As a busy mom, it can be frustrating trying to find time to get everything done. Often times it can feel like hours in the day passes without us even realizing. Before long it can feel like our to-do list is out of control.
Forgetting to Get Things Done
More than once I have found myself in the following situation:
It is the middle of the night, I should be sleeping. Instead, I find myself going over a list of things I meant to do either that day or even a week ago but somehow never got to it.
Somethings are important such as checking up on finances while others are only important to me like keeping a well-maintained email inbox. No matter what these things are, I find myself growing anxious lying in bed due to the simple fact they aren’t done.
Stopping the Cycle of Overwhelming To-Dos
After one too many sleepless nights due to this nonsense, I decided it was time to come up with a realistic solution. I reflected back on the way I handled large scale projects in my previous working life.
When managing large, ongoing projects, we were taught to “check-in” or “touch base” with each component of the project at specific, pre-established times. This ensured that no component of the project was lost or neglected simply due to the sheer magnitude of the project.
Life is a Busy Mom’s Project
When you think about it, what is the biggest, most important project for each of us… it is our life! Everything we do, we do to better the life for ourselves and our families so why shouldn’t the same principles apply?
I decided to create a plan for checking in on each important area or task of my life each week. The plan included checking in on 1-2 areas of life each day at the same time each week.
Life’s Important Check-in Areas
As a mom one our biggest projects is our life. We are constantly managing multiple areas for multiple people. Applying the project management idea fits perfectly for us busy moms.
In my world the areas or tasks that I “check-in” with each week include the following:
This includes paying any due bills, updating our ledgers and handling any necessary banking transfers.
2. Goal assessment or “tending”
My life changed when I started using the Lara Casey Power Sheets several years ago. Read more here about my thoughts and use of these sheets.
I like to check in with my goals once a week to see if I am where I want to be.
3. Email clean up
I try to get to my emails at least once every day to make sure I am returning important ones, but it doesn’t always happen.
Between my personal and work emails, I often find myself with spam and other junky emails that need to be managed. I like to sort through emails to make sure I am unsubscribed from unnecessary things and have deleted old no-longer-needed emails.
As the week goes on, between mail, work papers and school papers a pile often develops in our command center.
Each week I address this pile making sure to file away the important stuff and recycle or shred the rest.
5. Weekly calendar
Getting ahead of the week is paramount when it comes to staying on top of things. I like to go over what the week holds: appointments, goals, to-dos, etc.
6. Meal Planning and Shopping list-making
The family needs to eat and if I don’t take the time to plan our meals and shopping lists, it can all become overwhelming.
Most of these tasks take no more than 20 minutes to complete and by staying upon them they occasionally take even less time.
My Weekly Check-in Plan
Here is a glimpse at what my weekly check-in plan to address each of the areas listed above.
- Sunday-Weekly Calendar: The hubs and I get together for a few minutes every Sunday to review the week ahead. We keep a calendar downstairs as part of our command center and make sure that any appointments, school events, or work schedule changes are added.
- Monday-Financial check-in: My financial check-in includes paying any bills, transferring money, and handling anything to do with our money.
- Tuesday-Goal tending: I like to take some time each week to review my personal goals. I take this time to make sure I am where I need to be in order to achieve my goals.
- Wednesday-Email cleanup: In order to stop my inbox from becoming a giant mess, I take some time to clean up work and personal email boxes.
- Thursday-Meal planning and shopping list creation: Since we usually do our shopping on Fridays, I like to get our meal plan and shopping list completed on Thursdays.
- Friday-Paperwork: Fridays are all about tackling any piles of paperwork that have accumulated throughout the week.
Creating Your Own Weekly Check-in Plan
If you are wanting to find a way to get on top of your own to-do’s each week, try setting up your own weekly check-in plan using the following steps.
1. Create your own list of check-in points
Take a few minutes to sit down and decide what areas in your own life could use a weekly check-in. What are areas in your life that you feel keep going unattended or get lost in the shuffle?
2. Determine the days to check-in on each area
What days would work best for you to check-in on each area? Consider things like when you grocery shop or what days you have the largest chunk of free time.
Use the days that you have more available free time to tackle check-in points that may be larger.
3. Complete the Busy Mom’s Weekly Check-in Plan
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Use this handout to write out your plan and keep it posted somewhere handy so you can check-in easily.
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