Well hello, my friends. I hope you all are having a great week so far. Today I am to deep diving into something I have been researching, evaluating, and re-evaluating for months, and that is tips for a smooth and easy week.
Not sure what I am talking about, let me explain…
Our lives can feel like a hamster wheel – we just continue to run around and around and around, never really getting anywhere and feeling exhausted by the time we realize we need to get off. We then climb back on, only to find we are doing the exact same thing all over again.
Let’s talk about the constant repeats of a week….
- groceries: I mean, we gotta eat
- laundry: why does it feel like it never stops? Oh wait…because it doesn’t
- cleaning: if I have to clean another shower…..
- working: how is it Monday again
- fun stuff: is there even time for that anymore??
You get where I am going?
It can feel like a constant, never ending to-do list and by the time you actually look up, it’s June and half the year is gone!
We can’t live our lives this way, and personally, I refuse to. I want to enjoy life and soak up each day and week because time goes WAY too fast. I don’t want to wonder where the year went or even worse, where the past FIVE years went. I want to live and enjoy, so I am constantly searching for ways to make our week, a little bit better and guys, I think I have some prettttttyyyyy good tips…
Tips for a Smooth and Enjoyable Week:
- Meal Planning: I know you have seen this everywhere. It isn’t a new concept, however, it is a concept that works. One of the most difficult time in a work-week day is dinner. Think about it, you just worked all day, it’s 5:30-6pm, you are tired and hungry…the last thing you want to think about is what you should be making for dinner. Take the guess work out and plan a menu for the week. A little recommendation when you make the menu is to pull out your calendar. Look at what you have going on for the week and plan meals accordingly. For example, you have a late meeting Wednesday that may keep you at work a little longer? Plan a faster and easier meal that day. John and I always compare calendars when making our menu so we can set up for the most success. Plus, a little bonus is that in meal planning, you actually save money with grocery shopping!
- Do a little each day: This is a secret of my mother’s. With four kids, I still wonder how she got everything done she did, but something she tells me time and time again is to do a little each day. This can seem cumbersome when sometimes our days are packed to the max, but even if you took 15 minutes, there is quite a bit you can accomplish and I should know, because I’ve tested it! In 15 minutes, I am able to vacuum my entire downstairs, with a little time leftover…I can fold a load of laundry and wipe down a bathroom…I can wash the dishes and wipe down my entire kitchen…there is a lot you can do that makes a big difference.
- The laundry secret: We all want to know what it is because for most of us laundry can seem like one of the most repetitive and never-ending tasks of them all. So, once again, I asked the expert – my mother and here is what she told me. Do a load everyday. Place the load in when you wake up and before you get ready, then when you get home from work switch it. Fold while watching TV during a commercial break. When I do this, I do smaller loads so they are easier to manage, but because I am doing laundry more often, my loads tend to not be that big in the first place.
- House Cleaning: So for some this section may not apply because they may already have a service that comes in, for me however, that is not the case and just like laundry never stopping…neither does the housework. My fifteen minute rule seems to help a lot with this, but I still like to do a deep clean each week. I am going to give you two options for this section because with being pregnant, I can’t do option one haha. Option one is what we used to do growing up and that is to pick a day and a time that you clean and consider it booked time. For example, we used to clean the entire house Saturday mornings. You can’t go anywhere until it’s all done and you don’t book anything for that time because it technically is already “booked.” Now, if this seems a little too difficult for you, here is option number two and the option I currently utilize being pregnant because everything takes me twice as long, and that is to split it up. I literally divided the house in two and do one half on one day and the other half on another day. This seems to work pretty well for me and then only requires a couple of hours of work each time.
- Review your week ahead: When you have multiple schedules you are trying to keep up with, one thing that works really well for John and I is to sit down before the week starts and compare schedules. This way we both know what is happening for the other (so we can better support one another), and we can anticipate road blocks (ie difficult days, time conflicts, etc). This doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes, but it also opens to the door for a good communication opportunity which is something that can be lacking in the hustle bustle of the week.
- Look ahead: This is something I am still working on, but something that can be super helpful is not only reviewing the week ahead of you, but also the following week. Whether there is a birthday coming up or a holiday that you need to plan for, this can be helpful because it can allow you to plan in advance. If you know the following week has something coming up, maybe you can pick up your gift this week, or get the card in the mail ahead of time. For those that know me…I haven’t mastered this (I am the queen of belated gifts), but I am working on it!
- Make a simple to-do list: I don’t know about you, but my to-do list is constantly going with 10-15 things that need to be done. In order to make this a bit more manageable, I simplify it down to 3-5 things for the week. I can’t do everything, it’s just a fact, so by simplifying and choosing days to accomplish these tasks, I feel like I am able to get more done off of my to-do list and continue moving forward without feeling the overwhelm of a much longer list.
- Plan one thing for YOU: Self care is huge these days and I truly believe that carving out intentional time for yourself is crucial to making the week just a little bit more enjoyable. This doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, but it does have to be set in stone in your calendar. Some weeks this may mean that you have dinner with a friend, or book a massage, but maybe (more simply), perhaps you just schedule out two hours of you time to be filled with whatever you need to make yourself feel a bit better. That could be reading, it could be to watch tv, or maybe it even means time to work on your to-do list. Each week will be different and each week may be longer or shorter than the last.
- Touch Base: This is one of best tips because it allows for a time of simple reflection. When we reflect, we become aware and awareness is key in growing and integrating change when necessary. I mean, if you don’t know it’s broken, you can’t fix it, am I right? So each week, sit down with yourself and/or your partner and ask first “What worked well this week?” Knowing what works, is just as important as knowing what doesn’t. This way, you can continue using the positive to create a less stressful and overwhelming week for you and your family. Next, ask “What didn’t work well this week?” What needs to be changed? We are all different and have different priorities, so each family unit is going to be so different. And lastly, ask “Is there anything you need?” Once again, we all have different priorities and knowing what we, ourselves need and what our partners may need for a more successful week will not only connect us better, but it will also help us to understand and thrive.
- Use a planner: My last and final tip, is to utilize a planner. I know for some, this just doesn’t work, but I also don’t know how you can possibly remember everything in your brain (let’s be real, you probably can’t). So, by using some sort of planner (paper or electronic), you can lay everything out from meals, to appointments, to workouts and not miss a beat.
I hope these tips help you have a smooth and more relaxing week like they have me. I am still working on how to make each week even more enjoyable, but these tips have helped me immensely to not feel so overwhelmed with the ever repetitive cycle that each week can bring.
As always, I will continue testing out different ideas and will always keep you updated on what new tips and tricks are working for me and my family!
Have a great day friends!