I have been working from home for over a year now; 16 months to be exact, which is totally BANANAS when I think about it that way. Because I’m home all the time now, the days can really blend together (I’ve lost track of the day of the week a few times now) and it’s easy to let things slip or be forgotten.
Last year when I first started working from home I was in my glory – I no longer had a bedtime because my alarm wasn’t going off at 4:50am. But over time too much of this newly found relaxed lifestyle started to get less and less productive. For us in Ontario (or any other area where lock downs were in full force) I’m sure we all went through a “couch potato” phase. I know I did! It just felt good to not be in a rush all the time and be able to slow down.
Even if you don’t work from home exclusively, I’ve put together a list of tactics you can use to ensure a productive week. These really helped me out, and I continue to do them so that I’m fully present each day.
Six ways to ensure a productive week
1.Plan your meals for the week ahead
I used to do this every week before the pandemic started, but with the panic shoppers buying up everything and me only heading to the grocery store twice a month, it became more challenging. I’m back to this now and I love it. On Friday nights I go through my recipe books or foodie blogs I follow and put a meal plan together for the week. I try to incorporate a couple new recipes each week to make sure we’re not eating the same thing over and over. I also clean out the fridge and do a quick inventory of the pantry to see what we need to add to the grocery shopping list. Saturdays I head to the grocery store and Sundays I meal prep what I can.
2. Tidy up your home
This doesn’t have to been a deep clean, but over the weekend I always make sure items are put back where they belong. I’ll get out the Dyson and do a quick vacuum and I always make sure my office space is tidy for Monday morning. I always find waking up Monday morning and walking into a clean and tidy living room and kitchen can do wonders and really sets the tone for the rest of the week. Of course, if you really want to (or need to) do a deep clean of certain areas/rooms, go for it!
3. Schedule any “must dos” for the week
I use the Reminders app on my iPhone for this and it’s just to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. If I need to take out chicken from the freezer one night so that it’s thawed for dinner the next, I’ll put a reminder. Maybe you need to buy dog food or gather up the recyclables. This is just to help you stay organized and on top of things.
4. Look for any upcoming appointments on your calendar
Things like dentist appointments, or maybe you booked a service at the salon/spa. Knowing what you have to make time for during the week ahead will help keep you more organized. There’s nothing worse than that reminder call two days before your scheduled appointment that you completely forgot about.
5. Allow yourself time to relax
This is a big one. It’s so important to find time for yourself during the week – even if that means you have to schedule it. We always seem to be in a rush and we deserve to relax. One way I do this is by saying no to certain social events. If my weekly calendar is already full, I know scheduling a night out is going to drain me. Or if work has been incredibly busy and stressful I know I need much more time for myself during the week to recharge and I don’t feel guilty about saying no to house visits from friends or family – it’s just not the best week for it.
6. Go to bed on time
Sleep is so important and forcing yourself to stay up late to finish up that true crime documentary you’re watching or maybe because that’s the only “you” time you get isn’t going to lead to anything good. I don’t have a specific bedtime now because of my work from home situation, but I have a range. Waking up after a good night’s sleep and feeling refreshed will ensure you start your day off on a positive note and you have the energy to tackle the rest of the week.