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It’s 5:00pm, your husband is almost home from work and even though you had every intention of having dinner on the table when he walked in the door, life got in the way and you didn’t get to it.
You open up the fridge and stare inside for 5 minutes hoping something will jump off the shelf yelling “cook me!” And then you walk to the pantry and hope an item will magically fall onto the floor inspiring a gourmet meal. But it doesn’t happen. And now you’ve wasted 15 minutes trying to think of what to cook and get nowhere.
So you run to the store to pick something up to make. And then when you get home to finally cook it, it’s late, you and your husband are starving, and you finally get to eat at 8:00 pm.
Does that scenario sound familiar at all? It does to me! We live in a time where we are always on the go. Life moves quickly and so do we. We are often spontaneous and kind of wing it.
Maybe this doesn’t describe you. Maybe you are a planner, and if so, kudos to you!
Granted, planning comes easier for some of us and others of us just love to be spontaneous. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. But when it comes down to it, if we want to be more productive, then planning is a must.
A plan can include anything from asking for your husband’s help to get something done, to thinking of the upcoming week’s meals, to prioritizing your daily tasks and making sure you get the most important ones done first. Regardless of what the plan is, it is important that you actually have one in place.
Here’s a list of what I plan for that makes my life so much easier!
I plan weekly meals
I try to plan at least two week’s worth of meals at a time (two weeks because it’s the time in between paychecks and because I like to go to the grocery as little as possible!). Some people even plan their meals out for an entire month! Planning my meals helps me by
- Saving me time because I have less big shopping trips to do (two times a month with the two week plan). Of course I make a few trips to the store here and there for filler items and perishables, but those trips are rather short and quick. On my big shopping trip I buy anything that will last in the pantry or I can freeze.
- Saves me the trouble and hassle of having to think of meals when it’s time to start cooking.
- Helps prevent us from eating out thus saving us money.
- Helps us eat healthier because I do my best to plan healthy meals.
- Saves me time on cooking because I can prepare meals ahead of time so they’re ready to just throw in the slow cooker or oven.
- I record the meals I plan, which means I have something to go back to for future lunch and dinner ideas.
I plan my grocery shopping trips
Once my meals are planned, it is necessary to think about how I am going to get the food I need to cook the meals. This is important to plan because it
- Saves me money, as I have looked for coupons and through ads to get the best deals possible.
- Saves me money, as I had time to look through my fridge and pantry to be sure I’m not writing anything on my shopping list I already have.
- Saves me time, as I know exactly which stores I’m going to go to ahead of time based on sales ads and because I’m not running to the store daily to pick up groceries.
I plan my budget
Budgeting is so important and is something that seems to be a rare occurrence for many people these days. It took me awhile to get into the habit of creating a monthly budget but now I actually enjoy it. It makes me feel a lot more confident about my finances. Having a budget is important because
- I take ownership of my money since every penny I have coming in has a place to go – there is nothing leftover just hanging around tempting me to spend.
- It helps me save money because I determine how much I am going to spend and on what (after I pay bills and debt).
- It helps me have an understanding of exactly what kinds of things I am spending (wasting?) my money on.
I plan my cleaning
Many of us wait to clean until we can physically see something is messy or dirty. But this is not the way to be productive. I like to have a cleaning plan in place, such as knowing what I am going to clean each day of the week before the week even begins. This helps me by
- Preventing anything from getting so dirty it’s difficult to clean.
- It gets rid of all the “unseen” germs and dirt in my house.
- Keeps me from being so overwhelmed by having to clean a whole house at one time since I do a little each day.
- Helps me be more productive in other areas, as a messy and cluttered house can be very distracting and overwhelming.
I plan my exercise
If I don’t plan time to exercise, I’m most likely not going to do it. Since I like to do my hardest and most critically thinking tasks first thing in the morning, I would rather plan to work out in the evenings. Some people like to wake up and head right to the gym. Others wear workout clothes all day in order to exercise whenever there is a free moment. The point is to have some sort of plan and stick to it!
I plan quality time with friends and family
Here at Living Free With Amy T, we try to help people be more productive and have their finances in order so they can find the time to spend with friends and family and do what really matters to them. No matter what, don’t get so busy with all you need to get done that you run out of time for the important people in your life.
I plan devotions/meditation
I love to spend time in scripture daily and I know if I don’t plan for it, it’s most likely not going to happen. Make a plan for however you like to spend quiet time to calm your mind, focus on yourself, and find your inner peace.
Having plans in place is so important for us to be more productive. Without them, we are more stressed and don’t use our time as wisely as we could.
The few minutes it takes to plan something can save us so much time and energy down the road!
What kinds of things do you plan for that aren’t on this list? I would love to read them in the comments below 🙂
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