How to Get a Lot Done Without Feeling Busy

How to Get a Lot Done Without Feeling Busy

When I got back from maternity leave, it was not surprisingly a little tricky to get back in the groove of work. 5 months of living in babyland will do that.

There was one weekly habit that had revolutionized my ability to focus and get done what needed to get done during any given week, and I realized I’d let it slip.

I was going through my days feeling frazzled, trying to answer emails while pumping and talking on the phone, shoving crackers in my mouth between appointments, and feeling simultaneously rushed and lost.

I felt like by the time the girls were asleep at night and the kitchen was passing for cleaned up that I hadn’t had more than 5 focused minutes or even a deep breath all day.

I knew the way I was going about things wasn’t sustainable, and I remembered the very habit that had broken me of my addiction to rushing and busyness in the first place:

A weekly planning ritual.

As simple as it sounds. Way more powerful than you can imagine.

Since I’ve reincorporated it into my week, not only do I not feel frazzled anymore, I have clarity around the vision of our company like I’ve never had before, and I feel like the work I’m doing is on point and powerful. Plus, our results (like opt-ins and revenue) are increasing.

Here’s how I do it:

On Sunday night after we’ve put the girls to bed, I sit down with my planner sheets. (I created a system for our Origin™ membership that’s free when you join.)

1. I write down either where I am in my cycle (when I’m having a cycle) and/or what my body is needing that week. I do my best to align my tasks for the week with the energy of the phase of the cycle I’m in and to align my schedule for what my body is craving– rest, movement, healing, relaxation, etc. (I’ve got a whole post on the phases of your cycle and what kinds of tasks are best for each next week so make sure you’re on my list to get it right to your inbox. Along with the guide you’ll also get weekly tips on having more by doing less from yours truly.)

My motto is:

Body first. Business second. twitter-logo

If I don’t take care of my body, I have zero ability to grow my business (or tend to my kids or anything/one else that needs tending to.)

2. I write down what my top 3 priorities are that week. That way I know what to focus on each day when I sit down to work. (When I don’t do this, I completely lose focus and nothing meaningful gets done.)

3. I write down how I want to feel that week. If it’s a launch week, I might write “expansive.” If it’s a writing week, I might write “cozy.”

4. I write down what’s going on in the cosmos. Our resident astrologer in Origin™, Jennifer Racioppi, gives us a Cosmic Weather Report each month so I can plan for days that are great for setting intentions, great for visibility, or great for planning. I also always note the phase of the moon because, especially if I’m not having my monthly cycle, I like to follow the ebb and flow of the moon for my planning purposes. (The structures for planning and organization as women are all around us and within us. We have only to follow them to find our renewable energy sources.)

Only once I’ve checked in with my body, my priorities, my emotions, and the cosmos do I write my to-do list.

I make sure to ask myself the following 3 questions about every to-do I’m about to write down:

1. Does this need to be done?

2. Does this need to be done by me?

3. Does this need to be done right now?

Those questions filter out a lot of stuff that doesn’t belong on my list.

When I practice this weekly planning ritual, I feel infinitely more satisfied at the end of my week. I get more of the important stuff done and waste way less time and energy on the stuff that doesn’t matter.

I have 3 more key habits to having more than enough time for the things that really matter, and I’m teaching them in a free workshop next week.

Click here to get registered.

You’ll leave the workshop with a weekly planning checklist to ensure that what matters gets space in your schedule.


What do you think of this weekly planning ritual? Is it something you could see using? What planning rituals, if any, do you do? Leave a comment and let me know!

P.S. If you want to reclaim your time so that you’re focusing on the things that get you results (such as revenue, satisfaction, life enjoyment, and peace of mind), you need to join me for the free workshop I’m teaching next week, The Focus Formula: The Way To Get Things Done Stress-Free, Everyday. Click here to reserve your spot.


  • Brunna

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you SO much for this and for your wisdom! It’s so relevant to my life right now and I think when we don’t listen to our bodies they make sure we listen somehow!
    I was wondering, when you are speaking of your personal cycle, what are you talking about? Thank you so much and for all the work you do.



  • Love this Kate💚
    I’ll definitely us it!
    Thankyou for sharing🙏

  • Anja

    Dear Kate,
    I really enjoy your Blog, Podcast and I’m currently listening to your audiobook “Money- A Love Story”. Thank you for all the wisdom you share <3.
    Since I have a lot to do with PMS and it's impact on my life, I'd love to hear from you how you plan your week/month around your cycle!

    Thank you for all your Articles!

    • Kate Northrup

      Thanks Anja! I really appreciate the feedback. I would be happy to share about how I plan my week around my cycle at some point in the future. Right now the place that I share that all the time is in my Origin membership. If you’re not yet a member you can get on the waitlist at Thanks!

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