Five Things to Do Now For a More Productive and Happy Week

I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer: this has not been my best week. There are many factors that have made this week less than awesome: a migraine that lingered for 2 days, an ice storm Monday mess, students not being able to do a darn thing because they just had almost two weeks off. Those things are mostly out of my control, though I'm getting those students in line, you better believe it. 

As much as I want to blame my week on things out of my control, there are always things I can control and could have done better. The unexpected snow days and the bitter cold weather made me a Netflix-and-wine zombie for most of the weekend. By the time Sunday night rolled around, I was like, hey, I'll just wing this week. WRONG. Sometimes you can wing, sometimes you really can't. Which is why I'm blogging about how to have a productive week in the middle of the week.

5 Things to Do Now for a More Productive and Happy Week
5 Things to Do For a More Productive and Happy Week

Without a little bit of planning, the week goes right off the rails. There are five things that absolutely have to get done in order to have a more productive and happy week. And the best part is that most of them can be done in the middle of the week too!

Plan your weekly work outfits. 

If you are not a morning person, why make getting ready any harder than it needs to be? That's why planning work outfits for the week is essential. It eliminates the crazy, pull-everything-out-of-my-closet mornings that make me late and exhausted. 

To plan your work outfits for the week: Set out the bottoms, whether it's a skirt, pants, or a dress and then pair up your favorite tops. Go with things that are already clean, instead of hoping you'll get to the laundry at some point. Set aside a spot in your closet or in a drawer or even on that bedroom chair to hold those clothes. Make sure you account for layers and bonus points if you set aside jewelry too. 

Create a meal plan for the week.

Admittedly this is the one I struggle with the most. Like a little kid, I like to eat what I want, when I want it. But planning your meals makes the week so much easier. Not to mention it's also important if you're setting a goal to eat healthier. 

To create a meal plan: choose a few simple recipes and then create a shopping list. I like to assign those recipes to a day, but can make them flexible if need be. If you're single or a family of two, consider meals that use the same protein, as often grocery stores sell packages for families of 3 or 4. I also like to look at what I have planned for the week. Later days at work I like to come home and put together a simple meal like a grilled chicken salad or hamburgers. 

5 Things to Do Now for a More Productive and Happy Week
5 Things to Do Now for a More Productive and Happy Week

Review your week on Sunday night. 

So here's one thing that works best when done on Sunday, but you can obviously always review your week at any point. Every Sunday I like to look at my agenda and my Google calendar and see what I have planned. Reviewing your calendar mentally prepares you for the week ahead and keeps you from getting surprised. Bonus points if you look ahead to the next week and can tackle anything early. 

To put together a plan for your week: Choose a planner that works best for you whether it's with a weekly view or an hourly schedule. Start with whatever is the highest priority/takes most of your time. For me, I always reference the school calendar, if I haven't already put those meetings, etc. into my agenda already. I find it's best to take everything and put it in one place so nothing gets lost!

Choose 1-2 daily tasks you want to get done. 

I'm a big planner who believes she can get everything done when she puts her mind to it. But too many things on my to-do list just makes me stressed and overwhelmed. Then nothing gets done. So instead I choose one or two things I really want to get done that day. It's usually the thing that I want to prioritize for the day, whether it's cleaning or writing a post or organizing my classroom. 

To choose a daily must-do task: again, look at that calendar or agenda! What's the one thing you need to get done so you end the day feeling productive and accomplished? It doesn't always have to be the big ticket item. It's can be as small as taking the books back to the library (instead of always renewing them online once again). 

Plan some time just for you.

One of the things that's essential to having a productive and happy week is to plan some "me" time. Working all the time is not fun; that's why we plan vacations, right? You can have a "vacation" in your busy week by planning some things to look forward to. It will keep you motivated even through the most mundane tasks. Scrubbing the bathroom, anyone?

My favorite ways to spend some down time: set a timer and watch Instagram stories for 10 minutes (honestly the best way to catch up on everyone's day but a timer is necessary), grab a journal and jot down some thoughts, read a book, do some meditation with the Headspace app, and catch up on all the articles I saved to Pocket

What are your favorite ways to get productive, even when you're having an "off" week?