How A Working Mum of 3 (Soon To Be 4) Plans Her Week
One of the things I do at the end of EVERY week (either Saturday or Sunday) is weekly planning for the coming week. I am now into my fourth year of this way of weekly planning. This planning system works! It is quick, most weeks fun and I have found it so easy to be consistent with.
There are two parts to it; writing a memories/ thankful list for the past week and reviewing my weekly to do list and re-writing a new to do list for the coming week. I really think it wouldn’t work so well without both parts.
What kind of weekly planner do I use?
I use a generic cheap-o diary or planner with a colourful cover I like (No black or navy thanks!). Though it has to have one day to a page. Not always easy to find!
The one I have used this past year has a combined Saturday/ Sunday page. I use the Friday page for reflection and the combined page for my to do list. Yes, I definitely prefer paper and pen planner to a digital planner. What is your preference?
I have to say, my weekly planning habit is not only a sanity saver, but I also enjoy the process of reviewing my past week, doing a brain dump to do list and working out what my top priority tasks are. Read on to find out how I use weekly planning to make my life easier!
This page to a day 2022 diary below is really cute!
How long does my weekly planning take?
Weekly planning happens for me sometime during my weekend. If I am not interrupted by kids, activities, meals and whatever else, the whole process probably takes between 10 to 20 minutes.
How do I plan my week?
1. Write A Memories/ Gratitude List
I start with reviewing the past week. Forget productivity, life feels more meaningful when we take time to think about the enjoyable things that have happened.
The first thing I do is write a list of what was memorable and/or what I am thankful for about the past week. I usually keeping writing until I fill the page! It is not a productivity list! It is simply a record of what happened in the past 7 days.
My list might include comments about:
- The weather (I still can’t get over how we can have hot weather and very cold weather in one week here in Perth)
- Things that have happened with my kids or funny things that kids have said or done.
- Books I have read.
- Friends or family I have had contact with.
- Answers to prayer.
- Things I have done or we have done as a family.
- How I have been doing health wise.
2. Write A Weekly To Do List
I keep it really simple by simply looking back at the past week’s to do list, crossing off anything that’s been completed and transferring unfinished tasks to the current list. Then I add on anything I need to remember to do for the next week.
Underneath, I also write a to buy list which might include gifts, clothing and shoes for kids, household items etc. It’s not a grocery shopping list though. That hangs out on the side of the fridge so everyone can add to it.
This weekly to do list only includes items related to home life and work I do from home. Anything related to my main job is on a work to do list.
Do you use a calendar as well?
I have to confess that I do love pretty planners! Over the years I have tried a family wall calendar, as well as other weekly planners, printed daily to do list pads etc. The wall calendar I barely used.
Instead I find it more useful to keep everything in one place. The current planner or diary I use has a monthly calendar at the back. That’s where I write every commitment, appointment etc for all family members.
This monthly calendar below is so pretty!
It’s a great way of ditching the paperwork that comes into the house. Dates for school events are written straight into the monthly calendar and the paper goes into the bin.
Before I write my weekly to do list I make sure to check the calendar and see what’s ahead for the week or month. Then I add to my to do list anything I need to prepare or do that’s related.
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Weekly Planning Update
I used to include the following sections in my weekly planning:
- Progress toward my goals
- Things I struggled with (This gets included on my memories/ thanks list now)
- Action tasks toward my goals
I don’t even remember why or when I stopped doing that. Over the last few years I have been less concerned with goal setting. Maybe something to do with being busier (working full time and raising 3 kids), going through a season of serious health issues and then an unexpected pregnancy.
Instead I usually have a few projects I am working on, and I keep a separate notebook for jotting notes and planning for those things.
This blank lined notebook is a must have! Love the cat!
I do use my planner though for occasionally writing a to do list for a specific day if there is a lot I want to get done. Usually Saturdays! I just choose one of the pages during that week.
I also use my planner to record progress toward our savings goals, usually every quarter or 6 months. Again I choose a blank page to use.
Wanting to feel more organised and on top of things? I would encourage you to give time for weekly planning. It really doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming!