Getting Organized for the Week Ahead
Today we are talking about Getting Organized for the Week Ahead. A number of you have sent me your vision statements and I have loved reading each of them. I love getting to know you better and hearing about the challenges you face in making your dreams a reality. I love challenges. I am energized by challenges. Challenges are about turning our can'ts into cans! Here is the challenge I am hearing most. We are struggling to manage the day-to-day AND find the time to take action on our higher level goals which would help us achieve our vision. Balancing the tactical skills to get through the day/week differ greatly from the strategic skills needed to execute the action plan for our vision. As the CEO of a larger corporation you would have the luxury of a team who has a breadth of talent. You would have skilled tacticians executing a plan put together by brilliant visionaries. You would have managers directing the work of your rank and file to ensure the daily tasks are covered.
In our world, we are all things - tactician, visionary, and rank and file. That's a lot of hats! No wonder we run around feeling overwhelmed and a bit out of control. No wonder we struggle to set and achieve our goals.
Fact: I am less overwhelmed when I focus on Getting Organized for the Week Ahead. Here is what works for me:
- Get a pen and paper (or digital note taking device) - you must write out a weekly plan. Anything other than having your week WELL documented in writing is called "winging it."
- Review your calendar. You need to have a complete understanding of each day and all the moving components.
- Make adjustments to your calendar. Does something need to be rescheduled because you over committed? I ALWAYS leave Monday free. Other than work and school (for The A Team) nothing gets put on my calendar. This is my weekly buffer space, my breathing room.
- Make sure all appointments/events/notables are marked on a family calendar kept in a prominent family space. Mine is in the kitchen.
- Write out a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least Monday - Friday. You may not hit every meal exactly but you can make 85% of it happen.
- Communicate the meal plan to the family. Get their inputs and "buy in". These few minutes will eliminate time spent arguing over what the kids want or what they will/won't eat.
- Prep any food/lunches/snacks ahead of time. Simply cutting up fruits and veggies will save me the most time. It makes packing lunches much easier.
- Make a list of chores by day so tasks like laundry, emptying garbage, wiping down bathrooms don't overwhelm you. If these are the same each week, you can make a simple template.
- Assign these chores to all family members! You need help. You have to ask for it.
- Have a family meeting where you set expectations for help and behavior for the week. Communicate what is needed to make the week a success.
- Communicate rewards for successful completion of the week. We reward with praise, play dates, special family activities and sometimes money.
- John and I keep a separate weekly list in Evernote where I give more detailed notes as to how we are accomplishing everything. I create it on Monday's and call it "The Weekly RUNDOWN."
- I am in control of my week. There are people who will want to side track me or use my time for their benefit. I typically say "no" to last minute requests of my time unless I am sure it will not tax me and ultimately my family.
- Maintenance. The key to success comes in the form of daily review. I review my Weekly Rundown list daily to make sure everything is humming along. It takes less than five minutes to review, adjust if needed, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
This process becomes easier with each week you do it. When focused, these steps will take me less than an hour. The time savings is immeasurable. No, not every week comes together as well as I would like but that's life. On those rare weeks, I kiss it up to God, have faith and hope for the best!
How do you get organized for the week ahead?
If these 14 steps feel overwhelming, read my 10 Tips for Getting out of overwhelm OR email me!