I feel like at this point most of my posts should start with “Hi! I’m Davida and I’m a Virgo”. Planning and organizing comes naturally to me. I love a good to-do list and google cal is my best friend. And for the most part, it’s a real asset for me. Things tend to get done in a timely manner and with a decent amount of efficiency. But I recently found myself coming back to what oftentimes feels like an endless struggle: will my to-do list every be done? I love the quote “if you want to make God laugh just tell him your plans” – whether you believe in God or not, the statement is true – because no matter how much you plan or organize your life you will not suddenly be given control over it. Trust me…I’ve tried.
I’ve spent the better part of 30 years using my planning and organization skills to my benefit but I’ve come to realize that I probably won’t ever feel like I’ve gotten everything done. The to-do list doesn’t all of a sudden get completed and you can finally sit back and enjoy your life. *can you hear God laughing?!* The list of things to do will always be there – the real question becomes “how do I actually want to live my life?”
We’ve all seen it… tips for meal planning, scheduling in your workouts, your “you time”, etc. But what if you looked at your week from a different perspective? As a follow up to setting boundaries around technology, I wanted to share a new way to map out your week. You know those dreams you never quite have time for? Or how you wonder anyone is creative anymore? What if instead of thinking you didn’t have enough time in the week, you realized your actual priorities and made time for them? What if you judged yourself not on how much you get done but on how well you’re living by your values? It would be great if we didn’t judge ourselves at all but hey! baby steps. Let’s get into it…
How to Plan Your Week
1. What are your priorities right now?
What things are making you excited right now? What sets your soul on fire? What do you continuously think, “I really want to make more time for ____.”?
I want you to do a little soul searching to find your answer but here are some ideas to get you started:
- creativity – painting, sewing, knitting, drawing, handlettering, etc.
- house decor
- being a good friend
- spending time outside
2. Look at your week and note when you have no plans.
(Side note: if you have zero nights in your week with no plans… you might want to ask yourself why you have so many social plans – maybe that’s a primary value of yours but if it isn’t time to make changes!)
Instead of sitting on the couch and bingeing on Netflix, plan to make a move on one of your passions. When I look at my week and realize that Monday and Wednesday nights are wide open, I’ll pencil in a goal for one or both of those evenings. Small, practical goals. I’m going to read this book. I’m going to work on my puzzle. I’m going to plan out decorations for this room.
What I’ve found is that if I think I have no time to do anything I love I’m usually prioritizing Netflix and chilling or email checking or social media scrolling over these passions. Now to be fair, I love me so Monday night Bachelor and I’m not anti-TV watching but if you have a sense that you’re not getting to any of those other things that matter to you it might be time to start scheduling them in as a priority.
3. Follow through!
You actually have to do the things you want to do! Easier said than done -I know -but once you’ve identified what the things are and penciled them in, it’s now time to follow through. One thing I’ve found is that when I plan my entire day around productivity and “getting everything done” I’m generally too exhausted to do anything else at the end of the day. Instead if I can strike a balance between work, life tasks and value-driven passions I generally feel much better. You just simply have to evaluate your life through the lens of what matters to you and not work = worth aka I conquered my entire to-do list and therefore I am enough. <– sorry folks! Doesn’t work that way. You gotta make time for the things that matter to you – life won’t just make time for you.
When I finally got off the merry-go-round of my never-ending to-do list I started to see where I kept going wrong. I really did believe that there would come a day when I’d finally feel accomplished and be able to make time for all the things I want to do and matter to me. Don’t get me wrong, life is busy and we all have tasks we have to do but I was constantly judging myself on how many of those things I could get through and when I couldn’t (because you never can) I would be way too hard on myself. I now start my weeks by asking myself “what are my values this week?” or “what passions do I want to explore this week?”. At the end of the week I feel a sense of accomplishment when I carve out time for these tasks. No, I may not have gotten all the laundry done, paid the parking ticket or returned that product that’s been sitting in my front hall for weeks BUT I had a great chat with a friend and took a long hike with my dog in nature.
There is no perfect balance so it’s important to look at it as a week-by-week thing. Our values and priorities shift so allow them to shift with your schedule. Sit down Sunday night or Monday morning and ask yourself “what am I passionate about this week”. Look at your schedule and see where you have time and pencil it in then DO THE DAMN THING! Hope this can be helpful to you!
Like this post? Here are a few others you might enjoy:
- The Art of Saying No
- Healthy Adult Friendships
- Got the Winter Blues? Here’s How to Kick it This Year
- How to Find a Therapist That is the Right Fit For You
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