In order to prepare for the upcoming week, I curated a list of “to-do’s” that I commit to preface a productive and successful week. Working as a night shift nurse, it is really vital for me to schedule my priorities and tasks before the week starts. My “weekend” days do vary week to week depending on my work schedule, so my planning days tend to be between Sundays or Tuesdays. All in all, no matter what day you decide, create a time frame that covers a span of seven days.
My typical routine looks like this:
1. Wake up and Stretch
My weekly planning day is also my rest day from exercise, so I make it a priority to stretch when I wake up to decrease the soreness I acquired from the week.
2. Eat a meal, hydrate, and journal goals for the week
I commit to drinking at least 20oz of water and eating a small meal when I wake up. While I eat, I get out my journal and write down four goals for the upcoming week. It puts into perspective what I want to accomplish in the next week.
3. Get my planner and block out work times, exercise times, plans with family and friends, and tasks that assist in reaching my weekly goals
Whether your planner is written down or virtual, block out the times needed for work, exercise, plans, and tasks. It creates a visual representation of how your week will look and also reveal what times you are actually available. I even time block my commute to work!
4. Plan meals for week
On the notes section of my planner, I plan my meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I prioritize my meals for work and research healthy recipes I want to try for off days. After each meal, I write down the ingredients I need and either go to the grocery store and prep or plan a day in the week to shop and meal prep.
5. Budget the week
Now that I have my week planned out, I budget the days of the week. For example, if I have a dinner with friends planned, I create a budget of how much I can spend for that dinner. Or if I know I need gas for my car that week, I log that in my planner. I create a weekly spending goal each week and make sure I keep within that budget.
6. Meal prep
I devote an hour or two to meal prep my meals if time allows. I usually meal prep three days worth of food because I get tired of meals easily, and I need variety to reach my fitness goals.
7. Relax and spend time with loved ones.
Now that all the planning is done, I spend the rest of the time with loved ones and relaxing to prepare for the week. And if it’s Sunday, you know it’s all about preparing for the new Game of Thrones episode.
This is how my routine for weekly planning looks like. It takes about, at most, 4 hours of my day (including meal prep) and it helps me so much with having a great week.