"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today." – Elbert Hubbard
For starters, let's talk meals. Two words. Meal Prep. We know you've heard it a million and one times from every health guru in the book, but there's a reason for that. It works (and no we're not talking about the wraps your Facebook friends are trying to sell you). You're saving money by planning out what you're going to make beforehand, instead of doing that 5:30pm "I'm absolutely starving, so I'll take one of everything" grocery run or the "I didn't pack anything, so I'm going out to lunch for the third time this week" restaurant run. You're saving time by making 4-5 different meals in one fell swoop – which is again saving money because as you know, time is money. You're saving calories because oh yea, you actually know what's going into your mouth and as an added plus, portion control. And, you're starting your week off right with a little time in the kitchen practicing your creativity and organizational skills. Throw on some jams (we recommend our Monslay Spotify playlist) and get to cooking for the week. You might find that it's actually relaxing. In fact, studies support that notion. Psychologists told the Wall Street Journal that cooking and baking decrease depression by "increasing goal-oriented behavior and curbing procrastination." We always knew cooking and happiness were synonymous, and when you're sick of chicken breast, asparagus, and rice, try one of these easy meal prep ideas. Oh, and find a way to recycle that old-school Tupperware. We love We Glass by WeanGreen.
"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way." -- Henry David Thoreau
Make a Plan for Your Workmind
So you've finished planning and cooking for your workbody for the week. It's time to get that workmind in order. Start by setting aside an hour. For habit's sake, make it at the same time every single week. Pull out your calendar and check out what's on the agenda for the next 7 days. Now take out your career journal, which we know you have, and if you don't, you need one (text WRITEITDOWN to 44-222 for our downloadable journaling guide with all the reasons why you should have one).
In your journal, you'll write down your laundry list of unfinished business. These are all the to-dos from the week before that just didn't get done and are weighing you down. Maybe it's an unpaid parking ticket or a thank you card you've been meaning to send out. Whatever the case may be, we all have a checklist of things we've just been putting off. Write those down. Now knock anything off that list that you can complete in 15 minutes or less. You're guaranteed to feel more accomplished even if you've only finished a few.
Now that you've knocked off a few tasks, you have some room to evaluate your progress on your goals. If you're not sure how to set goals, check out this Forbes read. When evaluating, you'll want to have a top-down approach. If your goal is to become the CEO, you're not going to just schedule that into your week. You're going to break that goal up into actionable steps. So perhaps to become the CEO, you need to first get your MBA, so maybe your goal for the week is to research different MBA programs, the requirements, and the costs. You want goals that you can aspire to but not be overwhelmed by. Write down each of your goals and each of the actionable steps for the week as a to-do list in your journal.
Finally, you'll want to block this all out into your calendar for the week. Researchers found that 41% of to-do list items are never completed. So no, merely writing it down isn't enough. We introduce to you time blocking. Every. Single. Hour. Blocked out. Make sure to include your tasks from your "unfinished business" list and actionable steps to achieve your short-term and long-term goals in your calendar. Set aside time for everything. Your nighttime routine, your date with the tv, your retail therapy – all of it. Seeing your week blocked out is essential for reaching your goals, decreasing procrastination, and enhancing your productivity.
Now you get the joy of looking back on your week and seeing what went well and what needs work. This isn't a time to shame yourself or think about what could have been had you just stuck to the script. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. However, it's important to see what needs to be adjusted for the next week. Perhaps your goals have changed, or you were a bit too ambitious the first go around. Life is about constant reworking and reassessing. That's half the fun.
Want tips about compartmentalizing each work day, check them out here! If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!