Do your weeks go by too fast for you to count? Do you constantly find yourself wishing for more time in a day or a week so that you can get everything you want done?
If so, then learning the art of weekly planning may help you greatly!
What is weekly planning?
What it says on the tin; Weekly planning is the process of organizing your week, including your tasks, deadlines, appointments and even your rest and relaxation time! Of course, there are other (optional) aspects to weekly planning that we'll be getting into later.
The importance of weekly planning
But you may be asking: why should I put in the extra effort to plan my week? What's in it for me?
1. Reduce stress and anxiety
For one, weekly planning helps to reduce stress and anxiety about the week ahead! When you've got everything important laid out neatly in front of you, the workload will not seem nearly as intimidating.
Plus, this also means that you've got more time and energy to deal with anything unexpected that comes your way during the week.
2. Improves efficiency
Planning your week in advance also means that you can plan how you want to tackle your tasks in the most efficient way possible! This way, you can get more week done in less time, giving you more time for rest, relaxation and play.
3. Live life more mindfully
Finally, planning your week also helps you to be more mindful! How often do you really sit down and reflect on the week that has passed? When we really pause and reflect on the days past, we'll be able to learn from our mistakes, celebrate our wins, and become better people!
6 tips for effective weekly planning
1. Plan your week on a Sunday
The age-old piece of advice when it comes to weekly planning — but one that has merit! When you plan the upcoming week on Sunday, you'll feel more prepared and composed for the week ahead.
Plus, you'll probably have more time to leisurely and thoroughly do some weekly planning on Sunday rather than on Monday morning!
Alternatively, some people prefer doing their weekly planning on Fridays. This allows them to spend their weekends with a peace of mind and lets them properly relax and recharge for the week ahead.
2. Set your priorities
We all have tasks and appointments that should be prioritized above all. An urgent deadline, a task that cannot be postponed, an important call — these are all things that should be at the top of your to-do list and highlighted during weekly planning!
To help you determine your priorities, consider using the Eisenhower Matrix (or, the Urgent-Important Matrix)! Using the matrix, you can sort your weekly tasks into these 4 categories:
- Important and urgent: Do it immediately
- Important and not urgent: Schedule it
- Not important and urgent: Delegate it
- Neither important nor urgent: Do it later
With the Journey Digital Planner 2022, you can sort your tasks in such a manner on the Eisenhower Matrix provided within the planner itself!
Once you've done so, you can even put all your tasks into a prioritized to-do list. Simply write down the task to be completed, the person you wish to delegate it to, and when you need to complete it by!
3. Make an action plan
It's not enough to just list out your most important tasks of the week. To truly be well-prepared, you should also take some time to make a brief action plan for your top 3 most important tasks and goals of the week.
For example, you may want to think about how long you want to spend on that task, how you can go about completing the task, and how you can overcome any potential obstacles in the process.
4. Plan rewards
Making plans for getting work done is important, but it's just as important to plan rewards for completing those tasks!
Planning rewards will not only help incentivize and motivate you to be as productive as possible, but they also serve as reminders for you to celebrate the hard work you've done! Congratulating and rewarding yourself for doing your best is an important aspect of self-care as well.
5. Review your week
Every new day and every new week is an opportunity to enjoy a fresh start and to improve! If we want to constantly grow and become better people, it's important to constantly reflect on the time past — and you can incorporate this into your weekly planning!
At the end of every week, try to look back and identify areas of improvement. For instance, maybe you were too distracted and weren't productive enough. Then, in your weekly planning, you should think of ways to improve — to identify your distractions and find ways to eliminate them, for example.
6. Plan your relaxation time
It's good to be productive and efficient at work, but we should never forget to take breaks and to take care of ourselves!
Working nonstop and without rest is, in fact, counterproductive, since you end up burning yourself out. Instead, taking frequent and fruitful breaks gives you time to recharge and reset so that you can return to work even more productive than ever!
When you plan out your rest time in advance, you're prioritizing your mental health needs and making sure that you won't compromise your rest for more work.
The power of a digital planner
With so much thought that has to go into weekly planning, you may want to look into getting a weekly planner that suits your needs!
However, some people may find it a hassle to bring around a notebook or planner, and it can be easy to run out of writing space on a traditional paper planner.
If those are some concerns you have, why not consider getting a digital planner instead?
Digital planners are usually interactive PDFs and you can write on them with a tablet and a stylus — just like you would with a traditional weekly planner. Furthermore, you can easily duplicate pages to make more writing space, so you'll never have to worry about that!
It's all about finding what works best for you and your weekly planning journey!