Give Yourself Some Serious Plan Love

This post is Day #3 in the 31 Days to a Better Work + Life Balance series. 

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Aghhh Stress!

When I don't have a plan, I hate these questions...

"What's for dinner?"

"Which budget category is this purchase coming out of?" 

"What are we doing tonight?" 

I hate these because I know I haven't thought things through and have to make a last minute decision hoping it's a good one. 

When I'm unprepared/forgetful, I hate these questions...

"Did you wash my ....?" 

"Have you seen my...?"

"Has this bill been paid yet?"

"It's ...'s birthday. Did we send them anything?"

I hate questions like these because I have to drop everything I'm doing and take care of it right now.

Feeling Drained

Some days I feel like all I'm doing is rushing around dealing with these fires that need to be put out. Then I get a break to work on projects and have no creativity/direction. Or I have no energy left for the relationships in my life. This is a really draining and stressful way to live!

About a month ago, I was so DONE. I was sick of not being on top of things and sick of making last minute decisions. I prayed, "Lord, I just can't keep up with all of this. I can never get to the big things I really WANT to get to." Later He revealed this verse to me in my reading...

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
— Prov. 24:27

At first I was super confused, but after looking up some commentaries, I'm pretty sure it means to put things in order, taking care of what we're already in charge of and then we can get planning the big dreams and goals. That way we're prepared and ready. So I made some printables and started having a weekly "Plan Love" hour to plan what I need and take care of what I have on my plate first. 

All Decisions At Once

During this "Plan Love" hour, I make all of the decisions for the week and track down details at one time. I usually do Saturday mornings before much is going on. After these things are decided, I can BREATHE. Here's what I write down... 

Home: Meals for each day of the week, errands/bills/deadlines, birthday gifts and things to pick up at the store. I also double check how much I have left to spend in a few main categories.

Work: Blog posts for each day, design projects to get done, social media overview, newsletter info. I also track basic stats/sales for the business so I know if something needs to change. 

It's amazing how much more progress I'm able to make having direction and a plan. Plus the people in my life feel taken care of because I've thought through their basic needs in advance.

Not a Planner?

Even if you're not big on knowing every detail in advance, I think even just having a theme for each day might help. Like working on blogging Mondays, designs on Tuesdays, photos on Wednesday etc. Or at home saying, Fridays are eat-out nights, Sundays are for leftovers, etc. 

Final tip:

Write it down and pin it to a clipboard! I can't tell you how many times I make a plan and then forget or lose the list. Since using printables with a clipboard, I always have them handy.

Download the printables I use here. You may have to tweak them for your own life but I hope they are helpful to you!