Do you often feel the pressure when the new week starts?

By the end of the week, do you feel disappointed that it could have been better?

Do you feel you have been through the week and spent your time again on not important tasks?

 

I often felt I waste my time, I didn’t use my time well, and the week just passed without doing anything valuable, any measurable step towards who I want to be.

Did I do my workout regularly this week? No. Did I complete all my tasks and improvement it is necessary to my career advancement? No. Did I read any page from any of my books? No. Did I spend valuable time with my spouse? No, not this week…

Well, if you often feel that way, you are not alone.

 

After some deep point, when I felt I’m not there where I wanted to be, I searched for ideas. I found that the reason is why I feel stressed is that I’m not prepared for my week in mind. If I don’t have set up goals, I don’t know where to go, and I find I’m going nowhere.

I sat down, took a paper, and decided in advance which days I work out, go shopping, read from my book, spend time with my family. First, I started to use planning in my private life, and soon I implemented it in my work life.

By planning my week I became more organized and productive in all areas of my life.

 

This post will help you to understand why planning is essential if we want to become better and feel easier when the new week starts.

 

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What is Planning?

Equipment for planning, notebook and calendar

Planning is the process of thinking about the activities needed to achieve the desired goal. This is the first and most important activity to achieve the desired results. 1

Plans are essential to help you prepare in mind for the following period, a day, a week, or a month ahead. Helping you stay focused on your goals, concentrate on your tasks. Assisting you to learn to prioritize duties, measure success.

 

What is a Weekly Plan?

Your weekly plan is your organized activities for the whole week, which ideally you draft ahead.

It means all your duties, tasks, upcoming events, meetings, hobbies, and goals, are placed into your calendar in advance. Like this, you have an overview and better control over your activities.

Daily planning releases anxiety and stress. Weekly planning raises awareness.

 

Why is a Weekly Planning Important?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Planning is generally essential if you would like to use your time most effectively. It helps you to be more productive as you know what you are aiming for in any area.

Scheduling more than a few months, even a month in advance may seem pointless in this ever-changing environment.

Weekly planning combined with daily prepared to-do lists brings the best results in today’s world.

 

7 Benefits of Weekly Planning

A lady plans her week

 

1. A Guide to Action

Your plans can guide your actions toward the intended results.

When you dedicate time to your wanted activities, you prepare in your mind, you start it easier and focus on them more.

You know that this is your task to do at that moment of your day, and don’t think about what else you should do and why you do it. It is all planned, knowing your “why”, moving towards the desired outcomes.

 

Imagine it’s Monday morning. You arrive at your workplace. Chat with co-workers. And what’s next? If you don’t have a plan, your boss, your tasks will control you instead of you directing them.

Imagine you’ve just finished work, and what’s next? If you have a planner or an appointment book, you just open it and see your pre-prepared schedule. Let’s say your desired goal is to be fit, sporty, so you’ve planned to work out 3-4 times a week. You know your “why”, that you exercise for the reason to be fit. When it comes to the temptation to be lazy and watch your favorite TV show from your couch, instead of working out, the voice in your head will remind you that you have your committed plan working toward your goals.

You are more likely to say yes to your schedule compare to don’t have a plan at all.

 

2. An Increased Work-Life Balance

Planning helps you to schedule when you work and when you are free.

Preparing your week ahead means you can decide how you spend your free time out of work. Instead of staying extra time in the office or front of your laptop as a freelancer, you close your PC and dedicate time to your family, friends, and hobbies.

The work-life conflict has many physical and mental health consequences and decreases the motivation and productivity level. Studies 2,3 show that we need regular breaks, days off, and holidays to recharge our batteries. We are far more focused and productive.

With planning, you can designate time for breaks at work. Decide when you work out, deal with your hobbies, spend time with your beloved ones. If you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, plan when you take your days offs. And schedule your holidays too, for a better work-life balance.

 

3. Control Over your Time

With planning, you can take better control of your time. You can schedule step-by-step how your next week will look. It releases lots of stress because you know what is coming next and when you are doing what.

On the other hand, try to don’t overdo it, don’t schedule every second of your day. It can have a negative effect. You feel you are always behind, off schedule, and in the end, it causes more frustration than ease.

You also save time with planning.

What is your destination? When would you like to be there? Look at your goals, short, medium, and long-term ones. Without a plan, it is not possible to reach any of your dreams. Your plan is the route between points A and B, between the now and your destination.

If you prepare your week efficiently, your days are well thought, and your activities are organized, you save a lot of time.

Use our Weekly and Daily free printable Planner to be prepared for your days and weeks ahead. >

 

5. Higher Productivity

Being productive means you are giving more attention to what matters to you, focusing on the best execution of those tasks, and harvesting the benefits.

When you plan, instead of losing time on unimportant things, you focus only on essential tasks, contributing to your success.

