30 minutes to take back your week
“You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others.”
– Michael Hyatt
Do you spend Sunday night feeling ‘the fear’? Do you dread the thought of the chaos of the week ahead? Do you spend the evening trying to squeeze the last few minutes out of the weekend? Well, then you are like most of the working mums out there.
But did you know that if you spend 30 minutes on a Sunday night planning your week and prioritizing tasks, you’ll not only be more organised for the week, you’ll feel more relaxed, sleep better and have a more positive outlook?
Making a plan ensures that you know what needs to be done and you make time to do it. It means that you can schedule tasks and see how everything can slot into place. A plan acts as a reminder, so that there are no last-minute panics, but it is also a reality check, so that you know how much you can realistically accomplish and what is just a step too far.
Writing down a plan gives you a list of goals to achieve and it will help you to get things done in an efficient and timely manner. Not only that, it also leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction at the end of the week, when you see all the things that you’ve ticked off your list.
Creating your plan will take less than 30 minutes, but it will allow you to take control of your week and get ahead of things, rather than just reacting and fighting fires as the week goes on.
Are you ready to take back control of your week? To get things done how and when you want? Then read on, we’ve collated a list of top tips on how to make your Sunday night plan.
- Set aside 30 minutes to make your plan and minimize distractions. Ignore social media, turn off the telly and tell your family you need to concentrate. You don’t want to forget anything important at this stage.
- Write it down. You can use a notebook, a wall planner or an app. But don’t try and keep it in your head. Your plan needs to be set and you need to be able to go back to it.
- Make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed. It will be easier if you section them into silos. For example - work, home, school, exercise. Then make a more detailed list of what you need to do for each. Meetings, meals, training goals etc. should all be included.
- Prioritize your tasks. What definitely needs to be done, what should be done and what would be nice to get done. Colour coding, with red, orange and green, for example, is a great visual way for you to know what is most important.
- Plan your timings. Arrange a time when you can complete the tasks. Keep to a schedule but allow some wiggle room in case tasks run over. Seeing what has to be done and when, will allow you to shift tasks around, so that they coincide. For instance, if you’re going to the supermarket on Monday, but you’ll need your good suit dry cleaned on Thursday, and it’s your niece’s birthday on Saturday, you will automatically be able to combine all the trips into one. Instead of remembering that you need to buy a birthday card on Friday night.
- Give yourself planning time each day. Take a few minutes every morning to review your plan for the day. Does it still work? Has anything been added? Has anything been bumped up the queue?
- Allow extra time. Don’t forget to schedule breaks and keep in mind that something unexpected could pop up at any time. In other words, although your schedule is set, it doesn’t necessarily have to be set in stone.
- If there are tasks in the week ahead that aren’t certain, then try to think of them in ‘if-then’ terms. In other words “if this happens, then I will do this.” That way you won’t be blindsided if an extra task is added or you’re thrown a curve ball.
- Get the ‘needs to be done’ tasks completed first. Where possible the ‘red’ tasks should be done early in the week or early in the day, that way if something unexpected pops up or you run out of time, the job you’re pushing out won’t be urgent and you can simply rearrange your schedule. Knowing that the vital tasks are completed will allow you to relax a little for the rest of the day.
- Tick the box and reward yourself. Tick off the tasks that you have accomplished at the end of the day and allow yourself to be proud of what you have achieved. Reward yourself for little wins “If I get this job finished, I’ll have a cup of coffee and call my friend for a 5 minute catch up.”
Making plan might seem like just another thing to add to your already bulging to-do list. But trust us when we say it will simplify your life and make it easier to navigate. Just remember to start small and be realistic. Don’t over fill your plan and don’t think that you have to pack every second. If something goes awry during the week and your plan goes haywire, don’t be hard on yourself, life doesn’t always run smoothly. But if you have a plan, you’ll be able to regroup, reprioritise and things won’t get out of hand.