How to Create a Life Changing Weekly Planning Routine
Use these steps to set up a weekly planning routine that will help you make the most of your time, & achieve a more fulfilling life.
How to Create a Life-Changing Weekly Planning Routine
In this article, I want to share how to plan and organize your week so that at the end of the week, you look back and you're like, yes, my time was intentionally spent. I put my energy towards the right things. I got the things that I wanted to do done. And I feel good about my week.
In this article, I want to share the things that have really helped me when it comes to developing a weekly planning routine. It helps me to create better weeks. These are the things that have really helped me to not only enjoy my week's more, have more moments that I really enjoy, but also live my life more in alignment with my values and get the things that I want to get done.
Get Clear On Your Bigger Picture
The first thing that you need to do if you want to create an intentional weekly planning routine, is to get clear on your bigger picture. Planning your weeks with no clarity around what people, environment, activities, and lifestyle you want is like going on a long trip with absolutely no destination or directions. You need to get clear on who you want to be before you can start planning your weeks to become the person that you want to be.
There are two things that you need to get clear on starting with who you want to become. So this is straight from Eileen who runs Lavender, the Youtube channel. You can open a book, and on one side of the book, you want to have a current me. Draw a little picture of yourself as you are now, and write out how you feel. What are your current behaviors? What are the things that you might be struggling with now?
On the other side of the book, you want to draw your future self. Write down how you feel, how you have grown, and what behaviors you've integrated into your life.
The next thing that you need to define is your goals. So the things that you're working towards to support your future you. By setting up your goals before you start planning on your weeks, you can make sure that you're taking steps towards those goals, and those goals are usually supporting your future me.
Create Some Essential Lists of References
The Next Step to creating an intentional planning routine is to create some essential lists of references. So there are three lists that are going to help you immensely if you want to create an effective weekly planning routine.
The first list is that your non-negotiables. These are the things that if you do not do, you will end up being stressed, and you will end up being overwhelmed. Most of the things that are on your non-negotiables list will be maintenance tasks. These are things that maintain your current levels of success and happiness.
The next list that is going to help you immensely when you are weekly planning, is a restorative self-care list that is personalized to you. Usually, it's going to be a self-care activity. It could be movement. It could be meal prepping. It could be relaxing, or it could be a values-based task that's going to give you energy.
This list will look so different from person to person, but it's going to be a bunch of tasks that restore you and give you energy. The reason that this is so helpful is that it's full of activities that are restorative. These are the things that are going to give you back energy during the week.
The next list that is going to make your weekly planning routine so much easier is a master to-do list. This is a big Master list of all of the tasks on your mind, related to your personal life, your work life. This list is not your weekly to-do list, but it's a list that you're going to refer to when you create your weekly to-do list.
Design Your Weekly Planning Session
The next step to creating an intentional weekly planning routine is designing a routine that actually works for you. How your plan needs to align with you. If you value freedom time blocking every inch of your calendar simply won't work for you, you'll feel suffocated and you won't follow through. If you're someone that doesn't do things unless you have someone following you up for it and knocking on your door and asking for it then not planning accountability within your wig is a huge loss.
You're missing out on such a good opportunity to work with your mind. Here are the things that you need to consider when you are creating your weekly planning routine.
Firstly, how much freedom and flexibility do you need. Is it high medium or low? High flexibility might call for a really chill to-do list that you can choose and pick from day-to-day. If you're low on that scale, and you actually need a lot of structure, then you probably do want to lean towards time blocking.
Secondly, ask yourself, how much accountability do I need. If you need high levels of accountability find an accountability partner. Ask someone to check in with you at the end of the week. If you hate accountability, don't have any accountability when it comes to your weekly planning routine. Probably don't tell anyone about it and make it a really unique and special ritual that is specific to you.
So it feels very much like your activity or not doing anything cookie-cutter. You have your own process and no one's holding you accountable that will leave you feeling really in control, and you'll be more likely to follow through.
Next, ask yourself what amount of time is actually doable for me, and be really realistic with this question. If spending two hours on a Sunday morning planning your week sounds like an absolute nightmare at a really high level of commitment. Don't commit to that because you won't do it.
Commit to a 20-minute planning routine and write a really tight schedule for that 20 minutes that you get it all done. Keep things really simple and really easy. Alternatively, you can always split your planning routine in two. Find your sweet spot when it comes to the amount of time that you're willing to give up for a planning routine. For some people, it's very low for other people who really like fighting. If you're an organizer, you really enjoy that stuff. Spend more time on it. Make it a fun thing.
Create a Midweek Check-in Point
The next thing that is going to really help when it comes to creating a weekly planning routine is to create a midweek check-in point. If you've ever planned for some New Year's goals, you'll know that if you don't revisit those goals, you don't interact with them. They become stale, you forget about them, then you avoid them.
The same goes for your weekly plan. If you create a beautiful weekly plan on a Sunday. But then you never look at it for the rest of the week, you never tick anything off as you do it, you never interact with it. You're not actually going to follow through, and it's going to be kind of this pointless activity that you do for fun.
One of the best ways to make sure that you're interacting with your weekly plan is to schedule a little midweek check-in. This can truly be a 10-minute activity. It's a chance to take off anything that you've done, reshuffle things around that no longer work. You could even downsize things when you realize, oh, I was a bit ambitious this week. I'm not going to be able to get that much done, but make it smaller.
You truly wouldn't think that a few days would make a difference. Wednesday isn't that far away from Sunday, but I assure you on Sunday you'll feel clarified. You will feel clear about your weekend by Wednesday. You're gonna feel fuzzy, and you're going to need to revisit that plan to get clarity. And this is a true check-in. You're not just glancing over your plan, you're really reading every single tutor that you checked out, or every time lock that you made, you are shuffling things around. You are really interacting with your plan.
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