How to Plan Your Entire Week in 1 Hour
When you're a WAHM, your schedule is your BEST friend. And I do mean best friend, bffs. It makes the difference between overwhelm and peace. When you work from home, you just have so many balls in the air, that you have to be incredibly organized or it feels like you're constantly working, but never truly getting anything done.
I am constantly experimenting and tweaking my schedule. These past few weeks I have felt stressed, but couldn't put my finger on exactly why. I had been sick and busy with the family, so wasn't focusing on my writing. But on those weeks when I'm not working, I seem to think about and worry about it the most. The problem was, I didn't plan ahead to take some time off and truly enjoy it. I just got caught up in life, didn't do the work I had planned to do, and felt guilty about it.
Looking back, I could have prevented a lot of that stress by simply pulling up my calendar and making a new plan. As a mom, you are used to constantly changing your day based on what comes your way - the baby wakes up with a fever, that science project is actually due tomorrow, your 3 year-old decides to go for the gold in the Tantrum Olympics.
So it's important to bring that same flexibility and creativity to work life. Having a fluid schedule that you can alter as you go will help you not only feel in control of your career, but every aspect of your life.
On Sunday (or any day that works for you), sit down with your planner (download our free one here) and get to work. I love Google Calendar, because it's free and I can access it from anywhere.
First plug in any events you have committed to or that occur every week. These could be things like your kids' school schedules and extracurriculars, work meetings, dinners with friends, date nights. After doing this, you'll have a good idea of how your week will flow.
Next, decide what you actually want to do this week. If you don't schedule it, it's not real. Plug in a yoga class or an hour to read by yourself. Looks like it's going to be nice out this week? Plan a trip to the zoo. By thinking ahead, you can ensure that you will take advantage of the free time you do have. After all, what's the point of creating a flexible career from home if you're not going to reap the benefits?
Next it's time to schedule work time. In my experience, "just fitting it in" never actually happens and leaves me feeling like I'm lazy and can't do this. Finding time in the schedule is tricky, but if you can't find it when you're sitting with your planner, how will you find it when you're caught up in the day-to-day?
For me, I like to block out the same times every week. I know that Monday through Friday I will be writing from 5:30 to 6:30 in the mornings and pitching new publications from 8 to 9 at night. This works for me, because my kids are young (3 & 6 months), so I want to be with them all day. When they are older and in school, I'll change my schedule again.
Finally, make sure you've planned time for your health. There is no quicker road to burnout than ignoring how you're feeling, so be proactive. Plan to be active everyday, if only for 20 minutes or so. I love my Fitbit, because it keeps me accountable and I know when I've hit 10,000 steps for the day. This is also a great time to plan your meals for the week. I like to make a double-recipe every other night, so we're enjoying leftovers every other night. It's one less thing to think about.
And you're done! I like to do this during naptime every Sunday afternoon and always breathe a deep sigh of relief when I see that I actually do have time to accomplish everything that is important to me - I just have to be strategic.