Planning Ahead

By Shani Petroff

Sometimes there doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day.

There are activities I want to do and work I need to do, but before I know it, the day has gotten away from me.

Sometimes this leads to a day of snacking. Other times it leaves me overwhelmed. And sometimes, just plain unproductive. I look at all I have to do and wind up thinking about it for far too long, which wastes precious time.

So, I’m getting out that handy pen and paper.

Tracking and planning helps me on the Weight Watchers program—and I think it can help in all aspects of my life.

So I’m making lists.

Lists of what I need to do for the day and for the week—including meal prep.

But I’m also prioritizing.

I have a tendency to leave the big stuff for the end. I’ll send out emails, order supplies, do busy work when I wake up. But the thing is, that busy work is draining, too. And then I’m too tired to focus on what needs to be done.

So I’m making some changes:

  1. Tackling the tough stuff first. It doesn’t go away by ignoring it. And once it’s done, I can take a break with some of the easier things on my list.
  2. Making sure my fridge is stocked with healthy snacks—so that if I want something quick, I have it ready. I haven’t been too great at grocery shopping lately. (The elevators in my building are out again, and carrying everything up five flights of stairs is daunting—and honestly, embarrassing. The last time, I was out of breath by the time I reached the top. A neighbor passed by, and I felt so self-conscious about my pace and shortness of breath. But, I’m sucking it up.) The stairs are good for me, and it doesn’t matter what my neighbors think. I want to use my SmartPoints® values on food I want, not on high-point choices that just happen to be at the ready.
  3. Accountability partners. This has been really helpful. Every week I check my Weight Watchers progress and check in with a community of amazing people, so I’m doing that in other aspects of my life, too. I joined online groups where you track your writing progress and how much you get done. I’m looking for people to do that with exercise, too!
  4. Accepting help. I’m not great at asking for help. Even when people offer, my impulse is to say, that’s okay, I got it! Even when it’s a two-person job. For example, I got a dresser that required a lot of assembly. I had offers for help, but I gave my usual answer, and a job that would have taken practically no time wound up taking hours. It also would have been a lot more fun with someone else. Now when I need help and someone offers it (and I can tell they’re sincere in that offer), I take it.
  5. Plan downtime and for the unexpected. There have been days that I’ve had everything planned down to the minute. And then chaos ensued. Like recently when my toilet started gushing water. I had to call the super and basically my day was spent dealing with all of that. Because I hadn’t given myself wiggle room, I found myself running behind schedule. Everything got pushed. So my new goal is to try and get tasks done early, so that when the unexpected happens, I don’t go into meltdown mode.
  6. Make health a priority. I know to do this, but sometimes, I push the thought aside. Skipping the exercise is a quick time-saver—so is fast food. But it doesn’t make me feel good. I want to feel good. And it’s not just about the eating and the gym. It’s also making time to get checked out. Getting a physical. Going to the doctor when something is wrong. I recently had a little scare—the doctor doesn’t think it’s anything to worry about—but at the time, I panicked. Yet, because of my schedule and the cost, I put off going to see her. After a couple of days (where I spent the majority of the time googling my symptoms and scaring myself so much that my stomach bothered me and I couldn’t sleep), I went. I’m glad I did. I spend money on restaurants, clothes, trips, etc.—I need to make taking care of myself one of the top items on that list.

What do you plan for, and how do you tackle your to-do list? I’d love to hear from you. You can find me on Connect @shani!

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