By Patty Gardner
A weekly planning session makes all the difference in whether my week is smooth or rocky. Starting the week with a plan in place allows me to make changes as needed (and believe me, there are always plenty) and get things done. Here’s what I do:
My weekly planning session takes place on Sunday evening. I sit on the couch with my planner and start plugging things in.
First I check my monthly calendar to see if I have any appointments scheduled. I plug them into the Appointment Schedule on my daily pages.
Then I add things I know I’ll be doing, like babysitting the grand kids, going to the grocery store, church, etc. These also go on the Appointment Schedule. (I don’t remove the pages from my planner when I plan – this was to make it was easier to see the big picture.)
Next I plug in tasks I need to do on certain days. These go in the Prioritized Daily Task List section. For example, I usually go to the grocery store on Wednesday, so I need to make my grocery list on Tuesday. I pay bills on Saturday. On the 1st of the month I do monthly checks (smoke alarms, furnace filters, snack stash) and give my dog her heartworm pill. If someone has a birthday, I write “email happy birthday”, “prep card”, “mail card” on the appropriate days.
I record other tasks that need to be done sometime during the week on the page finder. The page finder has a slot for a weekly list. The front of the list has 8 boxes which I’ve been using those to record high priority tasks. On the back of the page I record all the other things that come to mind. Pull out the list to add new items or mark things off that you’ve done.
Then I do a review to be sure there aren’t any issues, like too many appointments or a scheduling conflict. If all is well, weekly planning is done!
Sometimes, though, I have SO much going on that I feel overwhelmed and this planning method isn’t enough. When that happens, I print out a weekly schedule form and do my initial planning on it. Seeing the whole week at one time helps me see whether I can get it all done or whether changes have to be made. Once I get it all worked out, I transfer it to my daily pages.
This method takes about 15 minutes unless I have to do the weekly sheet first. Then it probably takes 20 or so. This system works really well and I start my week feeling like I know what I’m doing. And feeling in control is half the battle!