Armed with an obsessive love of color-coding and all things related to organization, I’m on a mission to help you maximize efficiency in your business and life so you can spend time on what matters most to you.
Equally right and left-brained, I’m that unique business owner who can think like a creative, but act like an administrator. This blog is where you’ll see me bring that dual-brained magic to life, taking the left-brain side of life and breaking it down for your right-brained self.
When it comes to making things happen, preparation is the name of the game. While you can still get things done when you’re flying by the seat of your pants, things are far more likely to go smoothly and you’re far more likely to accomplish the things you want, if you make a plan and prepare in advance.
I’ve written before about how I plan for each week, but prepping for the new week is a whole different story.
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Just like weekly planning, when it comes to weekly prep you’ll hear all kinds of advice about how to do it and when is the best time for you to do it.
My business bestie Alexandra does her planning and prep together and recommends doing it all on Sundays, and she’s got some pretty solid reasons behind that recommendation. Other people recommend doing it on Friday afternoons and pretty much everywhere in between.
I used to be in the Sunday camp, but that all changed in 2019.
If you’ve read about how I plan for each week, then you already know I map out a general plan for my days, my task list for the week, and make note of any appointments and meetings on Friday afternoons, before I close out of the office for the week. Most of this is related to work and ensuring things go smoothly in my business during the coming week.
In addition to planning for the week, I also have a weekly prep list I walk through before the week gets going. This list is mostly personal things like grocery shopping, meal prepping, and doing laundry that, when done before the week really gets going ultimately make business and personal life much smoother.
All of this — the planning and the prep — used to happen on Sundays, but in 2019, I started doing my planning on Fridays and moved my prep to Mondays… and here’s why.
Here’s the reality about any kind of system: it’s only effective if you actually use it.
It doesn’t matter how pretty it looks on paper, how much logical sense it makes, a system is not going to be effective if you don’t use it.
As much sense as Sunday planning + prep made and as lovely as my checklist in Trello was… I consistently put it off on Sundays. I would usually make the planning part happen (but often in a begrudging manner) at some point before I went to bed on Sunday, purely because I knew I’d be stressed if I didn’t, but it felt like a chore.
And it was extremely rare that the rest of the prep for the week actually happened, which meant I’d inevitably be stressed at random points throughout the week because I hadn’t done laundry or I’d eat terribly yet again because I hadn’t gone grocery shopping or meal prepped.
As much sense as the system made on paper, it didn’t work in reality, which meant it needed to change.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like mornings. And when I say I don’t like mornings, I mean my alarm doesn’t even go off until 8am, and I still struggle not to hit snooze.
This is even more of a struggle on Monday mornings, because even though I love my business and the work I do… it’s often a struggle to shift out of weekend mode and back into productivity mode for the week.
For this reason, I’ve always waited to start my workday on Monday until noon, but even then sometimes struggle to really get in the zone when I first got started.
Shifting my weekly prep to Monday mornings allows me to ease into the day by starting off with simple tasks like throwing laundry into the washer, doing the dishes, and vacuuming my apartment and it allows me to ease into the week by beginning a slow shift from rest mode into work mode without requiring my brain to be at full speed right away.
Spending the first couple hours of my day and week prepping in this way means that when I sit down at my desk, I’m primed and ready to be productive.
This is perhaps the biggest benefit and primary reason for shifting my weekly prep to Monday mornings, instead of trying to squeeze it in sometime on Sunday.
I don’t know what your Sundays look like, but mine tend to be pretty busy.
I’m usually at church from either 8 or 9:30am until about 12:30pm, and that’s usually followed by lunch with family or a group of friends. Depending on the week, lunch can be done as early as 2pm or we can be talking around the table until 4pm… you really never know!
In certain seasons, I may have a rehearsal or meeting for something from 3-5pm and then at 5:15pm, I’m back at church for our evening service.
By the time that’s all wrapped up, I typically don’t get home until 7:30pm after what has usually been a life-giving, but super full day. And after a day like that, all I want to do on Sunday evening is curl up with a book or Netflix and eat dinner before kicking off my evening routine and heading to bed.
The last thing I want to be doing is planning for the week or feeling like I need to do laundry, grocery shop, or meal prep.
Moving my weekly prep to Monday mornings, when my friends and family are all starting their own work weeks, allows me to be fully present through every aspect of my Sunday, not worrying about whether or not I’ll have enough time to get to the grocery store before it closes or if my sheets will be dry in time for me to make the bed before I’m ready to climb in it.
It allows me to use the pockets of free time I do have on Sundays, like the afternoons following lunch or the couple of hours following evening service, to rest and relax, rather than feeling like I have to be productive and get a whole checklist of things done.
The reality is, weekly prep is a super personal thing that is going to depend on a lot of factors including personality, schedule, lifestyle, and season of life.
There may well be another season of life where weekly prep gets moved back to Sunday because Monday mornings are filled with something else, but in 2019, weekly prep happens Monday mornings and it’s just the best.
Do you have any kind of weekly planning and/or prep routine? Do you do them together or separately? How do they fit into your overall lifestyle? I’d love to hear!
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