Try Planning Ahead

Before I got married I ran a small clothing store. A lot of what I learned by running this store I applied to my home in raising 5 children. Our kidsHere are our precious children at Chris and Ashley’s wedding.

In the home I planned my menus a week at a time, I had regular laundry days, every night we had a pick-up time, etc.
In the store I scheduled my employees a month ahead, I purchased fall clothing in January, we cleaned the store each night at a certain time, etc.

Running a business or managing a home is all about planning ahead.

I think we all know this but do we do it?! No!

We know that when we plan ahead life goes much more smoothly so why don’t we? I think that we forget and it seems easier to be reactive than proactive. But that is when trouble starts.

It’s very easy to make planing ahead part of your life. Pick a day and a time each week that you’re going to spend 15-20 minutes planning your week. It really is that simple. Don’t make it any harder than that!

Let’s say you pick Sunday at 5 pm (the time is just a guideline – it’s ok if it ends up being 5:30 some weeks!). At your designated time do these steps:

  1. If music motivates you play your favorite music and go to a spot in your home that is very comfortable. If you’re doing this for your business the same steps apply but your planning time may be Monday at 8 am, for example.
  2. Take out your day planner or print out your computer calendar for the week. Look at the appointments that are on the calendar already. Do they still make sense? Are there any you want to delete/reschedule?
  3. Ask yourself “What would an ideal week look like for me?” How much personal time, marketing time, quiet time, family time, errands, e-mail time, etc. would there be? This is your chance to make your ideal week happen. Schedule appointments for those items in your calendar. You know as well as I do that if you don’t schedule them they are not going to happen. This is why at the end of most weeks you feel like you haven’t progressed much from the week before.
  4. Look over your goals. What action steps toward your goals can you put in your calendar as appointments?
  5. Plan your meals for the week and get the groceries now so you are all set. Use my great Grocery List/Menu Planner form. You’re going to feel like a new person when you know what is for dinner every day! And you will eat healthier.
  6. As you plan your appointments think about what is your most productive time of the day. If it’s in the morning then plan your ‘harder’ tasks for the morning.
  7. Ok, this is key! Keep the appointments. It will be very easy to push some of these aside as they are usually appointments with yourself and no one will know if you keep it or not. But you will know!
  8. Be ready to be amazed at how much more productive you are and how much calmer you feel. This works!

3 Responses to Try Planning Ahead

  1. Beverly says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I just wanted to tell you that I love your newsletter. It is so motivating and encouraging. Thank you so much!

  2. Elizabeth, it was a pleasure meeting you at the NRWA conference! I enjoyed your speech and look forward to additional tips in your newsletter and blog.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, Charlotte and Beverly!

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