Try these tips for quick and effective week planning.
1. Brain dump
This is BY FAR the biggest secret, well this and #5. On a separate notepad or notebook write down absolutely everything that you need to do and want to do that week. And I mean LITERALLY everything. Empty your brain! (If only that was really possible… que the elevator music and stress free life. Sigh…) The more you put on paper the less the mind chatter will become and the smaller the chance for something popping up later that you should've done but forgot about. When everything is written down, we instinctively know we don’t have to fixate on it, because there is a record kept.
2. Categorize & prioritize
On that same notepad or notebook make different categories. Choose your own. A few examples HOME, WORK, FAMILY, SELF, GOALS, FUN etc. Now list those things that you put down in your brain dump under:
- Must do / very important
- Important but not needed to be done right away
- These things are not important and can be done whenever
- What can you delegate? – This is an important one. If you have help, use it.
Now remember the urge to group everything in the “A” column will be there. So be honest, is it really THAT important, or are you just creating more importance. Also things that are personal and important to you like exercise or even a coffee date with a friend can most definitely go into the “A” column. Prioritizing yourself is not selfish, you cannot pour from an empty cup and just because you are now a wife and/or a mother etc doesn’t mean you don’t still have things you enjoy that make you feel good. Prioritize those things for yourself. We have been conditioned to think that those things should be secondary needs and if you aren’t hustling EVERY.MINUTE.OFF.THE.DAY.BEING.A.BOSS.GIRL what are you even doing (more on why I unsubscribed to hustle and boss girl culture another day)
Open your planner on your month spread. Look at your lists made and write in all the big ticket must do items ie. Medical appointments, work deadlines, birthdays etc. Go to the actual day of those events and write them in on the day. On the previous week, write yourself a little reminder of that important task for the next week.
This is where the week spread really shines. As you schedule your important tasks for the week, make sure (if it’s possible) to not group everything on the same day, that might cause you to rush and not be able to finish things. Try and choose 1 big/important task per day. And if you really struggle stack that activity with something you love and enjoy ie. You hate replying to emails, and you love drinking a fancy coffee in the morning. Stack those two things. Only have the coffee if you are responding to emails (more on habit stacking in another post)
Now go back and schedule everything else in as well. Make sure to check in with your Yearly home schedule incase there is something important listed on there that needs to be done. Be sure to give yourself ample time (if that is possible, it isn’t always) to finish tasks. When we rush and there is too much to do in a short time, that’s when the wagons wheels start to fall off.
NOTE: Priorities MAY CHANGE and unforeseen events may occur. Keep an open mind and just reschedule using the same process if need be.
This is my favourite part. When I sit down to plan my week, starting at point #1 I like to create a cosy space. Make sure you are sitting comfortably at a desk, the couch or even the floor if that’s your thing. Light some candles, scent is so important and can really make or break a mood, play some music and make your favourite beverage and if your are like me maybe some snacks. It should be a whole vibe!
This is where it all comes together, all the perfect planning in the world is going to do nothing for your life if you do not follow through and execute. Choose the 1 important thing or the thing you are dreading to do the most. Do it first. Get it done and out of the way. Creating a system in your planner where you can tick off a list of things done might inspire you to work through your to-do list. I know for myself, ticking a list gives me enough of a high, that I want to finish it. It may take some time to find what works best for you, scheduling in the most optimum way is very individual, so we trial by error. But every time something didn’t really work and you try another way, you have gained some knowledge and experience and will be one step closer to the best possible week.
The more you repeat something, the more it becomes part of your routine and the more ingrained the habit becomes. See it like this, do you think about doing your evening skin care routine? No, you just do it. These things will become the same way over time. Be flexible as things don’t always go 100% according to plan, BUT if you have a plan to start with you can change and adapt. Not having a game plan makes for disastrous results.
I like to do this on either a Friday afternoon if I have a very busy weekend, because I do not like to rush or on a Sunday afternoon. I hope you have found these tips and tricks useful. If you try them, let know how they worked for you.