To make the most out of the week ahead and to remove any unnecessary stress you must plan your week around the things which are important to you. Otherwise it’s easy to let life pass you by as you do the same routine day-in and day-out. You deserve to have a fulfilling and meaningful life and when you plan your week in advance you’re able to make time for the things in life which you value most.
Choose a day
Choose a day when you will sit down for 10-15 minutes and update your calendar and planner for the upcoming week. Try to do it on the same day and time (if you can) every week, as this will help form a habit. I always prefer to review my calendar on a Sunday, Sunday tends to be a good day to plan your week as it’s a sort of “get your life together” kind of day. Put yourself in a relaxed mind-set by putting on your comfy clothes, listen to your favourite music, grab a warm or refreshing drink and open up your calendar. The idea behind this is to remove any unnecessary stress while you plan your week ahead.
We all have non-negotiable tasks which we have to do, whether this be work, studies, looking after a relative or taking the kids to school. As these items are non-negotiable, it’s best to add them to your calendar first , so you can clearly see how much time you have left for the things which are important to you. Remember to block time before and after tasks for unexpected things, such as traffic, a cancelled train or having to drive back home to pick up your kids lunch box!
Appointments and deadlines
Write down any deadlines you have or appointments you need to make such as booking a dentist appointment or returning an item you no longer want. While these may not seem critical, they sure can cause unnecessary stress when you can’t book the appointment time you wanted or when you’ve missed the returns by date. You can either add these to your calendar, or set yourself a reminder for the week. Whatever works best for you!
Decide what chores need to be done this week, such as house chores, food shopping or maybe even DIY tasks around the house. Setting a time in the calendar to do these will mean you are much more likely to do them and you can see how much time you actually have each week to work on your to-do list.
What’s important to you?
The next step is to write down what’s most important to you and what you want to make time for every week. For example, calling your parents or a friend, having date night with your spouse, cooking a family dinner every Sunday, working out four times a week or making time to work on your art or your business.
Select monthly goals
Now for some goal setting! Write down your goals, it doesn’t matter if they’re short term or long term goals or whether they are a New Year Resolution, a five year plan or a 6 week goal. If you haven’t set yourself any goals then have a think about what you wish to achieve this month or year. Think about what inspires you and what motivates you. What do you think about every-single-day? What do you envision yourself doing in the future? Once you’ve thought of a goal, make a separate list of tasks which you need to do to reach this goal. It doesn’t matter if you only know the first step or two or even if your first step if to do research or invest in a course. Add these tasks to your calendar and make time for your goals and your self-development!
Priorities and categorise
Now that you’ve written down your tasks and goals for the week ahead, it’s time to priorities and categorise. I have several to-do lists including work and blogging tasks, a shopping list and a general errands list. Categorising your tasks allows them to appear more ‘bite-size’ and manageable, reducing any feelings of stress and overwhelm. Of course, this is a personal preference and you can play around with your lists and find what works best for you. Prioritising your tasks doesn’t always mean doing what you love first, sometimes it’s best to complete the difficult and maybe boring tasks first.
Schedule your time
Schedule the time you need to accomplish each task. Do you have time during your commute to work? If your sitting on the train for a while you could use this time to tick a few things off your list. Such has reading a book which you hope to finish by next week or writing blog post ideas (if you’re a fellow blogger).
Check your planner in the morning
Before you start your day review your planner, what are you going to accomplish today? Do you need to set yourself any reminders? Make this part of your morning routine.
Reflect in the evening
In the evenings, spend a couple of minutes reflecting on your day. Did you achieve everything you wanted? Could you of done more or do you need more time to relax?
Tips and tricks
- Write a to-do list
- Celebrate little achievements
- Tick tasks off your list once complete
- Be clear on what you want to accomplish
- Set reminders on your phone or use post-it notes