“What do I do in my weekly planning time?”
This is a question that often comes up and to which I referenced in my article on “The most important 30 minutes of planning you will ever do.” Weekly planning doesn’t come naturally to everyone. To help with this, I have created a simple weekly planning guide. You just answer these questions each week during your weekly planning time. The questions below are comprehensive but not exhaustive and certainly individuals are encouraged to add to and adapt this guide to meet their own personal planning needs.
3 Steps for Weekly Planning and Review: (30-60 min)
Step 1: Review my priorities and mission statement.
- Take a moment to refresh yourself around what matters most to you.
Step 2: Planning Questions
- Take some time to consider all of the following questions.
- What are all of the things happening over the next 7 days?
- Employment related
- School or personal study related
- Family related
- Kids’ activities
- Special events or anniversaries
- Faith related
- Free Time or Hobbies
- Personal financial planning and review
- What are the assignments or deadlines coming up in the next 7 days?
- What are the specific blocks of time I will invest in each?
- Are there any longer term things I need to be aware of and need to put into my calendar?
- Start to block these into your calendar for the weeks further ahead.
Step 3: How is my plan for this week similar/different than my ideal week?
- Once you have your time blocked for the week, take a look at how that compares to your priorities.
- One very effective way to do that is to compare it with your ideal week. To understand this more, read Michael Hyatt’s article on My Ideal Week.
By following these 3 steps in your weekly planning time, you will become more effective at acting on your priorities and giving time to the things that are most important to you. Now all you have to do is execute your plan. Remember: “Plan the Work”, then “Work the Plan.”
I have also found it very helpful to have a brief time at the end of each day to review the day as well as the plans for the next day. Here is a brief guide to help with that:
3 Questions for Daily Review: (5-10 min)
1: What future things did I find out about today (so I can put them in my calendar)?
2: Was there a difference in what I planned and how long it took?
3: What is happening tomorrow?