By Preston Roach
Do you ever get to Friday evening and think to yourself “what in the world did I get done this week?” You’re not alone. A lot of us are in the habit of floating through the week while being totally reactive to things that arise. We aren’t proactively planning things out, which in turn causes us to stress about every task that comes up. We think to ourselves that we just don’t have the time to get it all done. But really there’s enough time available in a week to get everything done that we want to if we just took the time to organize it. That’s where this article will come in handy. I’m going to show you the most important things to keep in mind when planning your week, as well as give you some ideas on how to most effectively use the time that you have. Step 1 – Set aside time to plan
OK, so this one may be super obvious!
You’re not going to need a ton of time to plan out your week. Just set aside 30 minutes to an hour to spend on your plan.
The time that works best for me is Sunday evening right before dinner. You might try a few different times to see what works best for you. It might be first thing in the morning or right before bed.
Make it a habit to take this time to plan every week, no matter what.
Step 2 – Review your whys
The biggest step to planning your week is to understand what is most valuable to you.
This isn’t a one size fits all answer. There are 6 life categories, and at any time one of them can be more important to you than the rest.
Learning what drives you is the single most important part of planning your week.
Step 3 – Look at last week
What did you do that helped you out the most last week?
A lot of times we can just start with what we’ve already done. No need to re-invent the wheel if we don’t have to.
There were probably some days where you felt like you had it all together, and then others when you felt totally lost.
Remember as much detail as you can about each day. Use those details to help decide what you should do this week.
Step 4 – Pick a calendar and stick with it
Some people like to use a physical daily planner. Others like to use a digital calendar that can sync across all their devices.
It really doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as its something that you are going to use.
When you are first getting started, you might try a few different things, but don’t waste a lot of time bouncing back and forth. Once you find something that works for you, just stick with it.
Personally, I use google calendars and the free version of Asana. When planning, I use a small dry erase board to physically write my ideas out. It helps me to see them all in one place before putting them into my digital planner.
Step 5 – Prioritize
Now that you know what’s important to you, and you know where you’re going to write it down, start deciding what is actually important and what isn’t.
If you are having trouble prioritizing, try using the Eisenhower Matrix to help you decide what you actually need to do.
Sometimes I end up with a huge “to-do” list and realize that over half of it really isn’t important.
Step 6 – Batch your tasks together
Think about the physical location of things first. Is the grocery store on the way home from the gym? Pick up your groceries after you work out.
Are you married? Take time to sit down weekly with your significant other and review your budget. This is quality time with your spouse and will help you keep your finances on track.
Do your friends enjoy hiking? Spend some time with them while improving your health.
Take care of your finances so that you don’t have to work a job you hate just to pay the bills (OK, I know this one is easier said than done, but it is the ultimate life hack).
Step 7 – Repeat the process
Success is all about consistent persistent action. Nobody got successful overnight, no matter how much they try to make you believe that they did.
Take things day by day. All you need to do is make a little bit of progress every day, and you will be crushing your goals before you know it.
Make a plan every single week. Stick to the plan. Continue building yourself into the person that you know you can be. The person that you want to be.
Things to keep in mind as you plan your week
A weekly plan is never going to be perfect. It is a guide to help you get the most out of the time that you have.
Being a perfectionist about it will result in a lot of stress that you don’t need to be putting on yourself.
Your goals can be a road map for your weekly plan. If you have spent time developing the goals that you’re trying to reach, it can really help you when prioritizing your plan.
You might start getting down on yourself for not getting everything done in a week that you set out to do. Remember, you’re only trying to be better than you were yesterday. You will build confidence in yourself as long as you try.
If you feel like you’re wasting a lot of time, it may be a time management issue. There’s really a ton of time in a week. If you’re able to be productive most of that time, there’s no end to what you can achieve.
Keeping a daily journal will help you track your progress. You can look back and see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Wrapping it up
This article is meant to help you get started with planning your week. If you’re looking for more tips on productivity, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to productivity.
Preston is a personal finance, self improvement, and mental health blogger. His passion is to help others make choices that will help them be more fulfilled, happier, healthier, and educated about money. He strives to write with honesty and integrity. His hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time with his wife and dogs. Contact Preston at progressninja.com