Trying to get everything done is exhausting, especially as a woman.
We somehow get lumped with all of the house essentials like errands, household management, chores, delegating, remembering events – it’s exhausting!
On top of all of these things, we also have our own personal goals for our development as individuals.
But because we are so busy trying to do everything, a lot of our own goals get neglected.
This planning method I’m about to teach you will change that! Today I’m going to let you in on my secret sauce on how to plan your day so that you can get everything done.
I am going to show you how to tackle work, the house, day-to-day living and take care of yourself and your goals – every single day.
Can you get everything done in one day? Absolutely!
But here is the secret that a lot of people don’t tell you – The aim is not to get every single thing completed in a day, the aim is to work towards it bit by bit.
In a way that spaces it out, gets you closer to your goals and lets you live a balanced life.
The way to do this is to work on the 4 key parts of your life and do a little bit each day.
This creates both a happier life, and builds up habits that allow you to live a balanced life automatically.
Our 4 key areas are: Fun, You, your home and your goals.
Each of these come together and create the existence you want.
You may be wondering “but what about work? What about family?”
Those key aspects fit under home and goals.
Let me explain how it works..
What is the 1,2,3,4 Method?
Knowing how to plan your day is as easy as 1,2,3(4)
Before I implemented this method into my daily routine, I was getting so overwhelmed (and burnt out) by all of the things that I have to do every day.
Working from home is a huge challenge, it requires a lot of self-discipline.
You get stuck either ignoring your housework for work, or ignoring your work for housework.
Or worse – sometimes the two merge so deeply that you no longer know how to seperate them!
This method allowed me to find the perfect middle ground, and it works just as well if you’re a stay at home mum or a woman who works outside of the house.
I didn’t come up with this method all by myself – I tweaked it from Susi Kaeufer’s business planning method.
It was such a great idea that I knew it would be brilliant for the day-to-day chores that women face – and it has been!
The 1,2,3,4 method is a base structure for every daily routine/schedule.
Every day you have 10 “slots” to fill. Each slot is designated to a specific area of your life.
These areas are Fun, You, House (or Mess-Free) and Goals.
These slots don’t have a timeframe, but they do need to be filled to get everything done.
This means that a task can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours – as long as it is a part of the categories and the bigger picture, you’re on the right track and one step closer to an overall balanced life!
One is for Fun – Do one thing for fun
Every day you should do something fun for you, it doesn’t have to be a huge event or something expensive, just something simple and relatively fast that you enjoy.
Here are some ideas:
- Read a book
- Watch an episode of your favourite or current show
- Spend half an hour on a hobby you love
- Go for a swim
- Spend 20 minutes doing some online window shopping
- Walk your dog
- Paint your nails
- Spend time in a space you love, such as your garden
- Play a game
All of these things can be done in under 30 minutes, which means there is no excuse not to have fun every day!
Two is for You – Do two things for you
Number two isn’t quite the same as number one – One is about fun, two is about your deeper needs.
More specifically – two is about your body and mind.
In today’s fast-paced world, so many of us neglect our bodies and even more of us neglect our mind.
For number 2, you can allocate one slot to body, and one to mind – or you can do two of body / two of mind.
The best thing about this planning method is nothing is “locked in”.
You can mix it up as you need to fit in absolutely everything you want to do!
Here are some ideas:
- Walk / Jog / Run
- Make a healthy lunch / Meal prep your week of healthy lunches
- Practice gratitude
- Do some stretching
- Read a book on any of the above suggestions
- Drink your recommended water intake
- Crossword puzzles, sudoku or similar
Three is Mess-Free – Do three things to help you be mess-free
The third section is our household section – this is where you meet the demands of your house!
Straight away you are probably thinking that 3 tasks isn’t nearly enough to get things done, I hear you!
Just remember that there are no time limits on any of the tasks you set – so for one or two days of the week you can make the Mess-Free section the dominant part of your day.
When I create my third section, I generally tend to leave out the things that are automatic and daily tasks.
Things like dishes, hanging out the laundry etc. These are an automatically assumed part of my day.
Here are some ideas:
- Vacuum / Sweep / Mop
- 10-30 Minute Declutter
- 10-30 Minute Tidy
- Mow the lawn
- Wash the shower / bathroom
- Deep clean kitchen
- Clean out the fridge
- Wash bedding
Tip: This is also a great time to get your kids involved! Learn more about the benefits of cleaning with your kids.
