Prevent weekly overwhelm

Organising is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. ~ A.A. Milne


I’m going to start by putting up my hand and confessing loud and proud … I used to colour code my son's lego, I have a drawer for pens and a drawer for pencils, planning my meals for the week brings me immense joy and thankfully Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” made all of these habits seem totally normal! Hat tip to you Ms Kondo.

I like to be organised, actually I like to feel organised and it is the feel of being organised that helps my week flow in a manageable way. I see no point in wasting energy and time each day thinking about what to have for dinner, what appointments I have and where I have a ferry everyone in my life to. While I’m on it, I love waking up to a tidy home, I like knowing that each sock has a partner and I smile walking out the door knowing I am ready for the day ahead. I know this all sounds really boring (actually those of you who are my kindred spirits right now are virtually high-fiving me) but when I don’t have to think about the little things, the big important things, like spending time with my children, catching up with friends and enjoying conversation with my husband is doable. The planning of the small things seem less like chores and more about creating space for the good stuff.

Being organised and planning your week doesn't have to be boring. You could open up the pantry take a big sigh, feel overwhelmed and walk away, only to then need to head to the shops every afternoon and waste time, money and energy. Or you could have your favourite recipe book or website open, stationery ready on the bench, shopping app open, a cup of tea (or wine whichever helps), put on some tunes and then meal planning and organising the week ahead turns into 30 minutes of me-time.

We have all sent our kids to school with a museli bar for lunch or gave money for a lunch order, as they are walking out the door so there is no judgement here. Being organised is really the key to ensuring the week flows smoothly. The reason busy people can do so much is that they are super organised and by being organised we cease to be reactive and become proactive. We can deal with the unexpected when we are planned in advance.

Getting organised is easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time; in fact, it saves time in the long run. If you want to become organised, make the process as simple as possible. Here are a couple of ideas that might help your week find flow;

  1. On Saturday plan your meals for the coming week.

Use a meal planning app or grab a pen and paper and write down what you will eat each night, from Sunday through to the following Saturday. Share meal planning among the family by creating a cooking roster, ask your family their meal suggestions, and give yourself permission to have a night off every now and again. If you are the sole chef in the household, cook in batches so you can use a base in more than one meal during the week. It isn’t cheating; it’s being resourceful and using your time well!

2. Write down your shopping list.

Be sure to include everything you’ll need to make the meals in your plan, plus staples for breakfast, school lunches and healthy snacks you can take with you to work. Most stores have shopping apps that can help you plan ahead. They are a great tool to keep you focused on the necessities and will even remind you to restock your staples, saving you time at your next shop.

3. Shop for groceries on the weekend.

Shopping for food may feel like a waste of precious relaxation time, but the weekend is the best time to get the food you need for the week ahead. A general weekend shop saves time spent on those unnecessary daily trips to the shops during the week. If your weekends are fully taken up with racing between weekend sports and other events, another good time to shop is just before the weekend. Of course, if you love online shopping there are plenty of ways to have your groceries delivered to your door. Just remember, you’ll really want a weekend delivery.

4. Spend an hour or two doing a cook-up.

This is one of the hidden secrets of the super organised. With a refrigerator and pantry stocked full of food and a meal plan stuck on the fridge door, a big time saver is spending an hour or two on the weekend chopping up the veggies and meat for meals and bagging up healthy snacks for on-the-run snacks. Don’t forget to create a motivating environment with your fav music playing, maybe a glass of vino and dance around that kitchen like you own it!

5. Plan your week on Sunday night.

Again, I know it might feel as though you are cutting into your weekend, but in reality, it is not very time-consuming and you’ll become quicker each week. Take a look at your work week and your personal and family calendar. What do you have on? Do you need to arrange a babysitter for Friday night? Do you need to get to work early on Wednesday? Do you need to be home early to get to the board meeting? These can all add to the overwhelm of the week. Carefully

planning for them in advance will help you start the week feeling prepared and in control so you are better able to respond to any unexpected developments.

When you are organised you feel in control, so take the time to plan your week and you will have the energy to get through it and time to do the things that are important to you.