As of this past Friday, I am official off crutches! Nearly two weeks sooner than my last surgery which is pretty incredible! But that means I now am back in the office rather than working from home every day. It’s ironic timing since Landon has been in school a few days this week in preparation for school starting next week. So it feels like back to school/work for both of us at the same time. Whether it’s a new school year, or just a new Monday, we always want to put our best foot forward. Here are the back to school/work hacks Landon and I have been working on this week as practice for when reality really hits next week!
When I was in high school I remember reading one particular Family Circus comic. The mom tells the dad she is going to bed and then the comic follows her all through the house picking things up, taking care of housework, etc. By the time she gets to bed, the dad is already there and asleep. I am sure any woman reading this now totally knows that feeling! So this is why I am sharing my list. To take away all those last minute nightly chores that keep me from getting to bed on time.
Pick your clothes out on Sunday
Oh no, we are not picking our clothes out the night before, then it has to be done daily. Let’s batch that into one weekly task! On Sunday (or any day you prefer really), check the weather and plan that week’s outfits. For the most part, the weather is consistent enough that just a cardigan or raincoat needs to be added each day. If you’re not sure about the end of the week, pick an extra outfit or two in case your mood changes. Back when I had a business casual dress code, I did this every week. It helped check that I had all my dress pants laundered for when I needed them too!
Just like batching your clothing choices, plan all your meals at once too. I recently started doing monthly meal plans but put a pause on it for my surgery. I am so excited to get back into it for September though. If you don’t plan weekly already, I would start with that first or monthly can seem overwhelming. If you have busy nights, make sure you have leftovers available, or perhaps some easy to grab freezer meatballs and some fresh produce. Which leads me to my next tip…
Prep your food the day you get it
I’m not saying you have to cook everything and spend 3 hours prepping in the kitchen! But wash your lettuce, make your salad dressing, wash and chop the fruit and veggies. It takes a half hour at most if you have a lot and yourself three days from now will thank you. Instead of buying mangos or other fruit at varying ripeness to eat throughout the week, I started buying ones ready that day. I cut 4 mangos at once and now we have ready to eat fruit all week. I also chop my bananas and flash freeze them for an hour before putting them in a freezer bag to make smoothies faster to prep too.
Fill up the water reservoir
While dinner is in the oven, simmering on the stove, or reheating in the microwave, fill up your coffee pot. Get your grounds ready, set the timer, fill up the re-usable k-cup. Whatever machine you have for your daily cup of joe, prep it early so you don’t have to groan about it when you want to go to bed – or worse, in the morning when you’re already 5 minutes behind schedule.
Do the dishes immediately
I’m sure there are plenty of you reading this that are horrified that people don’t do their dishes immediately. Yeah, they do exist. And they just need this little reminder to do them right away. This saves time from doing them the next night so you have clean dishes for that dinner. Plus, a clean kitchen in the morning is the best feeling!
Set yourself up for success…before you sit down!
Remember my post on setting yourself up for success? (You can go read it here.) I talk about how I pick around 3 things every day that if I only accomplish those, I will still feel I had a successful day at work. Well it works at home too! What are other things you need to get? Pay some bills, do a load of laundry, pack tomorrow’s lunch, pack your gym bag? Do them as soon as you get home, while you’re making dinner, or right after those dishes. Enlist your spouse to help tackle them so you can be done in record time. Whatever you do, don’t settle in with the TV, a glass of wine, or a book until these few things are done!
So that’s my list of back to school/work hacks. It’s somewhat generic and high level but I hope it gets you thinking about what you can do right away in the evening rather than going to bed later or having to deal with it in the morning. Good luck to all the teachers out there! And keep up the hustle all of you who don’t get summers off. You’re all doing great! 😊