are realtors, we are involved in nonprofits and I have this sweet little blog. We often get the question “What don’t you guys do?” and my typical answer is- sleep. We don’t sleep…..
OK, really, we do sleep, but I have figured out a Sunday routine so that I can be more productive during the week and that helps me navigate the week in a more organized fashion. I’ll give you the low down on what I do.
A Peek at My Productive Sunday Routine
Before said weekly Sunday routine, this is what my weekday evenings would look like:
Greg: Hey honey, what’s for dinner?
Me: Ummm…. I have no idea…. rice?
Greg: Umm….just rice?
Me: Rice and beans?
Greg: Ummm…. no… I’m not eating rice and beans…Takeout pizza it is!
Me: I am terrible…I suck and I can’t keep up with life…. GAHHHHH!!!!
If I plan things out for the week:
Greg: Becky what’s for dinner?
Me: Chicken fajitas.
Greg: Oh ok, cool.
End of conversation….
No negative thoughts in my head and I feel good about how the week goes. We don’t forget important appointments, homework gets done and in general we get way more done when things are planned out.
I took a look at 3 things I could do every week to make me feel more put together and the 3 things I came up with are:
- My schedule
- My kids’ schedule
- My dinner schedule
If I have these 3 things figured out on Sunday, I don’t have to worry about them again and I don’t have to waste mental energy throughout the week trying to figure them out. If you feel stressed out during the week, I want you to think about the top 3 things that stress you out and come up with a productive Sunday routine of your own for those things. Trust me when I say this…. it will be a game changer for you. You will notice that you feel way less stressed and you have more time.
If you struggle with focus, I would bet that it has to do with having too many decisions to make during the week. We cannot function at an optimal level when we fly by the seat of our pants. Amen?
My weekly schedule for a productive week:
For my schedule, I have a master to do list in my planner. I take that master to do list and I block time for each activity using a white board and post it notes. My sweet friend Suzi Whitford posted this on her blog and I loved the method so much that I went to Walmart that day and got the stuff I needed to make it happen. The method included is time blocking at its finest. If you struggle with focus, this is will help you plan and get things done. You spend time on Sunday planning your weekly schedule and now you have dedicated time to get your stuff done…. Boom… you can get even more done!
If you have something on your to do list, you block time to get it done, you focus on it when you say you are going to, you get it done and BOOM, your life is awesome. You rock and you feel on top of the world.
Here is a picture of my white board with my post it notes. (Also something you can grab from Amazon or Walmart)
The orange post it notes are for things that don’t change like my workout time, time to get ready and pack lunches for the kids, kid drop off time, etc. The pink is my work times because those don’t change either.
The blue is for special meetings that I have so they stick out to me a bit more.
You can choose whatever color you like but the point is to separate it somehow.
I also bought the skinny post it notes and not the regular kind because it gives me more room on my white board.
This is time blocking for the visual person. I like things to pop out at me so this is a very effective method for me. You can do this in a planner if you want to or you can even use a bullet journal to write down what you will do and when. The point is to create a master list of to do’s and then plan your week so that you get it all done.
My Easy Meal Planning System
I also take the time to meal plan on Sundays. To be honest, I had gotten away from meal planning for a month at a time and was kinda winging it and meal planning week by week.
We were trying to see if I spent more if I shop for the month versus shopping for the week. I definitely spend more if I only meal plan a week at a time verses a month at a time.
I also cannot stand going to the grocery store each week. Like… I loathe the grocery store and I am seriously considering the Instacart thing as a gift for my birthday. (If you have used it, please comment and tell me how it is). It is my dream to never have to step into a grocery store with kids ever again.
I have used this method of meal planning for the last year and it is super effective and easy. You only plan the meals that you and your family will eat and you tailor it towards what you have going on in the week. I usually choose a variety of easy and intermediate meals. Some are crock pot meals and some are meals I can whip up at night if we don’t have Tae Kwon Do. It works really well. Here is a picture of the method I use:
I have 4 sheets full of meals that we eat often and I flip through them when I am meal planning. I pick out what I want to make and try to meal plan for 2 weeks at a time because ya know…. I loathe the grocery store…
I plan very simple meals for breakfast and lunch. I have tabs for each meal but honestly the one I use the most is dinner. This is definitely the hardest for me to plan out. I have a master list of lunches for kids too and I choose some cold lunch items to have on hand for the week in case Joey wants to pack lunches and I usually pack leftovers for Logan for school.
This has been such an easy system and it literally takes just a few minutes each time I meal plan. I keep everything in my meal planning binder and I know exactly where it is in my kitchen. I also have a few cookbooks that I love to use. My newest and most favorite it the SkinnyTaste One and Done. If you have kids, there are a lot of kid friendly meals in that cook book.
The Weekly Schedule I Use For My Kids:
I got this white board magnetic weekly calendar thing from Amazon a few weeks ago. If you are anything like me, I NEEEEEDDDD to have things written down or I forget them. Or it stresses me out to think about them. I figured this out especially with Joey’s schedule. I wanted a way to organize homework nights for him that way he could look at the schedule and just get busy. He is now used to looking at it and he knows exactly what we will be working on each night. The white board comes with 3 dry erase markers.
My kids also started Tae Kwon Do about 2 months ago so those nights are written down too. If things are written down, I can literally forget about them and I don’t mentally stress about them. Does that make sense? This is why brain dumps are so important. When you get everything out of your noggin and onto paper, you can then formulate a plan on how to tackle all of the junk you need to tackle in a given week.
This is why I have this brain dump Get it Done section in my planner. I brain dump everything and then on my white board with sticky notes, I time block it out to make sure there is a place for it. It has worked very well for me this year and I feel very focused with this weekly schedule.
The 3 things that can drastically improve your focus is having your weekly schedule planned out, the schedule for your kids and your dinner schedule. You can grab this FREE printable download and laminate it to use over and over again. Put it on your fridge or where you would see it and BOOM- you feel more organized already!
Tips to Create Your Own Productive Sunday Routine
I mentioned this above a little, but what I want you to do is brainstorm the areas that are literally the most stressful for you, write them down and then figure out something you can do each Sunday to help you organize those 3 areas so they aren’t as stressful.
Here are some ideas of typical things that stress people out about the week:
- meal planning
- what to wear
- kid lunches
- cleaning schedule
- daily routine- either yours or your kids
- after school activities
- things to do at work
Narrow this list down to 3 things and then come up with a plan of something you can do to decrease the stress in some way. For example, can you lay out your kids clothes the night before or for all week? Can you get your clothes ready for the week? Can you create a cleaning schedule? Can you figure out who is going to take your kids to after school activities on Sunday if you can’t take them? Is there anything you can do to prepare for the week at work?
Literally, doing just 3 things on Sunday can change how you feel about the week and what you can get done. What stresses you out the most about your week?