Once I read about Lindsey’s weekly planning retreat at her blog Passionate Homemaking, I was inspired. Moms never feel like they have enough time to review finances, plan meals, schedule to dos, or prepare for birthdays and holidays plus do or delegate all of the regular tasks that are required to run a home and manage a family. Setting aside some quiet, reflective time every week will be one of the most productive things you can do for yourself and for your family. Think how much can be accomplished when you are able to focus.
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Here are some steps to getting started with your own planning retreat and how to make this one of your favorite times of the week.
- Schedule a Time – You may need to check your calendar for a block of time that will work regularly. That way it becomes an expected part of your weekly routine. Add it to everyone’s calendars so that they know that this is a time for planning and focus.
- Find a Location – Unlike the time, I think the location could be flexible. Look for ways to find inspiration. If it is fall, then maybe you want to have your planning retreat under a canopy of colorful leaves. In the winter, you may choose to retreat to a warm coffee shop, where the smells and the background noise will encourage your progress. However, if leaving home will take up too much time, then find a space in your home that can be closed off and quiet. Because focus is the biggest benefit to a planning retreat, distractions from the family and home can be an impediment to thorough planning.
- Materials – If you will be focusing on your finances, be sure to set aside bank statements and/or ledgers. If menu planning is to be a regular part of your planning retreat, be sure to include your menu inventories and favorite recipes (to include on the grocery list). For birthday and holiday planning, be sure to bring the necessary lists. Schedule planning and To Dos require a look at your daily, weekly, monthly, and evenly yearly goals and priorities. These may require planning lists and the calendar system for which you are most comfortable.
- Portability – A backpack or a shoulder bag works great for storing your materials and then toting them to your planning retreat location. Keep your materials together as much as possible so you are ready to go for next week.
Do you take a weekly planning retreat? What is the time that works best for you? What areas do you concentrate on when you get away to plan?