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Have you ever wondered how to “get it all done”? Or if “getting things done” was even possible? I work full-time, I’m a wife and mommy to two very active little boys, and I’m building this blog into a full-time gig. There is never enough time for all the things I want to, but I have had a lot of people ask about my time management systems that help me reach my goals and accomplish all my tasks on the daily.
The thing is, I didn’t always get everything done. I used to be extremely disorganized, a hardcore procrastinator, and okay with just surviving my days. I thought being late or disorganized or constantly behind was fine (even normal) because I was working and had a baby, but I realized the legacy I was teaching my son was just to survive. I decided just surviving wasn’t going to be one of the life lessons I wanted to leave my son, and I could actually accomplish so much more with my life if I just applied a small amount of diligence and time management. Discipline and reaching smart goals are definitely traits I want to teach!
With a little big of planning, I’ve figured out how to actually put the tedious parts of life on autopilot to create space for the best moments. I call this weekly practice my “Get Your Sh*t Together” (or GYST day), and it’s become my favorite day of the week!
I realized that the things that took up the most time in my week were small, mundane events I had been avoiding or didn’t plan ahead for during the week. Since Monday is a new work week, Sunday seemed like the best time to GYST.
Between my family, my work, and building this blog, a lot of my time and energy is focused on big things. I tend to procrastinate the shorter tasks during the week (like paying bills, renewing library books, etc). I know they are important and only take a tiny amount of time, but for whatever reason I’m just not as likely to take the time to do them during the week.
The Secret to Getting Things Done
Basic Food Prep
My GYST days start with food, because of course it does. I loooooooove food! And coffee. But you already knew that.
We usually do our grocery shopping on Saturdays, so I start off Sundays with a fully stocked kitchen. I go through all the groceries and create a basic (flexible) meal plan and start to prep some breakfast foods.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I like to have plenty of options ready for me to create a big meal quickly. Typically, my breakfast involves my coffee, a smoothie, and some sort of baked goods. On Sundays I like to do all my baking for the week, so I’ll usually make at least one batch of muffins or breakfast bread (usually either pumpkin or banana, depending on what I have on hand). Once the batter goes in the oven, I clean up the kitchen and will either start a batch of brown rice or throw a few chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.
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The Necessary Computer Work
With the food going in the kitchen and the kitchen cleaned up, I’ll sit down and pay the bills. This only takes a few minutes of focused productivity and takes a huge load off my shoulders. It’s amazing how important financial fitness is to mental health!
Since I’m sitting already, now is the time I pull out my planner and look over the week. Any appointments, social events, and deadlines are reviewed and planned for appropriately. I have a running list of blog topics and networking opportunities going on a page in my planner, and I review those and map out the following week. January was all messed up with illnesses, but thankfully we are getting back on track in February and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s safe to say I love routine and I thrive on checking off my to-do lists!
I also take this time to do any necessary paperwork, or prepare mail to be sent. Any important documents, handwritten notes to friends, or blogging paperwork is prepped and ready to be taken to be sent on Monday.
After all of this is done, it’s time for some self care. When I was single, Sunday used to be my home spa days. Now with two little boys creating chaos over here, usually the best I can do is maybe a bentonite clay mask and filing my nails. If I get really lucky, sometimes I can get my nails painted, but I only risk that if both boys take a nap at the same time. Whatever I do, it’s important that I set aside at least 5 minutes for something just for me. I’ve noticed a direct relationship between how I feel about myself and how I react to stressful situations or interact with my little family. If I feel gross and run-down, I’m not as patient or giving as when I have taken a minute to prepare myself mentally and put myself together, even if it’s only once a week.
Sometimes my biggest incentive for getting things done is those few minutes of pampering.
The best part about GYST days is that they are relaxing while being incredibly productive. The idea is not to start the week in a stressful way with a long list of to-do items, but to calmly prepare for a good week by getting things done quickly, before they have a chance to cause or become problems.
Obviously, the decision of what to include in your GYST day is completely up to you, but I would recommend at least some basic meal preparation and something for self-care. This sets up your week for success immediately.
The benefits of a GYST day are exponentially increased when you are intentional about each day. Developing a healthy time management practice by creating a functional morning routine and an evening routine gives you even more success and space throughout your days to reach whatever goals you are working towards, and will absolutely skyrocket your productivity (and keep you sane through it all)!
Do you have a weekly routine that helps you? Leave me a comment!