Everyone has their own ritual about planning – where, how, with which tools, eating what. If you’ve ever taken the Gallup StrengthsFinder, you’ll be familiar with their 34 “Strengths”. Everyone has a Top 5 unique to them. No one should be surprised that I have strengths of Arranger (can hold many ideas and threads at one time), Futuristic (sees what needs to be done for the future), and Input (gathering information). It shows up in my planning all the time – and here’s an example of how.
Beginning January of this year, my husband and I instituted a Sunday Meeting, a 10,000 foot view, to save us time coordinating, energy coming up with meals mid-week, and trips to the grocery store. It honestly has transformed our lives! Here’s our process.
1. Google Calendar. Since I started using it in 2008, my entire life went into it. The best feature is the calendar sharing – my husband and I can see each other’s events and our family plans. If I know that he’s going to happy hour one night, I can schedule something at the same time.
2. We start by comparing schedules – based on what we had going on over the week, we coordinate transportation to and from work since we carpool. If we have a weekend at the cabin coming up, we can make sure we have food ready and cleaning done, meaning we can put our errands in accordingly. Then we decide when to go to the gym – this is key!!
3. After all that, we can see what meals aren’t covered and we can decide what to make for the week. This takes some creativity by taking stock of what we have, what we’re in the mood for, and some Pinterest searching. This has helped us save money on lunches out at work, reduce our food waste, and the energy it takes to come up with a menu when we’re exhausted after work. We save the links on our Google Calendar so we can always refer to them later if we loved them. From the recipes, we make one smart grocery trip instead of the 2-3 we used to make. (We used to spend SO MUCH TIME going to the store – ugh)
We’ve only been doing this for 7 months but on weeks we don’t do it (the weeks around vacation, for example) we feel lost. It sounds like a lot of work but it is NOT a killjoy – it creates more time to do what we want to do, to relax during the week, and save money in different ways. We feel like a team going into the week which feels awesome.
4. My weekly. As I plan for my week, I go off of our Sunday Meeting. This is the 5,000 feet view where my major things go into the planner and then my daily tasks are created based on these events. Then, first thing every morning I look at the appointments on my calendar and decide what my priorities are for the day. I don’t have a ton of room in each day’s box, which forces me to prioritize what I need to do each day.
I would recommend this to ANYONE – does anyone else do this? (Okay, I’ll be honest, we don’t always make it to the gym. But more so than we used to!)