If there is one thing a planner should not skip, it is taking time each week to plan out the basics. Why take the time to do this? Planning at the onset of each week can help you stick to a routine, build healthy habits and memory, manage your time, and progress on your goals! In 5 easy steps, you can take control of your time and ensure that it is being well spent on the things that matter most to you.
Planner Tip: These steps work best in an hourly planner—either paper or digital. If you are looking for a great hourly planner, you can use code CRISTAL10 to save 10% on Passion Planner. For digital planners, I recommend Google Calendar.
- Time-Block Commitments
The first step to take when planning your week is to block out necessary commitments. This would include your work schedule, your children’s sports, lessons, and activities, and any other personal or professional appointments and meetings you have planned for the week. To designate these time blocks, you can outline or frame them, use a color-coding system, label the start time and draw a downward arrow to the ending time, or find any other system that works for you.
2. Make Time for Big Rocks
After your mandatory commitments are blocked, scan your remaining availability. Where your schedule allows, make time for your big rocks (or the other items that are most important to you). This may include quality family time, date nights, workouts, church, creative projects, or self-care. This is an important second step. It is crucial to make time for these rocks before you fill your schedule with less important tasks that could have been done another time. You can use the same method as step one to designate these time blocks or try something new!
3. Add Important Dates
Once your big rocks are squared away, check your monthly calendar to ensure that you have identified all important dates occurring that week, such as birthdays, school festivities, and holidays. There may not always be a special date to add, but building the habit of checking weekly will keep you from forgetting anything.
4. Add Weekly To-Do’s
To-do lists may not the most fun part of planning your week, but they are an important part of adulting. Items on a to-do list are not big rocks, but are important and must get done. Weekly to-do list items could include calling a plumber, getting your car detailed, grocery shopping, cleaning, or home projects. You may also need another to-do list for work-related tasks. As you start your week, do not sacrifice ‘big rock time’ for your weekly to-do’s. Keep your rock time as sacred as your mandatory commitments.
5. Bonus: Add Weekly Goals
If you stop your weekly planning session after step four, you are already set up for a successful, productive week. However, you can give your week a supercharge by adding in weekly goals. Tie these weekly goals to your yearly goals to ensure you are making meaningful progress over time. Examples of weekly goals are organizing your monthly budget, trying two new healthy recipes, going on three morning runs, or reading a chapter of your book each night. If you do decide to list one or more weekly goals, be sure that they are S.M.A.R.T. goals that can be easily tracked.
Following these simple steps will leave you feeling organized and energized! You will also have some peace of mind knowing that everything is scheduled and nothing will be forgotten. If you have not tried planning out your week before, let me know how these steps work for you!