Planning ahead is so important to keep you on track so you’re not wasting time trying to choose what to work on next. Pre-planning my week has been one of the most effective time management strategies!
Most people plan their week on a Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. If you’re not sure what day of the week is ideal for you to plan, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What is the best day of the week to plan?
When do you have time to sit down and plan?
Most people are busy during the week after work. Some people also consider planning a ‘chore’ so if this is the case for you I wouldn’t recommend planning on a weekday – especially not after work when you just want to come home and relax.
What’s coming up?
You should plan your tasks around your life not the other way around. If you have a birthday party coming up there’s no point planning to deep clean the entire house if the party starts at midday and will run until late afternoon – unless you like cleaning at night time or getting up super early.
Most people (myself included) are guilty of over-scheduling – of planning the things they like to get done, rather than realistically looking at how much they can get done.
You to do list is not a wish list!
What day of the week does your planner start?
If your planner starts on a Monday, I recommend planning on a Sunday.
If your planner starts on a Sunday, I recommend planning on a Saturday.
You want to know what you’re doing before the week starts.
Do you need to talk to kids or hubbies and incorporate their plans?
If you need to keep track of other people’s schedules as well as your own then what day of the week is everyone available to discuss what’s coming up in the week ahead?
Or find out what everyone else is up to a couple of days before you want to plan the week ahead so you don’t have to wait for people to get back to you / confirm things – you can just get on with planning.
What day of the week do you grocery shop?
When I plan my week I meal plan at the same time. And to save more time, I also write my grocery list at the same time as I meal plan.
I keep a sticky note (the post it 3M brand) notepad handy to write my shopping list. I could jot this down on my iPhone but I’m paranoid I’ll drop it when I’m also carrying a heavy basket around the grocery shop. Whereas I can keep the paper shopping list in my pocket which is easier to access than rummaging around in my handbag. I don’t write my grocery list straight into my planner as it’s too bulky to carry around the shop. I highly recommend keeping a sticky note with your grocery list in your planner, then you’re less likely to lose it and can pull it out to take shopping with you.
If you go to the grocery shop on a Wednesday because that’s when the weekly specials start and you want to make sure nothing sells out, then you’d want to write your grocery list before then, not the day off when you’re in a rush and are likely to forget things. if you don’t grocery shop until later in the week you can always write up your grocery list and then add to it as the week progresses and you use things up.
6. What times of the week do you have the most energy?
Similar to the concept of a ‘power hour’ – what days of the week are you most energised to buckle down and get to work?
For me, Monday’s are pretty motivating – that feeling of waking up on a Monday morning knowing I have a whole 5 days to get through at my day job is not pleasant! After a crappy day at work on a Monday and knowing there are 4 more days to get through before the weekend, gets me really motivated. So this is when I tend to write the first couple of blog posts of the week.
By Friday my brain is a bit ‘wiped’ from my day job so I tend to do something fun on Friday’s.
7. Planning daily versus weekly
I did an entire post with pros and cons of using daily planners versus weekly planners.
Because I use a weekly planner rather than a page per day planner layout, weekly planning makes more sense to me.
I like to allocate a top 3 to each day so I know what I’m doing when, but you may prefer to choose your top 3 the morning of each day. Make sure you update your planner throughout the day by crossing things off as you complete them. You may need to move some things around if an important task took longer than you expected and over-flows to the next day.
My preferred day of the week
It’s entirely up to you, but I prefer to plan my week on a Sunday afternoon. I tend to use planners that have the week starting on a Monday so it makes sense to plan on a Sunday – you want to plan your week before it actually starts so you don’t waste time wondering what you should be doing first.
I’ll be sharing my 6 step weekly planning process in tomorrow’s post. Make sure you’ve subscribed (if you haven’t already) if you want to be notified when that post is published.
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