August 17, 2015

5 Ways to Set Your Week Up for Success

Monday morning seems to come rolling around faster & faster these days. And that can be especially true for those of us in the wedding creative world who also work on Saturday/all weekend. And what that can turn into is a new week that creeps up on you, leaves you unprepared, and always in a place of feeling behind, overwhelmed & playing catch up before the week has even really started. Until it becomes your new pattern, that every Monday morning you find yourself wasting precious hours just trying to figure where to start. That is not a great way to set yourself up to win the week!

But there’s a solution for that.

For the most part, Justin & I take off every Sunday if we’re not shooting a wedding. It’s a time for us to rest, spend time together, do some fun projects around the house, go to church, go to brunch, grill out, walk on the sea wall, watch movies….it’s great! Yesterday for example, we went wine tasting at the Shoreline Wine Festival and then made steak on the grill. We love our Sundays! And that’s why we really try to do our best to turn off work and unplug for the day. But there is about a one-to-two hour exception to that, where we will take a break from all the fun, to do a little planning & preparation to set ourselves up to win the week ahead of us. Here are 5 things that we try to do every Sunday to set ourselves up for success in the week ahead:

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1. Write out the blog calendar for the week ahead. I know some people like to do their blog calendars a month at a time, and to a certain extent I do that with shoots or speaking engagements where I know when I’ll want to post about them. But this blog has always been a place where we like to share our life with you. And for me, I’ve found that doing my schedule a week at a time allows me to make sure that I’m doing just that. Things that have just happened are fresh in my mind, and I can craft the week’s posts to share what’s really on my heart at the time rather than being stuck to a schedule I made up a month ago. But at the same time, I don’t want to waste precious time every morning trying to figure out WHAT to blog about (one of the number one reasons people tell us they don’t blog in the first place). So writing out the schedule one week at a time every Sunday, has become a really happy medium for us! To go along with that, I’ll go ahead and either write Monday’s post or at least really sketch it out in my head of what it will look like, so that I can start the week off already ahead. (PS: If you are having trouble coming up with ideas of what to blog about, be sure to check out our “25 Blog Ideas” post!)

2. Write out the “Win the Day” list for Monday. As you guys might know by now, I’m a BIG fan of the “Win the Day” approach (and if you’re new around here, you can read more about it by going HERE ) But the basic idea, is that we don’t focus on ALL that we have to get done (which quickly leads to being stress paralyzed!), we just focus on the next three most important things we have to get done first. And as long as we do those three things, no matter what else doesn’t get done, we can say we have won that day. For me, I found one of the biggest time wasters come Monday morning was just sitting around trying to figure out where to even start. If I will go ahead and make my list on Sunday evening, then come Monday morning I can hit the ground running, I’m more productive, less stressed, and I feel like I’m already on fire! And that’s an awesome feeling for a Monday.

3. Meal Plan for the week. Justin takes care of all of our grocery shopping & meal prep (I know, I am the luckiest!) and he typically does the grocery run on Monday. So on Sunday we will sit down and look at which meals we’ll need for the week/which evenings we’ll be having dinner at home, and then together we decide which meals we want to have. He then turns that into a shopping list, and he’s ready to go come Monday.

4. Lay out work out clothes & your outfit for the day.  I’m much more likely to work out (I’ve been LOVING the workouts from the Tone it Up girls!) or go for a walk if I come downstairs in workout clothes rather than pajamas. So I’ll go ahead and lay those out right beside the bed so I see them first thing in the morning. If it’s a day where we have an early morning meeting, shoot, or Skype call then I’ll go ahead and pick out my outfit so that I don’t waste time running around that morning trying to figure it out. Because I don’t know what it is that happens in the universe, but picking out an outfit the day before takes approximately 1/100th the time it takes when you do it the day of! Girls, can I get an AMEN??

5. Update/Review Trello. I’ve been using Trello to manage our ongoing to-do lists ever since my friend Katelyn James blogged about it, and we LOVE it! What’s really working about this for us, is that it’s not just MY to-do’s that I have to keep track of. Like we blogged about HERE, we have a whole team of people these days helping us run this business. And what can happen when we don’t take a little time to plan on Sunday, is that I spend so much time trying to figure out what *I* need to do come the work week that I forget to make sure they know what they should be working on as well. And that makes NO sense at all. That effectively takes me back to just being a one-woman show. If I will instead spend a little time preparing for success on Sunday, then I can go into Trello (they each have their own boards) and give them their top 7-10 “win the week” tasks for the week ahead as well. And now come Monday, our whole team is firing on all cylinders and we are five times as productive because we have five more sets of hands helping us out! So whether that’s people who are on your team or just companies you are outsourcing to, spend a little time making sure they have everything they need for the week, so that all of that is getting accomplished while you do BIGGER things!

Go rock out this week friends!

PS: Don’t forget to check out the J&M Store for courses & resources on Lighting, Posing & Pricing!

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  1. Rici

    I love the Blog calendar & outfit tip! Thank you Mary! Happy new week for you guys!
    I just came back from a weekend wedding a little farther away and “playing catch up” kinda hit the spot today ^^Let´s say there is plenty of room for improvement for feeling “just whelmed” (not overwhelmed) ;)

  2. admin

    thanks Rici!!

  3. Tiffany Bolk

    Amen! :)

  4. Morgan Leigh

    I love the idea of planning blogs out a week in advance! Doing an entire month never felt right for me. Thank you for sharing!

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