weekly prep

How ONE HOUR devoted to weekly productivity can save the week (and your sanity)

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Hey Mamma! Do you ever have that frazzled feeling in the middle of the week where you don’t know what’s for dinner, you were late for work because you had to try on two different outfits, your house is a wreck and you forgot it was (mismatched socks, snack, school picture, insert random important thing here) day at school? Me too. And I HATE that feeling. Not only that but when your house is a mess and you’re running late it usually spills over into your productivity at work – putting you even further behind. I dislike that feeling so much I have been building strategies over the past few years to up my weekly productivity and avoid it at all costs. By spending only a few hours each weekend on prep, I’m able to keep my week running smoothly and I’m still sane by Friday!

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Related: How long term planning helps us achieve our goals

How to conquer the never ending to-do list

There are three core activities I do each weekend that help prep our house for the week ahead and up our weekly productivity. It really only takes about an hour of time to think through everything, and the amount of stress it saves during the week pays back in dividends.

Here are The Mamma’s Lists that I make each and every week:

  1. Weekly To-Do List
  2. Meal Plan
  3. Weekly Wardrobe Plan

I also commit to one big grocery shopping trip (tied to the meal plan) to reduce one-off trips during the week and help us with our grocery budget.


I hate feeling perpetually behind during the work week. I was constantly feeling overwhelmed by Tuesday, but when I started prepping on the weekend, my entire week got easier! Here are five things you can do this weekend in only ONE HOUR to skyrocket your productivity the rest of the week.


Weekly To-Dos

There are always a million things that need to be done at our house. Filing bills, getting packages ready to return to the post office due to my horrible online shopping habit, picking up cards and gifts for upcoming birthdays, and a million other little things that could eat your entire weekend if you let them. These seemingly never-ending tasks always add up over time and make me feel like our household is a wreck – even when it isn’t.

To conquer this feeling of overwhelm, I make a list every weekend of the tasks that need to be completed. Whether it is fixing the hinge that fell off our pantry door, putting the sunshades in the car windows, laundry or returning an outfit to Target, it all goes on the list. As soon as we get something done I check it off. NOTHING makes me happier than checking items off my to-do list. At the end of the weekend, even if there are a few things that carry into the next week, I still feel accomplished knowing how much we were able to do. It’s also great because I immediately know my hot priorities and what to focus on for the following week.

Meal Planning


I admit it. I get SUPER hangry. You know, that irrational anger that happens when you haven’t eaten in awhile and it makes it feel like your whole day is ruined? It happens to me a lot. And then I pick a fight with my husband, and I’m usually in such a bad mood I can’t even tell you what I want to eat. In order to avoid this predicament, I started a  weekly meal plan so that we never have to ask “what’s for dinner?” at 5:30 p.m.  It’s a huge time saver and allows me to focus on other tasks to improve our overall weekly productivity. As a bonus it allows us to plan out what we can quickly give little lady for dinner and lunch the next day. Yes, she eats the same dinner/lunch two days in a row. Don’t judge me.

My husband and I are both fairly picky eaters and have gotten bored with the same meals every week, so we occasionally use Hello Fresh to help us with some new inspiration or to give us a twist on a classic. They are a meal kit delivery service that will deliver three (or more) meals to your house weekly. Everything is perfectly portioned and put in convenient boxes so all you have to do is follow the recipe. We really like Hello Fresh, but haven’t found their ‘quick’ meals to actually be all that quick. The 30-minute meals always take at least 45 minutes, but even though the price isn’t cheap, it’s been worth it for us to have some additional meals in the rotation. Also – it saves coming up with three dinners for our meal prep list!


Tied to the efficiency of meal planning, we have one big shopping trip that helps us cut down on random trips during the week.

Quick tips to maximize efficiency with the meal plan/grocery trip:

  • Make your meal plan and grocery list on the same sheet of paper. As you write down meals for the week, put the ingredients on the list below. This helps make sure you won’t end up prepping dinner and realize half the ingredients are still at the store
  • Keep the list on your counter or kitchen drawer all week so it’s easy to find out what’s for dinner
  • Add anything you run out of during the week to your meal plan/grocery list so you have it handy during your meal planning for the following week
  • Make a larger batch of one or two dinners so you have lunch the next day. This also helps with budgeting

One big grocery shopping trip helps us save both money and time the rest of the week. We only stop in the store once or twice to pick up some milk or anything we run out of unexpectedly. Since we keep a running list during the week, anyone can grab it and head out without worrying that we’ll forget something.

Weekly Wardrobe Plan


I plan out five (or six) outfits for each week, down to the shoes and jewelry every Sunday night. These go into a devoted section of a rack in my closet only for my weekly outfits. I hang a week’s worth of complete outfits so I can choose one quickly in the morning.

There have been way too many mornings spent trying to put together an outfit. I’d try something on to only find out it didn’t fit anymore or looked somehow off. Spending 20 minutes or less on a Sunday ends up saving me so much time in the morning. Not to mention my sanity on the mad dash to work.

Three activities have been proven to drastically reduce my stress during the week. Planning out our weekly meals (including school lunch) and outfits according to my work day, and a big weekly grocery shopping trip are lifesavers. A running to-do list also helps keep the entire family on track. This also means critical things are less likely to fall through the cracks. I hope that if you try any one of these strategies out it can save you some time next week!


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  1. I am so excited to start and try my “MammaList” for the week. My life has been so unorganized lately. I think these lists will help me keep up with my three kids. Esp. since I will be starting nursing school in two weeks. I will need some sort of organized structure to survive the year.

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