Planning your weekly schedule can be challenging because there are always too many things to do and not enough time to do them.
This can cause you to feel overwhelmed and stressed. To avoid these feelings, you’ll want to use a checklist to outline the tasks which need to be done each week.
Why is weekly planning important?
Weekly planning provides a structured framework for prioritizing your responsibilities and tasks. By drawing up a weekly schedule, you allow yourself to plan efficiently, improve your time management and ensure that you never miss an important deadline. Weekly planning helps you identify areas of improvement and create realistic goals.
A well-planned schedule will help you identify potential problems and fix them before they snowball into serious issues that end up costing you a lot of unnecessary stress, anxiety, and wasted time. Weekly planning keeps you organized and on top of your workload. When everything is planned out for the week, it becomes much more manageable to prioritize tasks, block out distractions and keep track of deadlines without forgetting anything important or getting sidetracked.
Start with a routine
The biggest problem that most people have is that they have no routine. Their day-to-day activities are decided by what happens to come up that day. They do lots of things, and these things may be productive or unproductive, depending on the person and the individual circumstances of what came up at that time.
Routines are part of who we are. We develop them from birth, and they're a big part of what makes us human. We do the same things at the same times every day, and we feel good about it. The problem is that most people don't plan their routines for maximum productivity, so they waste time, or worse, get nothing done at all.
Trying to be a super-productive person is usually counterproductive because you end up working too much and wasting a lot of energy. It's better to plan some routines that let you get a lot done in one day, with the flexibility to take the day off when you need it.
Know what your weekly goals are
One of the keys to time management is setting goals for yourself. You have to know what your weekly goals are in order to know what you're working with. There are some people that set their daily goals each morning and others who set their goals at the start of the week.
Whatever way works best for you is fine. The ultimate goal is just to get those goals written down and out of your head so you can focus on them each day. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things we need to do in a week, especially when you consider how many hours there are in a week.
The first step in planning is to figure out the priorities for the week. What do you have going on? Identify deadlines, meetings, and other scheduled events that might interfere with your ability to be productive during certain parts of the day. A meeting at 1 p.m., for example, might mean that the morning hours would be better used working on another task or catching up on work that didn't get done the day before.
Once you've identified your priorities and blocked off times for them, it's time to decide how to fill in the gaps. Look at your schedule as a whole and determine how much time you'll have for other tasks that need doing. Will there be time for everything? If not, which tasks do you absolutely have to get done? And which can wait until later this week or next week?
Scribe down your plans
There are many ways to get your weekdays in order. Some people rely on a daily planner, others use a checklist on their smartphones or tablets, and still, others prefer to scribble down reminders and notes as the week progresses.
How you choose to plan your routine is up to you. However, your weekly schedule should include all the important dates and events in your life for the week ahead so that you will always be prepared for what's coming up next.
Below are some suggestions for how to make the most out of your weekly planner:
Keep an open mind about what goes into your planner. Most people think that "to do" lists and calendars are all they need. While these are staples of any good routine planner, there may also be other elements that can help you feel more organized. Add things like motivational quotes, inspirational photos, and anything else that makes you feel good about yourself and your goals.
Trying to schedule all those tasks can be overwhelming. We've all been there. You start feeling like you're failing because you can't even get everything done on your daily task list, let alone anything else.
The solution? Plan buffer time into each day for unexpected tasks
Buffer time is extra time added onto the end of a task which gives you time to wrap up the work should other tasks take longer than expected or if you need more time on a critical aspect of the assignment. Buffer time also allows you to adjust if some other activity consumes more time than anticipated.
This is a good mantra to live by. The idea is that you build your schedule in such a way that you will be consistent with the tasks and activities that are important to your success. It is better to be consistent and make progress on your goals than it is to try to do everything perfectly all at once then fall short of achieving any of your goals.
The reality is we don't have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on our "to do" lists or the things we want to achieve in life, so we have to be smart about how we go about organizing our time. Weekly planning is about finding a balance between tasks, goals, deadlines, and time. You will feel more full and less stressed if you can achieve this balance in your life. When you have a weekly routine, it’s easier to identify where each minute of your time is going.