We talked about how I set up each month so that I have few surprises on what appointments come up, when all my bills are due (especially the auto pay ones!), but I see questions pop up in Facebook pages and on Instagram asking about what to put in your weekly. For some people, it’s hard to imagine what you might need to put in a weekly layout when your monthly is right there. Sometimes all a person needs is a monthly. But my weeklies are where I’m able to be more productive, and get more detailed in reaching my goals and staying on track with the house, work, homeschool, life and so on!
So, here’s a step by step on how I like to set up my weeklies!
- I usually will decorate before hand. Most weeks I don’t get too carried away and I have box stickers that will allow me to write over a group of stickers if I need to, or I can always add in more stickers later, if I have too much blank space for my liking. Decorating a planner CAN be expensive, so I suggest only buying when they are on sale, or buying cheaper stickers, or skipping the whole decorating process altogether if you don’t like that sort of thing. (I was a Lisa Frank child, so I LOVE the fun colorful stickers now as an adult, HA!) When decorating before planning I take a look through my monthly and leave plenty of space for to-do lists for each day and go around that.
2. Decide how you’ll use each space in your weekly layout. Here for each day there are three sections, and also room to lots of extra lists on the left side of the layout. I prefer having my to-do lists for each day at the top, then my meal plan at the top of the middle box (indicated here with the little flags) any appointments or extra stuff going on that day I write down in the middle, and the last box of each day is where I write a little blip about that day, or what’s going on in my life, or if a kid hit a milestone or said something funny I would write it in there each day. My list to the side I use to put in any weekly goals and the sticker that says “Note to self” is where I like to put in my new moon intentions.
3. Reference your monthly calendar to check for any appointments or special occasions that you need to note in your weekly. I only put the really important events in my monthly so I only need to reference it once or twice a week. Jot down what is happening each day that you have an appointment. If you have something that recurs every week at the same time and same day you can find a sticker that helps you remember to avoid having to write it out each time. You’ll notice in the picture above I have a triangle sticker in the right corner of the top section on Monday and Wednesday. These indicate when my sister has her evening college class. This way I have a reminder that I’m busy around the time it starts and ends because I drive her there and back. So if a child has practice or maybe you work part time and only on certain days at certain times, you could use a sticker like this or whatever you like that would help you remember and put that in the appropriate spot. I don’t recommend doing this for too many events though, so that you don’t get confused or overwhelmed! Keep it simple!
4. Now you have a good outline for your week. You know when you’ll have to be out of the house and how busy you’ll be each day, and now you can put in your meal plan. I keep ours on the fridge, in my regular planner AND in my mini. If you need to change it up, you can write it in pencil and erase when you need to change it, use white out, write it in the left column of the layout and cross off after you’ve eaten a meal, or use a half sheet and write it down. Remember that it’s fine if a meal plan needs to be tweaked and moved around, all plans change at some point! The important thing is to have something ready to go when you need it and you do that by making a plan!
5. Here is where you can get more detailed! The next thing I like to do is filling in my cleaning schedule. I find that I have the MOST success in keeping a somewhat tidy home and not feel overwhelmed when I use this schedule. Make any schedule that will work for you, but mine looks something like this:
Wednesday: Living Room
Thursday: Dining Room
Sunday: Catch up day
I go into each room and take care of clutter, dust, give a really thorough vacuum, mop, windows, whatever needs to be done. I keep up with dishes, laundry and light vacuuming every single day along with major messes that may happen, but this list helps me really do a better job and not feel overwhelmed!
6. Take a look at your weekly goals and see what steps you can break them down into to make it less stressful on yourself. Lets say my goal is to clean our closet, I might break that down by going through each shelf on Monday and seeing what I no long want, Tuesday I would go through the clothes that are hanging up, next I would tackle the door organizer and Thursday I would clean any blankets or clothes or cat fur off of the floor and vacuum. Or lets say your monthly goal is to clean up the garage, schedule in 15 minutes or so for each day to go into the garage and set a timer, and work until the timer goes off. Think about how you’ll reach the goals or what you need to dedicate your time to each day and schedule it in.
7. Save room for any changes! Things happen. Kids get sick, depression hits, the weather can change in the blink of an eye. Plans change from time to time. Be okay with changing plans and using white out or stickers or just scribbling out something that needed to be changed! It’s okay! I promise! I like having my planner look pretty, but it doesn’t ever have to be perfect!
8. The very last step in using the weekly layout is actually looking at it every day! I’ve been there! Some weeks my planner sits there for a few days because I was sick, busy or I just plain forgot to reference it! But if you never look at it, it will never work for you! I suggest taking four minutes every day to reference your planner. That’s just two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night. Check off what you got done, move forward what didn’t get done, check what’s for dinner the next night to see if you need to thaw or prepare anything in advance. From day to day, planners really don’t take up much of any time and most people are able to remember what they need to by taking the few extra seconds to physically write down what they need/want to get done.
Using a journal/planner gives you a place for everything that needs to be done. You’re able to set up a road map for your week by breaking down bigger tasks into bite sized pieces. Your life is less cluttered with a plan! And you can clear your mind when you get everything written down instead of taking up space in your brain!!!
By using your planner you’ll start to develop a rhythm for your week and that helps you develop a rhythm for your day, it helps you stay on track, and also helps your family know what to expect each day. (side tip- this also helps you delegate tasks to your family by seeing everything all laid out and knowing what needs to be done, so if I have a super busy day I might pick out an easy dinner that my husband can make and delegate that task to him, or the day before I can get the kids to help me with things around the house since I know we will be gone the next day.) By using a planner, you are better able to take control of your life again!
Until next time friends!