Life never seems to glide along without bumps and interruptions. We can’t predict when interruptions will happen: when the child gets sick, when the car gets a flat, or when the dog takes off down the street just as you are loading the kids in the car. Face it, some things are out of our control. The best we can do is to set up routines that work for you and your family and then plan your week. Planning should include contingency strategies to deal with the unexpected.
Each week I do five things to prepare myself and my family for the upcoming week to ensure the week flows as smoothly as possible.
- Review my monthly calendar and move events, appointments, tasks to my weekly view. I also review my meal and jot down the planned meal and make a note I need to pick anything up at the store. I also jot in time for fitness, whether it’s a run from my training plan or a weight workout.
- Meal Planning is a must in our household. I create my meal plan every two weeks (convenient because I get paid every two week, huh? HA!). I note what nights I work, what night’s hubby works his second job as a paramedic (usually the same nights I work) and I then plan something simple like hoagies. Chances are he won’t heat up left overs at work but I can count on him eating a hoagie!
- After I grocery shop, I prep food for the week. I plan a multi meal dinner every week; a pot of spaghetti sauce, a pot of chili, or a pot of soup. A 2nd dinner and planned work lunches check! I sauté veggies, chop fruits and veggies, precook meat, brown hamburger, grill chicken, and seal with the food saver. I work nights so I like to have single serving packages to pull out of the freezer to feed hubby on the nights I am not home. I can pull out a package of bag of cooked burger and throw together tacos or a casserole at the last minute if life throws me a curve ball and I need to change midstream!
- My work wardrobe is easy, I wear scrubs so planning what to wear isn’t an issue. Planning to wear clean scrubs is! So Sunday morning make sure your clothes for the week are clean and ready to go. Don’t wait until bedtime to do this, many a washer and dryer have run well into the night from poor planning! Make sure the kids have clean undies and hubby has clean socks! Create a routine for prepping clothes for the week. Hang an outfit for each day in the closet. Put an outfit for each day in a Ziploc bag and toss them into a basket for you little one. She can pick a bag every day and will have a complete outfit while still “picking her own”.
- Tidy up. Start your week with an empty dishwasher, a clean sink, and I’m working on starting my week with a clean desk!
What trips you up during the week? Do you have a child who announces at 9PM that he needs 90 cupcakes at school in the morning? Do you have papers to sign and return? Do you always forget to return the library books on time and now have paid for the new wing with your overdue fines? When you come face to face with these nightmares, jot them down in your planner and when you sit down next Sunday, be proactive and address the problem areas. Make them part of your weekly routine! Create a checklist if you have to and tweak it as needed.