In the last couple days, we’ve started looking at life after this challenge. From the beginning, we’ve been focusing on building that foundation routine for our daily and weekly tasks, but there is so much more to life and what we need and want to do than just three things.
We talked a little bit about how to use our planner to help keep us on track, and now it’s time to really kick that up a notch.
It’s time to figure out how to start focusing on more than just the basics. To do this we need to use purpose and intention. One of the most effective ways I’ve found to do just that is to create time for a weekly planning session.
Weekly Planning Sessions
Yesterday we talked about the importance of setting our priorities and how to go about doing that. We’ve done up a budget for our time to determine if we’re over-scheduling ourselves or not. Now we need to focus on pulling it all together.
We do this by making time each week to sit down and plan the following week. I do this with a weekly planning session. I know it seems like this is kind of a useless step. I used to think so. I mean, who plans to plan? But when I stopped thinking it was useless and started really seeing it for what it was it suddenly made a whole lot of sense to me.
A planning session allows you to get a good look at what’s happening in your world for the coming week. By taking time BEFORE the week starts to sit down and plan it out, you free your mind from the clutter of ‘must-not-forgets’ and that nagging feeling of ‘I-must-be-forgetting-something’. Taking the time to be intentional about how you’re spending your time will give you more control over just that, and will go a long way to helping you feel less scattered.
Creating Time for a Weekly Planning Session
A planning session doesn’t need to take long. I spend about 10-15 minutes on mine. That’s just long enough to enjoy a nice cup of tea while I jot down my plans for the following week. Creating time for your weekly planning session is really easy.
Pick a day of the week. For me it’s Sunday. Then determine if you’re going to do this planning session on your own, with your spouse, or with your family as a whole. If you’re doing this on your own or with your spouse set aside a 30 minutes block of time where the kiddos are not allowed to interrupt you. (if you’re doing this on your own, make sure your spouse or partner doesn’t interrupt you either)
Once you’re done your planning you’ll probably have some time left over – DON’T put your things away. Take that extra time for yourself. Just sit and bask in the quiet, or enjoy a cup of your favourite drink without interruption.
If you and your spouse are planning together, take that extra time to just enjoy being with one another. Fitting in these little moments is really important, especially when life feels super chaotic.
If you’re going to do weekly planning sessions as a family consider making it fun with special snacks or following it up with a game or a movie.
Or, if you’d rather, just pick a day and make it a goal to plan the following week before you go to bed that night. The important part is that you take the time to plan your week.
Weekly Planning Sessions Made Easy
A planning session doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. I am a firm believer in simple is best, so I tend to keep mine really simple. Here’s what you need to do (feel free to tweak this to suit your own preferences):
- Grab your planner and pens/pencils
- Check your monthly calendar and schedule any events, appointments or reminders for the coming week
- Make note of any special dates
- If you use a monthly planner or goal sheet, check that and write down anything you need to do this week to support your goals.
- Check your priority worksheet and schedule time for your top priorities (your rocks)
- Jot down your daily three things if you want too
- Schedule your weekly top three tasks
- Make note of weekly housework tasks if you need/want too
- Write down your meal plan (if you do that)
- Do any bills need to be paid?
- Schedule in time for yourself
- Move any items left undone from last week to this week if appropriate
- Make sure to leave free time every day.
That’s it! That’s all I do for my planning session. I run through that list real quick. The more often you do it the faster it gets because you start to just write the repeat things down without thinking about them.
Weekly Planning Checklist to Make it Easier
Don’t worry, you don’t have to come back and check this post each week while you’re waiting for it to become second nature. I whipped up a weekly planning session checklist and quick reference printable for those who would like it. Just click the pic below to snag a copy for yourself.
Fill in the sections on the right-hand side so that when you’re sitting down to plan, that info is right there at your fingertips. Once you’ve filled it in you can fold it half and stick a tab on top to act as a page marker in your planner, or you could just leave it as is. Whatever works for you!
Today, take a few minutes to think about when you can set aside time for a weekly planning session. Print the worksheet and fill it out. And most importantly, check back soon because I’ve got some new weekly planner printables coming your way!
I’d love to hear from you! Do you already set aside to plan your week in advance? Or do you have a different method for planning? Drop me a line in the comments below and tell me about it!