A lot of people believe the work week only consists of the days you’re physically at work, but we believe it’s those days and more. Being prepared for your work week ahead of time can be a great way to increase productivity and organization. If you work Monday-Friday, you may want to designate a few hours on a Sunday to get prepared. Setting aside some quiet time with just you, your calendar, email, and task list can help you mentally prepare for the week ahead and help you feel less stressed.
We understand that to-do lists aren’t set in stone, can change day-to-day, and so many things are just out of our controls. Having a weekly plan gives you an idea of what can and cannot be moved around to accommodate those last-minute requests. Your plan shouldn’t just include your work life, but also take your personal life into consideration. This helps create a healthier work-life balance.
Here are some tips on how to get organized for the week ahead.
1. Prioritizing and scheduling
Perhaps the most important part of preparing for the week ahead is knowing what to expect. Grab your calendar (personal and work), to-do lists, look through emails and get scheduling. It’s helpful to have a planner, deskpad, journal or digital organizer to help you sort through your tasks and prioritize your to-do list.
2. Scheduling time for yourself
This goes hand-in-hand with prioritizing and scheduling. When creating your schedule for the week, don’t forget to add some fun time for yourself in there! This could include personal alone time or plans with family and friends. If you schedule this time into your calendar, you are more likely to stick to it. This also includes scheduling time for your health and wellness – to work out, get a massage, or just simply go for a walk.
3. Meal planning
Most likely the biggest challenge during the week. Sometimes the week ends up getting so busy that you either start skipping meals or are too tired to cook and order out. To help your body and bank account, try preparing meals ahead of time. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to cook your breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week on a weekend, but could include things like:
- getting groceries
- washing and chopping vegetables ahead of time
- deciding what meals to cook for the week
- creating meal kit
Having a meal plan also ensures that you can maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet as opposed to being tempted by fast food.
4. Cleaning & laundry
The last thing you want in the middle of a busy week is have a messy household or run out of clothes. Take some time during your days off to clean your home and do your laundry. Doing your laundry ensures you have enough clean clothes to get you through the week and not create panic. By having a clean home, you’ll be in a better mood when you return from work and not stress about having to clean the washroom. And if you do have to do some sprucing throughout the week, it will just be quick and minimal!
5. Planning outfits
If you work anywhere without a uniform, you know how stressful it is to have a different outfit every day. Planning your outfits for the week or even the next day can help you not only save time, but also the stress. Have your outfits clean and ironed to be ready to go for the week. It also helps to have a couple neutral pair of pants and just mix and match your tops for the week!
Getting as many chores done on the weekend and creating a plan for the week ahead can help you feel less stressed and more prepared as you head back to work. This could have a positive impact on your emotional and physical well-being. Being prepared means you can hit to ground running and not feel overwhelmed by the start of a new week. Spending time planning what you want to accomplish can help ensure you have a great and productive week.