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When Lauren Goodman plans her week, she’s not just thinking about her 9-5 job. She’s also not just thinking about taking care of her two kids. She’s thinking about both of those things AND building a coaching business on the side as well.
What I love about Lauren’s approach to this is that she uses the same strategies and skills in multiple areas of her life. Her ability to plan and focus her time is just as important to her morning affirmation routine as it is to her evening routine with her kids.
Read this “How She Actually Does It” interview with Lauren to learn about:
- The most important 20-30 minutes of her day
- Why she prefers to keep things simple in her planning
- And the book that changed her life.
How often and when do you set goals for yourself?
I usually set goals at the end of the year for the following year—these are typically bigger goals and I usually limit them to 2-3 for the year. In the past, I’ve done a lot more than that and it doesn’t work as well as sticking to 2-3 big goals. I also set goals at the end of each month for the upcoming month and at the beginning of each week, I set mini-goals (or to do’s) for the upcoming week. Even though they may not be huge tasks, they are helping move the needle towards my monthly or yearly goal.
Talk me through your weekly planning process
A couple of years ago I started using a planner from Plum Paper. They have customizable planners so you can really make it your own. I prefer a larger planner so it’s easier to write in, so I usually go with the 8.5 x 11. I also select the hourly planner so I can write things in the hourly time slots.
Now here’s the game changer– I set aside 20-30 minutes every Sunday to plan the week ahead. I literally leave my planner open to the current week so I’m only focusing on one week at a time.
During that 20-30 minute planning session, I’ll look at my phone calendar for any meetings/appointments I have scheduled and write them into my paper planner so I can work the rest of my week around it. I’ll reach out to my babysitter to schedule 1-2 nights a week for her to come over to help out with the kids, I write out my workouts for the week, which podcast episodes I plan to listen to, and 2-3 “to-do’s” for my coaching business.
Because I work a full-time job and I do all the parenting by myself Monday-Friday I need to stay super organized with my time! I’ve tried using apps but honestly, this has been the only thing that works!
What tools do you find indispensable for staying organized?
An hourly planner, highlighters (because, ya know, they’re pretty!), and a neat space. Having too many things on your workspace can distract you from what you need to be doing! Plus, if your space is disorganized, your mind is probably disorganized too!
Another huge tip I have for keeping organized and utilizing a planner is to keep it simple! A lot of customizable planners have these amazing add on features—like a meal planner, budget organizer, etc. And don’t get me wrong these things are great, but they can also be distracting and overwhelming. My first year with a customizable planner I selected 4 add-ons. And guess how many I used? ZERO! Since then I decided to go back to basics and just work with the hourly planner, beginning of the month goal section, and daily to-do list!
Another huge tip I have for keeping organized and utilizing a planner is to keep it simple!
How do you structure your workdays?
I love this question because it will totally speak to people who work full-time jobs but are also working on side hustles or building a new business! My life is generally go go go! Especially during the week. So with that, I need to be very strategic about how I plan my time.
Monday-Friday I wake up around 4:50 AM. I spend the first 80 minutes of my day doing some affirmation journaling, reading a few pages of a personal development book and exercising.
Then I jump into full-time job and mom mode and get the kids ready for the day, drop them at daycare, then head to work.
When my workday is over at 4 PM, I pick up my kids, bring them home and then the afternoon/evening routine begins—dinner, playtime, baths, reading or TV and then bed. I also try to squeeze in doing the dishes and setting up lunches for the next day during that time but sometimes it has to wait until after the kids go to bed.
Once the kids go to bed, I’m back to some “me time.” That’s when I will work on my coaching business. I plan what I’ll be working on during my Sunday evening planning session so that I can utilize that time most effectively. There are days that I just need to turn off the minute the kids go to bed, so I’d say I usually work on my coaching business 2-3 nights per week. Again, it’s not necessarily about the number of hours spent doing something, rather how effectively you are utilizing your time.
It’s not necessarily about the number of hours spent doing something, rather how effectively you are utilizing your time.
What do you do when you feel stuck or overwhelmed?
Another awesome question! During the spring, summer, and fall, I like to get outside as much as possible. I like to take walks in nature or down at the beach. I try to do this without music or podcasts in the background, especially if I’m feeling a little overwhelmed or in a funk. I just listen to the sounds of nature. It lets my mind wander and calms me down.
Other times I’ll read a personal development book. They are usually uplifting and inspiring and sometimes you just need a good kick in the butt to get yourself back together in a rough moment.
What is your favorite productivity book or who is your favorite productivity teacher?
The book that changed my life was The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod– even though I was practicing some parts of the miracle morning, it wasn’t until I read his book that I understood the importance of creating healthy morning habits which ultimately leads to more energy and more productivity through your entire day. I cannot recommend this book enough.
How has your approach to productivity changed over time?
I used to think being productive just meant being busy. I realized that in order to be productive and make strides towards a goal, you need to be doing activities that move the needle- forget about everything else and just focus on the one thing that will move you one step closer to your goals. I also stopped setting so many big goals for the year. Instead, I’ll focus on 30 or 90 days at a time. You can have your overarching year-end goal, but then break it down to manageable chunks that you can tackle each month and even smaller tasks for each week.
Forget about everything else and just focus on the one thing that will move you one step closer to your goals.
And just one other tip I want to share with everyone when it comes to productivity and time management: your phone and specifically social media can be the ultimate time suck. It’s important to be aware of how much time you are spending on your phone. Is it productive or is it mindless scrolling?
One of the first things I suggest to everyone I work with is to not look at their phone first thing in the morning. It’s important to not let anything or anyone influence you before you get out of bed each morning. Have your own thoughts when the alarm goes off: Today is going to be a great day! And then get up, accomplish a task or two, and then scroll for a morning check-in. You can also put a limit on your screen time so that you know exactly how much time you’ve been on your phone each day and for the week.
Bonus Questions! What is your favorite kind of pen to write with?
Currently obsessed with poppin brand. They write so smooth! 🙂
More about Lauren!
Lauren is a working mom that has recently launched a personal and professional coaching practice. She works with women to create healthy and sustainable habits while developing a clear vision of what they want their ideal life to look like. She tackles limiting beliefs and excuses that have held them back in the past and supports them in building their confidence in order to step into their life’s purpose. Lauren’s ultimate goal is to spread the message that whatever it is you want out of life is yours to have, you just have to take that first uncomfortable step. 🙂 Find her on Instagram @lauren_jess_g or at www.lauren-goodman.com.