Planning for Productivity

by Journals to Freedom October 15, 2020 5 min read

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By now, we’ve all learned that our social media feeds are really just highlight reels. BUT there are some people who just seem to have it more together than others. 

Have you ever wondered how other people do it? How are they able to juggle mom life, homeschool, run a successful business, cook nutritional meals, have their social life, AND keep their house clean!?! 

I’m sure some people have help, and I’m the first to say that if you can swing it, get that help! There is nothing wrong with having someone help with babysitting, help with laundry, or even pay for a weekly meal delivery subscription to make things easier for you. 

However, if you’re looking to get the most out of your day to day life, looking to establish healthier habits, or in need of mapping out your holiday season planning is key. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your days, your weeks, your months, or even your years… (anyone else start singing there?) 

Plan Your Year

The first thing you want to do is plan out your yearly events. This is a great thing to do the first week of the year. Things like birthdays, special holidays, anniversaries, or any other known events like family vacations, school calendar events or days off, etc get marked down on your monthly calendar for the entire year. Getting these down on paper first will help you see where you can fit in other events and activities. 

You can print out these monthly calendars and get a head start on 2021 now!

Plan Your Months

Using your same monthly calendar printouts, the next step to planning to be more productive is to plan your months out. You can do this month by month, but I recommend doing this quarterly. In the next 90 days think about things you want to do, what goals you have, and what you want to accomplish. This is great to do for business goals, fitness goals, household projects, or anything else you’d like to see progress in.  

If there’s a holiday coming up during this quarter, make a list of all the festive activities you’d like to do and schedule them into your monthly calendar. This is especially helpful in the last 90 days of the year! With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, planning things out really helps you keep the joy of it all and have less feelings of stress and anxiety. It also makes it easy for you to say no to things that aren’t planned or pre-scheduled. 

Plan Your Weeks

This is a great habit to get into. Every Sunday (or whatever day you designate to being the end of your week) take some time to map out the week ahead. You can use these weekly planner printables to help! Do your kids have any practices, games, rehearsals, or performances? Does anyone in the family have any appointments? Are there any special events going on for their school? What about family activities, birthdays, etc? Knowing these ahead of time makes it easy to figure out your to-dos, meal plan, and organize drop offs and pickups. 

Is there anything else you want to accomplish this week for yourself, your household, or your business? Now’s the time to do a brain dumb. Make a list of everything you wish to get done and tackle this week. Write it all out. Go through that list and decide what tasks you will do, what tasks other members of your household will do, and what tasks you can delegate to other people or services. Whatever is on the list is what you’ll use to pull from for your to-dos throughout the week.

Don’t worry about getting every detail of every day marked down. Leave plenty of white space to fill in those unexpected daily lists of things that might come up throughout the week. But planning my week’s basic list of to-dos allows me to be prepared for the busy schedule to come. 

It also helps me plan out our meals and our grocery list for the week using a printed grocery list. I hate going to the grocery store multiple times a week! By planning out or meals, it allows me to only go to the store one time, forces us to eat a bit more healthy, AND helps us stick to a budget! 

Plan Your Days

The last thing I like to do is plan out my days using my daily planner sheet. This doesn’t take much time at all when you’re planning your week at a glance. But here’s where you can get down and dirty with your daily to-do list. 

One thing to remember is to not add too much to your plate each day. Think about what is most important for you to accomplish for today. Keep your list of to-dos to around 5 or 6 things. Anything more will seem overwhelming. Look at your dump list and add some of those tasks to your list. 

Take your list of to-dos and plug them into time blocks. What needs to happen in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening today? Plug in time-specific things first, then add the other things from your list to your day where you can fit them in. Remember not to add so many things to your schedule that it’s unrealistic to get it all done or you’re working so hard every minute of every day. It’s ok to have some white space in your schedule to regroup, decompress, or just relax and do nothing. Even with only crossing off 5 things from your dump list each day, that’s still 25 tasks crossed off your list in a week!

A little planning goes a long way

There’s not really a right or wrong way to do it. Bottom line is to make a plan, and then work your plan. Where it doesn’t work is when you spend all this time and effort planning and then you don’t put it into practice. Leave yourself some “white space” to help with those unforeseen things that may come up, and to allow you some downtime so you don’t feel so overwhelmed when trying to follow your plan. 

Remember, you don’t want to over-plan every little minute of every day. Too many things might cause you to shut down or feel unsuccessful before you even got started. And don’t forget, you don’t have to do everything yourself. It’s ok to ask for help and get it! 

If you love to plan, be sure to share your ideas with us over on Instagram @JournalsToFreedom. I’d love to connect! 

Journals to Freedom
Journals to Freedom


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