Are you a Planner?

The last few months certainly have been a very new experience for most of us.  Being at home, and not being in work has been something that I am absolutely not used to.  I have pretty much worked since I was 15 (apart from maternity leave) and I honestly cannot remember being in a situation where I have no work go to daily.  The last 10 years I have worked crazy long days, running my business and I don’t think I realised just how burned out I was until all this lockdown happened.

After embracing my new ‘stay at home’ life, I started questioning how I actually fitted work in! 

Now with the return to work ahead of us, I really want to try to come up with an organisation plan so that I do not immediately return to the chaos and stress that I was living in.

A few years ago a read a book called Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy and it was lessons in how to stop procrastinating about things and time management. The main take away from the book was to write down the most important tasks you need to do every day and get the one that you least want to do, done first and out of the way. Hence why I often refer to things I am dreading as ‘eating a frog’ – not an ideal reference coming from a vegan lol! Here is the link to the book, in case your are interested.

Today I sat down and wrote myself a list of things that I want to try and do to make my life easier and I thought I would share it with you all, in case any of you feel the same as me, or you may be able to take some of these ideas and make them work for you.

This list is a combination of work and personal things that I plan to try to implement.  If any of you have any other ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Learning to be a planner

There are lots of lovely planners to purchase – I have bought a few over the years, but they often don’t have enough room for the lists that I need so I have found that a lever arch file and paper works the best for me.  It could be that you prefer to write your lists on your phone, or your computer etc.  It doesn’t matter what you do, just find a system that works well for you.

What sort of lists do I need?

This is going to vary depending on your work, household, etc.  The lists below are what I think will work best for me and hopefully will give you some ideas for you.

So in a determined attempt to make my life more organised, less stressful, and to aid my brain overload, here are the lists and ideas I have put together.

My plan is to sit down every Sunday evening and write my plan for the week.

There is something very satisfying when you get to cross things off a list!

My Main ’TO DO’  List

This list is going to comprise of everything I need to try to accomplish.  This list will include both personal and work, as for me, these all merge together

My WEEKLY list

I’ll take off certain items from my main list, plus things that I need to do that week which could be appointments with doctors, meetings, work related things etc.

My DAILY list

I can then break down what I need to do each day on this list from my weekly list and update it with anything else that needs to be done that day. If there are certain things that have not been done that day, the can be moved to the following day.

Meal Planning/Meal Preparation List

Meal planning was something that I got into before lockdown.  I found  that if I decided on some meals for the week ahead, meals that are easy to eat during my work day and also meals that are ready for when I get home, this makes eating healthier food much easier and I am less likely to make bad choices.  I bought a load of containers from Amazon (like these) and I can make meals that I can take to work every day for me and Liv (my daughter).  I know that we are both eating well and its a lot cheaper than getting take away food or sandwiches every day. We all know how difficult it is to keep any eating on track in this business, and we could well be snowed under on our return to work. You need to take care of your health and nutrition is so important in keeping a healthy immune system.

I also started planning on what meals I would want to have ready for when we got home every night – meals that are easy to re-heat and healthy. So most Sunday afternoons were spent cooking up batches of meals – soups, stews, curries, pasta, salads etc, ready for the week ahead.

Work Stock List

Keeping a stock list makes work life so much easier.  It will actually, in the long term, save you money as you will not be doubling up on things you don’t need.  If you have a salon or other staff working with you, a stock list is essential to keep an eye on what is being used. Ask your staff to regularly update you on items that are running low so that you never need to panic when a treatment is booked in and you realise you’ve run out of waxing spatulas!!  It will also help you to be able to work out how much profit you are making from treatments that you are doing and allow you to budget better for new products or treatments that you may wish to add to your treatment menu.

Grocery List

If you get into meal planning, writing a grocery list every week is then super simple.  You know exactly what you need for your week’s food, alongside other household regular items.  My grocery list will often have items from my Work Stock List too that I may need to purchase for the Academy.  I tend to throw things in like cotton wool, toilet rolls, toilet bleach for work.  Remember to keep a note of anything that you have bought for your business, as this needs to be added to your accounts.

Budget List

Do you know how much money is going in and out of your accounts every month?

Keeping a budget of all your bills, knowing exactly how much your expenses are, is vital.  Not only for your home but also for your business.  Have it all written down in a list format so you can easily access it.  Make sure you know the dates that your credit card bills are due so that you ensure you have either paid off the total or the minimum payment to try to reduce any excessive charges.  Write down everything that you spend.  Even things like hair appointments, school uniforms, online subscriptions etc.  Once you know where you are with your expenses, it can help you greatly to keep a track on things and stop you over spending on things that you cannot afford. 

Goals List

Having some goals to work towards can be a great motivation.  It may be a holiday, a new car, that new Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer (yes that’s definitely a purchase I want to make lol).  Focusing on something you want can really help to keep your finances in check, especially when you are working towards a goal.

So that is my immediate task, to get all these in place.

I hope that helps some of you! xoxo