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Maruja Retana

How to schedule your week

How to schedule your week (or: a spoonful of ‘sugar’)

Do you ever feel… No, not like a plastic bag. Do you ever feel like your days are superhectic and busy, but then when you lay in bed at night, you can’t help but wonder: ‘Uhm…what have I actually done today?’ You start thinking about all the goals you have in life. I’m talking ALL the goals: write a book, write a grammy winning album, learn to play drums and guitar, go to Japan and eat Jiro’s sushi, meet Oprah, build a school in a Third World country, and of course fold the laundry and get groceries for this week.
Brain: “K, let’s do all that tomorrow.” Result: insomnia.
This was ME, not long ago. I felt incredibly busy and unproductive at the same time. My to do list was getting longer and longer, and yet somehow I wasn’t really focusing on what I wanted to focus on.

Until the magical New Year’s Eve. Every year on New Year’s Eve I write down my goals for the next year and this time something was really gonna CHANGE. I was going to make a schedule. But wait…I’ve made schedules before and was never able to really stick to them. How was I going to do it right this time and not get distracted by a million things? The answer was obvious: alliteration.

The first thing I came up with was ‘Money Masterplan Monday’. It started as a joke in my head, but after a few minutes I was writing down ideas feverishly! Now, I promise I am an adult, but…I admit some part of me never really grew up. I still like fairytales and stuffed animals, and I’m not ashamed to say it! So whenever childish little me doesn’t like something, it helps if I turn it into a game. I stopped eating sugar, but Mary Poppins would say: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down :)


So ladies and gentlemen, MY PERSONAL  SCHEDULE:

Money Masterplan Monday 
Send invoices, pay bills, organize administration, budget planning, visualize what I’ll do with my first million… etc.

AND: Music Mashup Monday
Check out new music and make playlists of references, and cover options, work on live show, create mashups and mixes to post online.

Maruja Retana

Technical Tuesday
Finish editing jobs, learn a new trick, try out new settings, develop mixing skills

AND: New Skill Tuesday
now: DJ-ing
later: guitar


Errand Wednesday

Groceries, meetings, doing annoying things like cleaning.

AND: Writing Camp Wednesday
Plan sessions or write 2 songs to practice speed, write article for OYL, columns and copy for promotion.


Telephone Thursday 

Call people

AND: Topline Thursday (a topline is the vocal melody and the lyrics of a song)
Arrange, organize and finish toplines, create pitch plan, reach out to labels


Film Friday
Film a cover, an acoustic version of an original song or a new episode for my ‘Maruja Says’ youtube channel.

AND: Finish Friday
Tie up loose ends and finish everything I couldn’t get done this week

AND: Friends Friday
hang out with my friends! :)

Maruja Retana Lonneke Engel Joey Holthaus

Social Media Saturday
Plan posts for the week, shamelessly stalk people on Facebook and waste some time on Tumblr and Pinterest

AND: Celebration Saturday
Do something fun :)

Maruja Retana

Sweetie Sunday
Hang out with my sweetheart and have a major cheat day (Nutellaaaaa)

So yeah…my schedule is not really a schedule, and that is exactly why it works for me. It is more a tool to focus on certain themes each day. The reason why I think it is so perfect is because I have a tendency to react instead of act. It helps me to not go straight to Facebook when I turn on my laptop, because that is what I do only on Social Media Saturday (unless I have something specific to post). It helps me to be more reliable and tell people: ‘I’ll finish this song on Wednesday’, because that is when I write.

I highly recommend this system to all my fellow chaotic workaholics out there. Now, of course you can change it up as you like, e.g. my good friend Emily swears by her newly created ‘Maintenance Monday’ to keep her focused. Hope it helps you too, happy scheduling!

xoxo Maruja

Images copyright Organice Your Life®/Maruja Retana/Gijs Spierings



First published on Organice Your Life on January 22nd 2015


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