As a working mom, it can easily feel like weekends are primarily spent catching up from the week prior — so mentioning anything about preparation for the week to come is more than overwhelming.
I used to listen to experts share their Sunday routine in order to have the LEAST amount of chaos for the week ahead, but it all just felt so heavy. I would end up spend half my weekends preparing — which felt so counterintuitive. Weekends should be meant for a little R+R, but more importantly, time to spend with the family and kids!
So I created a method that’s simple to implement and easy enough to be consistent with week over week. Every single Sunday, I do AT LEAST these four things in order to step into the new week fresh, strong, and prepared.
1. MEAL PLAN. Use a menu board, a sticky note, or fridge magnet to write out what’s for dinner each night. Put it in a place that everyone can see it.
Details: This isn’t the same as meal prep. I used to spend hours in the kitchen dicing vegetables, cooking meats, preparing freezer bags for crockpot dinners — all so I could have everything practically ready by the time it was dinner each night. This was GREAT when it came time to eat, but I spent SO MUCH time in the kitchen on the weekends. This wasn’t scalable for me. I wasn’t able do this week over week because not only are we gone for many weekends, but I just don’t want to spend that much time in the kitchen! Just knowing what you are going to have for dinner eliminates so much chaos. I use this menu board and it helps the entire family stay on the same page about what's coming for dinner.
2. WRAP UP ALL THE LAUNDRY. Make sure all the laundry is complete — including folded and put away (which if we are being honest is the worst part!).
Details: This seems simple and maybe weird, but as someone that lives with four other humans, I spend a LOT of time in the laundry room. This isn't how I love spending my time, but it's DEFINITELY not something I want to think about when I am trying to kick start a new week strong. I make sure to wrap it up all by Sunday night so I don't have to worry about it or even SEE it until later on in the week. You'll feel like a million bucks walking into the new week with all that laundry done. Trust me.
3. CHECK YOUR SCHEDULE. The easiest form of calendaring is just checking it. Make sure you know what's ahead (especially on Monday) and cross compare with your spouse.
Details: As two working parents with three kids, we have a LOT going on. We find that if we don't take the time to look at our week ahead, personally and professionally, we end up missing appointments, trying to fit in last minute meetings, and feel underprepared for work and for LIFE. It's the most simple habit to implement (just pull out your iPhone and do a double check) yet it's also the easiest thing to look over. Don't walk into Monday, or the new week, without knowing where and how you will be spending your time.
4. 30 MINUTES OF SELF CARE. Yeah, you. Spend AT LEAST 30 minutes on yourself in order to sneak in that true R+R and feel refreshed. You spend all the time meeting everyone else needs, it's time to meet your own.
Details: Don't get caught up into thinking that self care has to be extravagant. You would be amazed at what 30 minutes of simple activity ALONE can do for your mentally, physically and emotionally. Take a bath, read, go to the gym, go for a walk — do whatever it is that you feel like doing by yourself. This is so critically important, but usually the number reason for burn out.
Easy, peazy — right?! Super simple steps that you can implement… well, now! These are game changing tasks to boosting your satisfaction at home and at work, I promise!