We have all been there. It is Sunday night and you decide to look over your to-do list and what is coming for next week and you realize that you didn’t even make a dent in your to-do list for the weekend and your upcoming week is JAM packed full of stuff. It is what defines the Monday scaries in my opinion. You finally got some time to yourself this weekend, but because you took that time you feel behind and want to crawl under your covers and scream. Listen, I hear you. I see you. But, we got this. Here are some of my tried and true tips on how I try to stay organized with a busy work-week and never-ending to do list.
I start by always looking at everything the weekend before. I try to compare calendars with my husband and make sure we are on the same page in regards to events and trips for that week (my husband travels a lot). Then, once I know what he has going on and I have everything in my calendar, I look at what at what are standards, priorities, and wish list. For example, laundry, dry cleaning, menu for the week, and grocery store are all standards. They happen every week no matter what is going on that week. We will always wear clothes and we will always eat food (at least in my house, you do you boo). Priorities are things that need to be done that week. For example, last week it was my week to bring snacks to my bible study. That is a priority because other people are relying on me and I need to make sure it is done. It could also be that maybe you have an appointment that week or a deadline; these are all priorities. Wish list items are then anything you would like to get done that week.
Once, I have these all written down on a notepad, I fill in my agenda and assign things accordingly. For me, I typically only assign three tasks per day. That way, it isn’t too overwhelming and three seems manageable to me. This may not seem like a lot to you, but if met each day of the week, this averages to be about 15 things a week (only considering Monday through Friday). That is quite a few if you ask me!
When assigning, try to think of the amount of time it will take to complete each task. For example, I don’t like to schedule two things that might take me two hours each, because then I may not complete them and confidence comes from the ability in realizing you CAN complete it. Once you realize that you CAN do it, you become more confident in your ability and each week seems less stressful. Then, as you add more responsibilities (children, pets, houses), you feel more capable of caring for these things. I don’t know about you, but if you are type A like me, which I anticipate might be just a little bit if you read my blog, then nothing brings you more joy than crossing off something on your to-do list haha (I personally love to highlight it or reallllyyyy scratch it out).
When planning out each day, make sure to consider each of your buckets (standards, priorities, wish list). I also plan out priorities first because these are the things I absolutely need to get done that week. Then I incorporate my wish list items. I keep a running list on these because it is always changing and that way I can always pull from it. These I try to sprinkle in on my low level days. I love getting these things done because then I really feel accomplished. In regards to standards, my husband and I typically look at these and split them. We might both go to the grocery together, but I might make the menu and he might fold some laundry. We try to break it up and pick up on each other’s slack because our weekly loads can always be different. Some weeks his work schedule is really tough, so I pick up a little bit, other weeks I have things in the evenings and he needs to cook dinner and take care of Posey (our cat). This is an ebb and flow for us, but it works.
If you aren’t able to rely on your partner as much because of various reasons, that is okay. You just have a little bit more responsibility. In that case, I always work ahead. For example, I always plan out our menu for the week and buy groceries accordingly (if you need some easy menu ideas, check out my month worth of menu guides here). That way breakfast, lunch, and dinner area already planned out and I don’t have to think about what to make or what to pick up. This also helps us to save money and calories on eating out unnecessarily. Next, I always try to do little things here and there. For example, when I come home from work, I put the timer on my phone to 15-20 min. Within that time I just do things around the house that needs to get done and I don’t stop until the timer goes off. With that time, I can water our plants, pick up our bedroom, do the dishes, unload the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry, etc. It really just helps me to maintain the house during the week so it all doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I also try to run errands directly after work because once you put on your comfort clothes and stop, it is all done haha. The key is to just keep going for a little longer to help take some stress off of you and allow you to stay on top of it all. My mom always tells me to just do a little everyday and that motto has really helped me.
Lastly, we all have those weeks where we just can’t pull it together. It is okay my friend. Embrace those weeks, take the time you need to recuperate and listen to your body. The world isn’t going to end if you don’t get all of the laundry done that week or if you eat out all week because you just don’t feel like cooking. We all have those weeks and moments and days and that is 100% okay. Give yourself grace, ask for help when you need it, and know we have all been there.
I hope this post helps you stay on top of that never-ending to do list!