 

6. Measure your Progress

You can fall into the trap that you haven’t done anything during the day or the week. But when you look at your completed to-do list or crossed activities at the end of the week you have the proof you’ve progressed. Evaluate how much you’ve done! Not how much you haven’t! Every small thing matters, as all they add to your overall goals.

This way you measure how fast you are moving towards your goals. Track in the medium and long run what activities are adding to your success.

You can look back at your written plans, schedule, and to-do lists to understand what helps you and what holds you back.

 

7. Learning to Prioritize

Prioritizing means organizing or completing a set of items, tasks, events, activities in order of their importance.

When you sit down and organize your activities for the week, often only then you consider what is more important currently in your life. You also only have 24 hours in a day, so there’s no room for everything.

When you have a written to-do list, a written weekly plan you more likely to say “No” to unplanned, unexpected things. Let’s say your colleague invites you for a beer after work, but as you’ve planned, you have a date night with your spouse, so you rather say no and stick to your schedule. It is easier to communicate these planned occasions than unplanned programs.

 

8. Keeps you motivated

Planning helps you to stay motivated and committed.

Without clear goals, you don’t have expectations from your days and weeks. The time is just passing.

But when you have set up goals, the steps towards them are making sense. When you take your planner and look at it, you know where you are going. You know how much you’ve done. You have expectations from yourself. If your week is organized, you feel more the urge to stick to that schedule. It helps you to be more committed to your desired goals.

 

 Would you like to know how to plan exactly? Read our 6 Steps Guide of weekly planning.

 

Where to Use Planning?

Goal setting in a notebook

You can plan generally, outline your week, scheduling your tasks into your calendar, planner, or appointment book.

Check out designed daily& weekly planners for general purposes or my favorite method is using Planner Notepads. It fits on my table, and I can see all my priorities, notes, to-do list, my schedule for the whole week. When that week is over, I can just tear it off and plan my next week with a clean slate.

Or use an all-purpose planner. You can list your goals, and create your vision board to stay more focused. Use the gratitude journal to be aware of what you already have and what you’ve accomplished. It helps you to be more conscious, organized, and productive.

 

But you can use separate planners in all areas of your life.

 

1. Health planner

Prepare your diet and workout in advance.

You would like to change your lifestyle, eat healthily, and work out regularly. You can use a meal planner and workout planner. Your meal plan will contain your daily menus and the shopping list for the weekend. Having a different workout plan, with the exercises and the exact days, depends on whether you do a home workout or go to the gym.

Place it on your fridge, mirror, or somewhere where you can see the most. Or use the help of the Food Journal designed by fitness and nutrition experts. This helps to don’t lose your focus from your targets and track your progress.

 

2. Work planner

Plan your tasks, how you can bring out the best from yourself at work.

Write a to-do list of what needs to be done by the end of the current week, and what is your desired target towards your career advancement.

Are you in sales? Set up a goal, try to beat your record week by week. Are you working on projects? Plan it step-by-step. Working with customers? Make your clients smile, and satisfied. Working with a team? Organize your people. Working online? Separate your work from your private life.

Any kind of planner helps. Use our Weekly Planner template. Or plan your week online. Or use a professional business planner to stay on track and beat procrastination.

 

3. Business Planner

Schedule your meetings with your partners, accountant, lawyer, your conferences, duties in advance.

Communicate with your team, delegate the tasks, measure their performance. Click Up is a great online project management tool helping you coordinate and collaborate with your team. It is flexible and customizable that will grow and evolve with your team.

 

4. Learning Planner

It is more comfortable to plan your learning rhythm, and prepare for the exams, in advance.

Start scheduling your time long before you would feel overwhelmed that you are not ready for the upcoming tests and exams!

 

5. Relationship Planner

Schedule weekly dates with your partner. Take your kids out at the weekend into a park to play. Meet with your friends regularly, call them on the phone, video call, like zoom, skype, if the physical meeting is impossible. Take your dog (yes beloved ones) to at least for daily walks.

Find time for your beloved ones.

 

6. Hobby/ Free Time Activity/ Travel Planner

Allow time for your hobbies, free time activities, travel plans.

Often we give the least importance to our hobbies, even though they may help us to recharge the most, and to feel relaxed.

 

Final Thoughts on the 7 Benefits of Weekly Planning 

Being able to block time for the important things is playing an essential role in your work and private life.

The 7 benefits of weekly planning again:

  • Guide you to take action
  • Increasing work-life balance
  • You have control over your time
  • Perform higher productivity
  • You can measure your progress
  • You learn to prioritize
  • Keeps you motivated

Planning helps you to move towards who you want to become by scheduling your important tasks. And on the other hand helps you to evaluate what you have already done, and how you progress.

 

Sources

(1) Definition of Planning on Wikipedia
(2) Science Says Your Employees Need Days Off in Forbes
(3) The tiny breaks that ease your body and reboot your brain in BBC

 

Are there any other benefits of weekly planning that were not mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.