When it comes to organising and planning your week, a lot of times it feels like the weeks fly by so quickly that you can’t help but ask yourself “Where did the time go?”.
I know. I’ve been there. Many times!
I used to constantly complain that ‘I don’t have enough time!’ and wish for more hours in the day.
Bullet journaling has helped me set up a process of effectively planning my week. It’s a 6-Step process that I’ve followed religiously for the past year or so. This process helps me stay focused and finish most of the tasks and goals I set myself each week.
Before you start organising and planning your week, you should plan out how your Ideal Day looks like. This will show you how you spend your time during the day, and how many hours you have for each category of tasks. This is very important so that you don’t over plan your days.
So, for example, I know that I usually have 3 hours in the morning to work. This is the time that the kids are at school and I can focus more on my tasks. So, it’s my most productive time of the day and that helps me to plan it accordingly.
My 6-Step Weekly Planning Process:
1 | Create a schedule every Sunday for the upcoming week
Make a habit of planning your week on a Sunday. This helps you to know what needs to be done and be ready for the week ahead, instead of Monday coming and you be staring at your empty to-do list.
You should also make it something you look forward to. Put on your favourite relaxing music. Pour a cup of your favourite tea or coffee. Make this ‘your’ time.
2 | Set up your Weekly Spread
If you’re using a bullet journal, now it’s the time to get creative and set up your weekly log. You can use a layout you’ve used before and it works for you, or you can get inspired by searching online.
What I tend to do during the week is checking on Instagram how everyone else has set up their weeklies, and if I see something I like I take a picture. Then, when Sunday comes I don’t start searching all through the web for inspiration. I just check out the pictures I’ve taken during the week, and get inspired by them.
3 | Write the recurring tasks that take place on specific days
Start filling in your weekly spread by adding all the recurring tasks. For example, I know that every Thursday morning I do all my shopping and errants. Therefore, I know not to plan anything at that time. But I still make sure to note it down in my planner.
4 | Write all the events, appointments and meetings
Go through your future log and see if there’s any events or appointments scheduled for each day. Note them down on your weekly with all the details (time, place etc.)
5 | Make a list of all the things that need to get done within the week
On a different page start making a list with everything that you have to do in the week. This should include everything such as assignments, events, chores, projects and deadlines.
- I tend to add things in categories. Usually I have 4 categories: Work, Kids, Home and Me. I also colour code them in the same way I did in my Ideal Day plan.
- When it comes to projects and assignments, I like to break them down even further on my list into smaller steps. I also like to add the time that I think it will take me to finish each one.
- Also don’t forget to include in this list all the things that you didn’t finish last week.
6 | See how much time is left on each day
Go back in your weekly and see how much time is left on each day. Check your list you’ve created and then start adding tasks to each day. Checking your ideal day plan and the time you’ve allocated for each task really helps to plan each day effectively.
A few tips:
Everything takes longer than you think.
I’ve done this so many times in the past! I'd plan tasks that I thought it would take 1 hour to finish, only to find out that in reality it took me close to 2 hours! That’s why now I tend to add more time than I think to each task.
Do not fill in every second of every day.
Unexpected things will always come up, so make sure you give yourself windows of “buffer time”, to take care of last-minute things.
Know you won’t get it all done.
Even with great planning, I tend to be over ambitious and plan more things that I can handle. Be okay with not ticking off everything on your list, and transferring things to the next week if need.
Schedule the most important things early in the week.
Monday is by far my most productive day! I guess that I’m more focused and I seem to get more things done in the first two days of the week than the rest!
It’s also good to plan your most important tasks in the beginning of the week, so that no matter what comes up, these will most probably get done or you’ll at least have time to change things around.
How do you use planning to make the best use of your time? Let me know in the comments below.