In this episode, I am sharing how I plan my week so that I can fit lots of hobbies in my week as well as all the other things that need to get done. You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post.
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The reason I wanted to share this episode is that when I plan my week out I not only plan all of my to-do’s and events and appointments; I plan how I will fit time for my hobbies in as well.
Sometimes I can’t plan all the time for my hobbies because I like to read and cross stitch in the gaps in my day which I talk about in this episode. But I do think it’s important to plan at least 1 full hour a week where you will spend time doing something you love. And ideally, you do this for 1 hour every day.
How I plan my week so I have more time for my hobbies
I like to plan on a Monday morning for the week ahead. I used to do this on a Friday afternoon as I could see what I didn’t get done during the week that needs to move to next week.
But now when I’m planning I tap into my feelings a lot so I like to plan as close as possible to the week starting.
I don’t have a particular order to my planning but I have basics that I do every week to make sure my week is set up to support me in the best way possible.
The only thing I do in order is the first thing I do; this is always the first thing I do.
Check the cycles
I always start my planning by checking where I am in my monthly cycle and what phase the moon is in. I have a video about this on my Instagram that you can watch here.
If you don’t have a menstrual cycle or you have gone through menopause you are on a 24-hour hormone cycle so you can use the moon as your focus point for weekly planning. I love to use both though.
I like to look at these is because at different points in the month I will have different energy levels and motivation depending on where I am in my monthly cycle.
If I am on my period my energy and motivation levels are low so I can plan what hobbies I know will serve my best that week (stitching, audiobooks due to hormonal migraines and pilates).
And when I’m ovulating I have high energy and motivation so can plan better for that week (reading digitally, being more social, roller skating, learning something new).
If you are following the moon phases, the new moon is similar to a period (dark, hidden, introverted, in a cave). And the full moon is similar to ovulation (bright, social, want everyone to see you, lots of energy).
The moon affects the whole ocean and we are made of up to 60% water. Even my husband (the most practical person ever) knows the moon changes the moods in our home.
Knowing where I am in my cycle helps me plan my week so much better.
Events and appointments
I check these next as usually they can’t be changed so I know for sure these are times that I may be too busy for certain hobbies.
I check all these non-moving dates and times such as school events, doctors appointments, work calls etc.
Then I put in things for work. If there are any sales happening or new products launching. Is it a slower week or more full-on, etc?
Again these are usually set dates, for example, the Halloween SAL is released every first Friday of the month so I know I have to make that live every month. And some SALs are every week.
Then I check if there is anything that needs stitching that week, any projects that need finishing, anything for the blog that needs writing, etc.
(Side note, I also plan my work schedule around my cycle).
All of these are non-changing. I can’t change the moon phase, I can’t usually change work calls etc. Of course, I can shift appointments around a little but for the most part, these things don’t change for the week.
I use a paper planner for all of this planning. I love a paper planner!
1 hour a week
Each week I try and find 1 full hour to myself. Usually, this is on a Sunday morning and I sit and listen to audiobooks and stitch and just have a nice end to the week.
If I see I’m going to be busy one weekend then I will move this somewhere else. It could be during my lunch hour as I work from home so am privileged enough to do that.
Or if there is football on one evening I might set myself up with a self-care night in my bedroom whilst my husband is watching it in the living room.
But I try and look where I can find at least 1 uninterrupted hour per week to myself.
Where are the gaps?
Next, I look at where there might be gaps each day to fit my hobby in.
I would love to have 1 full hour each day to myself, but this is mostly a weekly thing as I mentioned above.
Day-to-day I break that hour up into 10-15 minute hobby chunks throughout the day. This is especially true in the Summer when we tend to be busier.
For example, if I am travelling then I will take my cross stitch project in the car. I can’t read in the car all the time; sometimes I get car sick but usually only if I’m close to my period so this is where knowing my cycle helps again.
If I’m near my period when I’m travelling then I probably will want an audiobook but not a paperback and make sure the audiobook is downloaded ready for me.
If I’m near ovulation I will be able to read in the car and stitch as well so make sure my bag is packed and my project is ready.
I have some hospital appointments in the summer so I will make sure my Kindle is always charged for in the waiting room.
This is how I fit all of my hobbies in so knowing how my week is looking and where I am in my cycles helps me get so much more time with the things that I love.
Tap into feeling
I mentioned above that I like to tap into feelings when planning my week. For example, I go through phases of really wanting to dive all in on 1 hobby and the rest of the time I mix them all up.
I was recently self-isolating and got such an urge to read all the books and I read 3 in a week which isn’t like me usually.
So sometimes I just tap into what I actually feel like doing this week? This is why I like planning on a Monday so it’s easier to tap into this.
I like having routines for the “boring” things. For example, I do my washing at the same time each day and cleaning is always don’t after tea (dinner) as a family job, etc.
Knowing I have routines in place for the maintenance of the house means that during any gaps in my day I can fill them with a hobby and 1, I don’t feel as guilty and 2, I relax more as I know the cleaning will get done at its scheduled time. Although I don’t use times exactly, I use points in our day for example the cleaning after tea (dinner) or a load of washing going in as my coffee is cooling down in the morning.
During really busy weeks I love to uses Hello Fresh. I did it every week throughout our second lockdown in January and February here in the U.K..
Now I tend to only do it on busy weeks but I will also do it throughout the Summer when my kids are home from school. We only get 3-4 meals a week but it’s such a lifesaver! If you want to try it you can get £42 off with this link* which is basically a free week of 3 meals.
I also meal plan each week, but I don’t like doing it! It saves me so much time though so I always so it and have been for years. It takes so many decisions off my plate. I love The Lazy Genius for ideas and tips on meal planning.
To wrap up
Going back to my monthly cycle now, this is how I usually decide what hobbies I will be doing that week.
I usually cross stitch every day apart from around my period. I think this is because cross stitch is work for me so I don’t always want to do it around this time.
I love to read during my period. If my migraine is particularly bad then I will do an audiobook but other than reading the only other thing I like to do is play games on my phone! I just need something easy and mindless during those few days.
As I get closer to ovulation I love to do ALL THE THINGS. Reading, stitching, skating – I have so much energy!
Knowing what hobbies I need to get ready for the week helps practically and knowing what hobbies help and fill me up the most during different phases will help too.
Planning like this has changed everything. Making sure I am planning my hobbies into my week as well as all the other things, means I have so much more time for myself now because I’m making the time and literally planning it into my week.
It’s so important that we do this for ourselves; no one is going to do it for us.
I would love you to look at your week and see where you can fit an hour in this week for your hobby. Look at where there might be gaps you could fit stitching in. And check in with where the moon is or where you are in your cycle and see how your energy shifts as these things shift.
Then do the same again next week. Knowing how your energy changes throughout the month makes you feel so less guilty for not always having the same consistent energy and motivation for the things you love.
Our bodies are consistent, they’re changing and fluctuating all the time which changes our energy and motivation levels.
The challenge is to tap into how you’re feeling each week and actually plan in the time for your hobbies.
Extra episodes and posts
- My cross stitch and reading routine
- 5 tips to find more time to cross stitch
- How to read more when you’re a new mum
- Find More Time for Your Hobby free guide