For the past few months, I have been using a big part of my Sunday for what I like to call “Weekly Prep.” I take a couple of hours and basically dedicate myself to making sure I have a better, more prepared week. Today, I decided that I should share this routine with you because I’m kind of obsessed with it.
I start most days with a To-Do list. Especially weekend days, when I have a lot to get done in only so many hours, and want to make sure that I don’t just fall victim to yet another Law and Order Binge-a-Thon. On Sundays, the list always includes these 10 tasks:
Plan Your Week
I like to start out by sitting down with my planner and going over what I have coming up over the next week. I can remind myself of deadlines and due dates, I lay out my schedule, and I create to-do lists for each day, to make sure that I’m getting things done in a timely fashion.
Plan Your Meals
On Sundays, I sit down with my “What to Eat” pad and all of the blog recipes that I’ve bookmarked over the week, and I decide what Josh and I will be making for dinner for the next 7 days. There are some days when I get home too late to cook, and Josh is in charge. So our weekly “menu” is always a mix of quick, easy fixes and some more involved dishes. I like to also make sure I have a few options for breakfasts and lunches as well, and there is a little spot for that on my trusty pad.
Clean Your Fridge
I clean out my fridge every single week. No need to wait for something to get really moldy and gross. If you stay on top of it, it usually only takes a couple minutes, and then I have a better sense of what I need for my week of meals. This goes for shelves/pantry also – clean it out!!
Plan Your Groceries
Whether you shop for food on Sundays or not, making a grocery list once you’ve made your meal plan is absolutely key. This way you don’t buy anything you don’t have a plan for, and you waste less money on food that will go unused. Cleaning out the fridge first is important because you may think you have enough chicken stock for that soup recipe, but perhaps the container only has 1 cup left in it. Realizing I don’t have enough of something for a particular recipe while I’m in the middle of making it is literally my least favorite situation. Josh hates it too, as I’ve been known to send him out three separate times for one meal. (This only happened once, but we are both still scarred by the experience). We especially like creating a list in the “Reminders” app on the iPhone and sharing it. This way, if one of us has time to go to the grocery store, we always have access to the list.
I don’t do a ton of meal prep, but sometimes I will make brown rice or quinoa or chop up some veggies for the week on a Sunday. If you are short on time during the week, this can be a major help, and people really swear by it. If I am doing meal prep, I like to also prepare some breakfasts and lunches for me and Josh at the same time. Putting together all of the ingredients for a single smoothie (in the Magic Bullet cup), for example, can be a huge time saver. I also like to use the grains (rice, quinoa, bulgar, etc.) as a base for eggs in the morning.
Clean Your Space
Even if you don’t have time to do a full deep clean (I rarely do, and wouldn’t recommend this for a Sunday evening), taking out the trash and wiping down counters and mirrors can make a huge difference.
Change Your Sheets
Nothing says “fresh” like clean sheets!
Clean Your Clothes
Josh and I send our laundry out because we have negative time for such things. So I sort the laundry into delicates, whites, and colors for our service every other Sunday.
Plan Your Outfits
Whether or not your clothes are clean, the best, literally most useful thing I do on Sundays is select a variety of outfits for the week. I put everything together – including jewelry, tights, other accessories – so that it is a simple grab-and-go situation on any given morning. I pick out more than 5, just in case I’m not in the mood for something, and just roll over the unworn outfits to the next week. This helps me wear everything in my closet (or decide to get rid of things), and truly cuts down on a variety of issues on weekday mornings. I also plan gym outfits. I place them in my closet in a pile, but if you have a gym bag that can accommodate 3-5 outfits, placing them in there for the week is a great idea as well.
Prepare Your Bag
Nothing is worse than forgetting something super important on Monday because you were late running out the door. This happens to me
every day a lot. I am notorious for forgetting things, from the mundane (my keys) to the semi-critical (laptop) to the absurd (my bag altogether – it’s happened, folks). So I like to put everything in my bag on Sunday night. If there is something I will need at the office later in the week, I just throw it in my bag on Sunday because chances are, I won’t remember it for that day anyway. Everything is so much easier on Monday morning when you can just pick up your bag and go, not worrying if you remembered to say, shove some extra tampons in there.
Once you’ve done all of these things, chances are you will have a much smoother week. Imagine all of the things you can get done when you don’t have to waste any brain power on deciding what to wear, what’s for dinner, and where you left that piece of paper with the notes from last Thursday’s meeting!!
Let me know how you prepare yourself for the week!