Are you feeling like running out of time? Is the week almost over?
You often feel anxious that you don’t have enough time, and you would like to feel more satisfied with the thing you’ve done, but wondering how?
Weekly planning has many benefits on your overall satisfaction, evaluation, balance, time management, productivity, and motivation.
In this post, you will learn step-by-step how to plan weekly.
“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing”
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What is the purpose of planning?
Planning always has a purpose.
The aim of planning is to achieve specific goals. Scheduling helps to concentrate your efforts on key activities instead of wasting your time on irrelevant tasks. It provides a sense of direction to reach your goals.
How do you create weekly plans?
There are several methods to use when you start:
- Use a paper/ or a blackboard and write it by hand
- An agenda, a designed planner, or an appointment book
- Weekly planner notepads
- Open a new document on your PC
- Use online applications so that you can access your planner from any device at any time
- Or use our Weekly and Daily free printable Planner >
First, it took me like 4-5 hours to set up my goals and plans, write my tasks list and schedule them. With time I became better, and planning now is part of my weekly routine. The preparation time also depends on how deep you would like to plan.
If you use your PC or any application, it makes easier the next week’s planning, as you can just copy-paste your template.
If you are new to planning and would like to do it with me right now, use any method above, such as taking a paper and a pen or using your laptop and opening a new document.
So let’s get started.
6 Steps Guide How to Plan Your Week
Step 1: Set up goals
Imagine your dreams and goals. Look at the “big picture” of who you want to be, what you want to do with your life.
Start with the long-term goals (10+ years away), then think for your medium-term goals (2-10 years away) and at last to your short-term goals (now-2 years away).
Think about all topics related to your physical and mental health, relationship, family, career, financial, purpose, public service, bad habits, travel, hobbies, learning new things like language, driving, etc.
Spend some time on these targets. Think about them one by one.
Be sure these are YOUR personal and professional goals, not ones that your partner, parents, boss might expects of you.
When you write down your ideas in each area of your life, use SMART goals.
- S – Specific: set up clear and specific goals
- M – Measurable: track your progress and stay motivated
- A – Attainable: look for achievable and realistic targets
- R – Relevant: reasonable and consistent with other related objectives
- T – Time-bound: time-limited, has a due date
Keep this in mind to create clear, realistic, meaningful goals, maintain your motivation, and prepare a time-limited action plan.
Step 2: Required Actions to Achieve these Goals
Now that you are ready with your intents. Look at them, topic by topic. What actions, habits, tasks, activities would help you to achieve them?
If you plan to learn a new skill to advance your career, what steps do you need to take to start moving forward? Is it to sign up for a new course and practice this ability regularly? How long does it take to learn this new skill?
If you desire to be sporty, how would you approach it? Which kind of physical activities would you enjoy doing? Is it yoga or a home workout program, or go to the gym, maybe to run? How many times should your practice it a week?
Write down topic by topic the necessary actions.
Step 3: Write a Weekly Duty & Wish List
Now that you have a clear idea about the activities helping you toward your target let’s start with the detailed Duty and Wish List.
Think about what you want to complete during this next week, considering the required actions.
I can recommend going along by categories. For me, my weekly duty & wish list looks like this:
- Work: full-time job, 8 hours, 5 times a week
- Freelance writing: uninterrupted blocks for writing 3 times, plus editing twice
- Health: 4 times home workout, grocery shopping, and meal preparation once
- Relationship: go out for a coffee or dinner once during the week with my husband, plus cooking, working out together
- Social life: call my mother at the weekend, meet with friends
- Learning: schedule my online courses into my week: 4 hours a week (weekend). Read from my books. (probably at the weekend)
- Meditation: 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes.
- Housework: laundry, cleaning, plants, fixing the car
- Business meetings, video calls
And when you are ready with your duty and wish list, then you can start prioritizing.
Step 4: Prioritize your List
Ask yourself what are the most important goals currently in your life that can contribute to your success? What activities, new habits do I need to adopt in my weekly plan that significantly impacts these intentions?
