Productivity Post: Plan Your Week

As a recovering procrastinator I know what it is like to put things off. It could be so easy to say I'll do it mañana or someday. 

I didn't learn to plan until my life crumbled. I overbooked myself, I showed up late to events and I felt like nothing was working. I literally had to get it together. Don't get me wrong, I love being spontaneous, but being spontaneous does not mean being irresponsible. Many times I felt like I had been irresponsible because I had to pull all-nighters due to me being "spontaneous" and choosing to have fun first. 

I don't mean that everything should be work. I think we need to find a happy balance. The only way I was able to do that is by planning ahead. Yes, life will throw curves and unexpected bumps on the road at you. Such obstacles are easier to overcome if we're prepared for the unexpected. The only way to do this is to plan. 

Every Sunday, I make a beautiful cup of coffee, set a calming playlist and sit down with my planner. Sometimes I eat breakfast of lunch. I have a Sunday meeting with myself. This is the time to go over all accomplishments for the past week. This is the time to figure out what went wrong and learn from it and to evaluate what went right and celebrate it. This is the time to look at the week ahead and figure out what needs to be done when in order to accomplish our goals. 

I ask myself the following: 

  1. What accomplishments happened last week? 
  2. What lessons did I get? 
  3. Did I help someone make their life better in any way? 
  4. What are my MUST do's for this upcoming week? When am I going to get them done?
  5. What are my scheduled meetings/appointments this week? Do I need to prepare for any of those? 

Answering these questions will give you a head start on what needs to happen this week. After it is done a couple of times, the autopilot switches on in your brain and pretty soon the Sunday meeting will be a breeze.  

The Sunday meeting shouldn't be longer than 30-45 minutes. It is a simple review of the past, set the intentions for the future and a time to schedule ahead. After your week is planned on Sunday, you can relax and decide to do something spontaneous. Yesterday I went skating. There were no stresses or worries because I knew exactly what needed to be done the next day. 

What happens when you don't have time to do your weekly Sunday meeting? You do it on Monday. Either way, you need to find the best time and day for you to plan the upcoming week ahead. 

How do you plan for the week ahead? Do you do it during a specific time of the day? Is your weekly plan a habit/ritual in your life?