As I mentioned earlier this week, my weekly routine this year has completely changed due to a new job and some new things going on in my personal life (good things!). Change in routine is a good thing, but it can be hard for people like me who don't quickly adapt to big changes. My goal during the week irrespective of my routine is to do as much around the house during the week so that I can have as much free time on the weekends as possible. It can be hard coming home from work to essentially do adult "homework," but I really value having downtime on the weekends as opposed to spending the entire two days managing and running my house. So here are five little steps that I have incorporated into my new routine this year that have helped me have a little more free time on the weekends...
1. On Sunday night, make a short, workable to-do list for the following week
The last thing I do on Sunday night before I turn the lights out for bed is grab my notebook in my purse and start a fresh to-do list. I think about the things I absolutely NEED to get done - not want to get done. I then list them in order of priority in my notebook. If I listed the things I needed AND wanted to get done, then my list would be too long - which makes me anxious and often makes it much less likely for me to get anything done on the list at all. So I keep it short all while trying to keep in mind that it's ok to not get every single little thing done all in one week. Making this list the night before the start of the work week gets things out of my head (which means I sleep better that night) and gives me fresh perspective on what I need to do the following week.
2. Complete one chore each night
I am one of those people who likes my home to reflect the way I wished my life was 100% of the time - calm, clean, and non-chaotic. Clearly I don't have kids yet... But still, my real life isn't always that way, yet my goal is to make my home as calm and clean as possible - until I have kids. Ha. I do the basic things every day like cleaning the kitchen and keeping things picked up. But each night I try to do one bigger chore around the house. That could be vacuuming, laundry, cleaning out a drawer, cleaning the bathroom, etc. Taking 30 minutes or less out of my weeknight to get something done seems to save me hours on the weekend - a time when I'd rather be doing anything other than cleaning!
3. Keep a rolling grocery list
I keep two notepads in one of my kitchen cabinets. I use one to jot down recipe ideas for the blog. I use the other to keep a rolling grocery list. I am one of those people who grocery shops every week. I like the fresh stuff... :) I am also one of those people who can easily forget that one thing I really needed. So at the start of each week, I start a grocery list that includes the things that I pretty much get every week. When I run out of something in the kitchen while I'm cooking throughout the week or if something pops in my head that I need, I immediately add it to that list. By the time I go to the grocery store during the weekend, I pretty much have a completed list that I can just put in my bag on my way out the door - which equals one less thing I have to think about during the weekend.
4. Just say no
So this is a big one for me. I used to be one of those people who said yes to every dinner or meeting someone asked me to attend during the weeknight. I no longer do that - unless I really want to. My weekdays are solely devoted to my job, so I try devote my weeknights to doing things that I truly want to do and to things that need to get done (i.e. that one chore and/or anything else that can be checked off on that list I made on Sunday night). That doesn't mean I don't have any fun on the weeknights - because trust me I do - especially with my new and improved schedule this year. But I try to keep it down to the things I want to do - as opposed to always doing things just to make someone else happy. That makes for a much happier me and a more balanced schedule.
These are all easier said than done, but I'm trying to stick to it! How do you stay organized during the week???
Image via Domino