Write a number next to each activity according to their importance. If something is not that urgent or essential and you have a big list, more than 10 items, go through again and check if anything you could move ahead to the next week, delegate, or eliminate.
Use the Eisenhower Matrix 1 as the famous productivity strategy and decision – making tool:
- Do it: urgent and important tasks (do it right now)
- Decide: important but not urgent (schedule it in advance for later)
- Delegate: urgent, but not important (give it to someone else)
- Delete: neither urgent nor important (eliminate)
Find out what needs to be done this week because it is urgent, like fixing your car if it is broken, or the crucial tasks that contribute to your aims and productivity, like you want to change your job, so you need to write your resume.
Step 5: Outlining & Scheduling
Create a brief outline of your week where you schedule your work time and any duties, like taking the kids to school and walking the dog daily, the organized lessons, sports classes, even when you plan to wake up and go to sleep. It is easier to perform your plan if it is arranged logically.
Then take your prioritized list for the week and start to think about the action steps. Organize all points into your calendar. Don’t miss out on anything.
Decide which day you go to fix your car, which day you go shopping, to the gym, for a romantic dinner with your partner, when you write your resume when you read your book, play with your children.
Pair them with the empty blocks in your weekly planner. Assign each priority to a designated day, finding uninterrupted time for them.
If you have similar activities on your list, you can group them, make it easier for your brain by focusing on similar tasks. Like when you do the cleaning, fix the laundry, ironing, and plants as well. When you reply to the emails, also do your necessary phone calls.
If one task is too large, divide it into several days. Don’t overload yourself, especially when you are new to planning.
Scheduling will push you to concentrate on the implementation of these priorities. And it will move you closer to complete them, or at least to get started.
Step 6: Be Consistent and Commit to your Weekly Plan
Plan consistently, stick to your weekly schedule, follow your objectives.
When you commit to your goals and weekly plans, you are less likely to say “Yes” to unexpected lunch invites, lost chatting time at work, any random activities that are not aligned with your priorities.
Helpful Tips on Weekly Planning
The best is if you plan an uninterrupted time for planning. You can be ready in your mind by Monday, knowing what your tasks are, what needs to be done. You can start the new week, go to work, less anxious, less stressed. Plan your week before it starts, ideally on Sunday.
Be flexible to change
Be open to unplanned events, like a more important or urgent task occurs. For example, a client calls about a critical job that needs to be done earlier, or the water is flowing and you need to contact the plumber, or maybe your child is feverish and can’t go to school.
But by blocking out time in your planner, calendar, or app, you have more control over your time, and you can also decide about the importance of the upcoming events, and you can consider what is more urgent or important
Write notes of your new ideas
When comes a new idea, new task arises, write it down immediately into your planner under notes or next week’s to-do list, and when it comes to your planning time, let’s say Sunday, you already have a few points written there. It helps you don’t lose track of your ideas and jobs that need to be done or fixed.
Don’t overdo the scheduling
When you plan too strictly, it can cause more stress. Planning should help instead of holding you back.
Add some extra time to every longer activity, like an additional 10-15 minutes. When you do your daily routine, like showering, doing your make-up, having breakfast, commuting, meeting with others, allow some extra time. The worst thing is to stress and rush throughout the day with a tight schedule.
Make goal setting and planning a habit
Do it every once a week, every week, until it will become natural.
Final Thoughts on the 6 Steps of Weekly Planning
By organizing your activities, planning your tasks, and preparing extensively for the days and week ahead, you can save time, increase work-life balance, perform better, and move towards your desired goals.
You can also read the 7 Benefits of weekly planning here.
To wrap up, here are the 6 steps again:
Step 1: Set up goals
Step 2: Write down the required steps to achieve these goals
Step 3: Write a weekly duty and wish list
Step 4: Prioritize your list
Step 5: Outlining and scheduling
Step 6: Be Consistent and commit to your weekly plan
Do you any other useful tip which was not mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.