Four – Goals galore! – Do four things that help you reach your goals
Out of all of the sections, this is by far the most versatile.
This is where you get to tackle any and all goals.
When I say goals, I don’t just mean your future ambitions, I mean anything across the board.
Your goals could be things you want to get done for your online business, it could mean projects that you have at work or school essays.
All of these are goals, because they are things that you are doing for a purpose – and that purpose is to reach a goal you have set for yourself.
Whether that be to run a business, do a kickass job at work or graduate a course – these are all goals!
This is why section four is titled “goals galore” – so it allows you to take full control of your day!
Here are some ideas:
- Write a blog post
- Plan your project
- Work on your project
- Send emails
- Research for an essay
- Draft / Complete essay
- Plan a craft day for your kids
- Set aside time to create a budget
- Research insurance options
Honestly – this section is all you! Anything that you want to get done or need to get done, it goes in this section!
Need help setting achievable goals? Learn how to set achievable goals here!
There are no hard and fast rules
For each category there are a set number of tasks that need to be filled for each one – think of it as your cup. You fill 1 part with fun, 2 parts with you.. So on.
What happens if you have an event, a big project or something that prevents you from doing 10 tasks?
You can simply cut down on the number of tasks! However, in order for this to work for you, you must have at least one task in each section.
How to get everything done
Step One – Your master List
At the beginning of every week, I write down the things I need to get done.
For me it usually looks something like this:
Write a blog post, promote it on social media, create Pinterest and Instagram graphics, write emails, go shopping for groceries, laundry, mop floors, tidy (x) room, declutter (x) space, meal plan, take Luna to her nans, work at Arts&Culture, organise Exhibit Flyer, batch content for my upcoming course, go to the gym, meditate, do yoga, listen to podcasts, create freebie…
You get the point!
Once everything is written out, we move to step two.
If you’re struggling with your to-do list, read this post and make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes!
Step Two – Categorise it
You have your master to-do list, but it may be looking a bit overwhelming at this point.
This is where categories come in and play a huge part!
Write your to-do list in to the following categories:
(all of this is laid out in the free worksheets that you can find here)
- Mess-Free / House
- Appointments & Errands
Step Three – Check your Calendar
Your master list is now a beautifully defined to-do list.
Before we start filling in our weekly schedule, there is one more really important thing to do first – check your calendar!
To prevent overloading our days or failing our tasks, always check your calendar for any appointments, events or pre-existing tasks that need to be filled in first.
Once you have done that, you fit your to-do list around them.
Step Four – Write out your schedule using the 1,2,3,4 Method.
To-do list – check.
Calendar migrated – check
Now we are going to get to the real part of planning your day – filling out your weekly schedule.
For each day you want to:
- Add one fun thing
- Add two things for you (body and mind)
- Add three household chores / to-dos
- Add four things that bring you closer to your goals, whether that be work, personal, house, family etc.
And that is really all there is to it! 4 super simple steps to create a super simple routine that gets everything done!
Optional step five: I find it is really beneficial to time block your day once the planning part has been done – this allows for even more productivity and allows you to fit your day around those everyday tasks such as cooking, school drop-offs etc.
You may be tempted to add more than the recommended number of tasks…
The point here is to reduce the overwhelm, limit burnout and take care of yourself.
Adding extra tasks will just have you right back where you started!
Modify it and make it your own
Learning this method on how to plan your day is a great start, but it works best if you modify and tweak it to suit your personal routine and needs.
If you have a job that requires you to leave the house, you may only choose tasks that take 5-10 minutes to complete, and that is completely fine and awesome.
The point of this system is to ensure that you get everything done while also taking care of yourself and your personal needs and goals – and if that means limiting the time spent on each area then so be it.
You will still be working towards your goals, getting your housework done and taking care of your personal wellbeing!
Are 10 tasks every day too many for you?
Feeling like 10 is way too big of a number?
Start small and work your way up – start with 6 tasks, or even 4.
If you choose to start smaller, there is only one thing you need to do – keep at least one task for each category!
If you drop to 4 tasks and do 3 household and 1 goal task, you are continuing to neglect your needs!
So if you choose to do 4 tasks, do 1 from each section.
Give it a go – and don’t forget your free worksheets!
You will be as amazed as I was at how effective this system can be!
For extra efficiency, I have designed worksheets especially for this method, you can grab them here.