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Have you ever wondered as a busy mom “How do I manage my time better?” (What? Is it just me? 🙂 ). I was tired of feeling frazzled day after day and even though I was always doing something I felt like I wasn’t getting anything done. As a busy mom, do you ever feel like this too?
One of my goals this year in 2018 is to get myself more organized and I started with planning my week in more detail than I had before. In order to free up more time, I need to know what we have scheduled as well as other tasks and errands to get done.
I found a planner I really liked but after a month or so of use, the paper kept falling out of the spiral. So I decided to create my own planner printables that I can put in a binder. Tada! Problem solved! The pages don’t fall out and I can print them in black and white if I want to.
I made a to-do list, and monthly, weekly and daily planner pages. I also created a categories list to use as a guide for filling in my schedule. By scheduling your days in advance this can help you save time so you aren’t going to the same place or area several times a week.
Life is busy moms, we all know this! We are amazing at multitasking! But we also know things come up and we have to be flexible. Stick to your schedule as best as you can, but don’t worry if you have to go to Target twice in one week. Because that would be torture, right? 🙂
4 Steps to help you plan your week
- Set aside a consistent time to plan
- Use categories to help you plan
- Fill in your weekly planner with “must-dos” and “fill-ins”
- Fill in your daily planner if you’d like to ( this has been a life saver for me!)
- Take a deep breath ( ok, this really isn’t a step but you did it!)
Set aside time to plan
It might seem like an impossible task but pick a day where you have some uninterrupted time. If I do this when my girls are home from school or before bedtime, it could take forever and might not get done (sound familiar?).
At the end of the month, I fill in next month’s calendar with all of our appointments, after-school activities, or events that have a set time. This takes me around 10-15 minutes. As other things come up during the month I’ll add them to the calendar.
Then once a week I have a day where I plan the week ahead. Keep the same day each week when you plan and this consistency will help weekly planning become a habit. I do this on a Friday because I also plan our meals for the following week that day. That way if we have an after-school activity that is around dinner time, we might eat out that night or I might make something really easy. It takes me about 15 minutes to look at my week and write it in my planner.
Use categories to help plan
To help get an overview of our schedule I came up with categories for events and tasks. This might seem like an extra step, but once you have your categories figured out, write them down, and use them each time (you can use mine as a starting point if you’d like!). Categories help a busy mom’s schedule come together and simplify your to-do list!
If you’d like to see the categories I use to help plan click on the box below! By making sure I look at all areas of our busy life, I can group events and/or tasks in my planner which all help to save me time. The categories help because I’m less likely to forget something, but if I do its ok! I just schedule it when I can.
Fill in your weekly planner
By using both the categories and to do list I figure out all of our appointments, events, and tasks and add them to my weekly planner. This has been a great way for me to remember all of our “must-dos” and “fill-ins”.
A “must-do” for me is an event or activity that has a set time, such as gymnastics practice or a Dr.’s appointment. A “fill-in” is a task or errand that I need to get done but doesn’t have a set time during the day like going to Target or sending an email to a teacher. I then write all the “must-dos” in my planner on a certain day and add the “fill-ins” where they make the most sense and save me the most time.
I use both these pastel markers and bold markers to make my planners look cute and my schedule easier to see. I also use this clipboard and pen holder to add some sparkle!
Fill in your daily planner
I take it one step further and use a daily planner too. You can do whatever works best for you! Each night I take about 5 minutes and look at the next day. I always keep my monthly and weekly pages close by and make sure I have my day planned out.
I even added a place for meals on the daily planner. You can use this to write down what’s for dinner or even a reminder like turn on the crockpot at 10 am (just an idea ).
Take a deep breath the planning is done!
Things come up, life gets even busier, kids get sick, and we all have to be flexible. There is nothing wrong with that! By using these simple steps of setting aside the time to plan, using categories, and then filling in your planners with your “must-dos” and “fill-ins”, you can plan your week out in advance. I am notorious for forgetting something, so my planning is a work in progress J. However, taking the time to plan my week has really helped me get things done more efficiently than before.
How do you plan your week? Comment below or send me an email. I always enjoy getting great ideas for other moms!