Weekly Planning: Plan Your Week Ahead of Time

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or stressed out on a Sunday night when you start thinking about the upcoming week? Wondering if you are going to fit everything in or if you have overcommitted again and haven’t left time to look after yourself? Or get to the end of the week and wonder “where did that time go?”

If so, you may like to keep reading as today I am going to talk about planning your weekly schedule ahead of time or weekly planning, so you can stay focused on what matters to you!

 

Why Plan Your Week Ahead of Time?

Before I start, I just want to say (just like I did with monthly planning) weekly planning is a part of a system for me. That system is made up of yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily planning as well as my vision, mission, values, goals and intentions. Now with that being said, let’s get back to weekly planning and the benefits of planning out your week ahead of time.

1. Helps You Focus on Your Priorities and Be More Effective

As the quote goes – “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goeth. By having your week planned out in advance, it helps you focus on what matters most to you in your life. It is like a preview of the week and if you can see it is not going to work, you make any adjustments ahead of time!

2. Helps You to Say ‘No’

Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something and wish you hadn’t? Don’t worry you are not alone! By planning ahead and seeing your tasks, activities, special dates and appointments planned out, you know what is on your plate and can help you avoid overcommitting yourself and say ‘no’.

3. Helps You to Feel In Control

When you take the time to plan your week ahead of time, you feel more in control of your day-to-day tasks, appointments and activities. You won’t need to waste unnecessary time and energy wondering what you need to you.

And when you have your income and expense planned out in relation to your money, it also has the added bonus of feeling safe and secure.

4. Helps Increase Your Accountability Levels

When you have a weekly plan, it can help avoid those missed meetings as well as keep your commitments to your self and other people.

5. Helps You to Eliminate Interruptions

Having a weekly plan, helps you to eliminate external interruptions ahead of time. For example – if you know a task is going to take an hour and you have planned it out, you can turn all devices (i.e. phones, e-mails etc) off for that hour.

 

What other benefits of weekly planning do you have? Feel free to share them below!

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

How to Plan Your Week Ahead of Time

Are you convinced weekly planning can help you increase your personal effectiveness and self-management? If so, following is an image about how I plan my week ahead of time. I generally complete this process each Sunday night 🙂

1. Read Mission and Vision

Before I start the planning process, I read over my mission and vision. This helps me stay on track and focused.

“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” ~ Brian Tracy

2. Review Values

Reviewing my values, helps to make sure I am living in alignment. My values have become clearer over the years, which is why I continue to review them.

3. Review 90-day / Quarterly Plan

I then review my 90-day / quarterly plan. I am a big fan of quarterly planning as it feels manageable for me. My clients also say it is a good time frame.

“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill

4. Review Projects

Each quarter, I focus on 3 main projects and I review them each week. I can also add actions to these projects during this time.

5. Review iCal Calendar

For many years now, I have put my appointments in iCal (yep they are colour coded to my values). I have also put all of my expenses, birthdays and other important dates in there.

6. Check Weekly Review Sheet

My weekly review sheet helps me to stay on track and make any adjustments if I need to 🙂 It is different to my monthly review sheet and end-of-year-ritual.

7. Check Project Manager

My project manager already has my top 3 projects in there (as I did that in the 90-day planning process). Subsequently, a number of steps are already in there. I have up to 3 steps for each project in my project manager, unless it is a course I need to complete as those steps tend to be a bit more linear.

8. Check Task Manager –

Again, my task manager (which is the same tool as my project manager) already has outlined my yearly, 6-monthly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks. This took a little to organise, however it saves my time and energy.

9. Decide on Priorities

Throughout this process, my priorities for the upcoming month become clearer, or they have already been identified  when I do my 90-day / quarterly plan.

10. Schedule Priorities

I then schedule the priorities in to my task manager – again if they aren’t already in there.

 

Over to You…

Do you plan your week in advance? Is there any thing else you would add to the weekly planning process?

I hope this post has given you some insight in to my weekly planning process and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them below!

Also – if there is something else you would add, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

 

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