The third step of the Productivity Pyramid is to Plan Weekly. That’s because the best daily plans emerge from weekly plans. There is a certain amount of clarity that comes with weekly planning—the clarity of a broader perspective. Weekly planning is your opportunity to view your progress with wider lens and to assess your progress and the various options you have to move forward.
Review What Matters Most
Your life should be centered on the things you value—time with family and friends, developing your hobbies and interests, and building your career to support it all. You’ll be far more successful when you set goals and plan tasks that are rooted in your deepest motivations. Tasks imposed from outside your core set of values are the tasks you’re most likely to delay or ignore. As you begin your weekly planning session, take a moment to review your list of governing values to be sure your efforts are focused on what matters most to you.
Evaluate Last Week
Before you jump into planning the week ahead, look back over your previous week. Did you leave important tasks undone? Do you need to schedule those events into the coming week? Evaluate the balance between each area of your life—how you’re spending time on work, relationships, and personal development. Were you able to perform to your best ability? Did you take on too much last week? How could your week have been more successful? Do you need to delegate more tasks? These questions and others like them let you shape your task lists for the coming week.
Check the Master Task List
Your planner has a Master Task List at the beginning of each month. This is where you list the tasks you’d like to accomplish during each month and set goals to reach them. Take a look at any goals you’re tracking on your Master Task List, and review the results from last week. Your Master Task List should have all your recurring tasks for the week listed, such as your carpool schedule or routine weekly work meetings. With all these written down, you won’t double-book yourself when drafting your daily plans.
Complete Your Weekly Compass Card
Completing a Weekly Compass Card is a great way to focus on what matters most. Each card has room to list seven roles that you’d like to focus on during the week. Your roles could include, parent, spouse, friend, neighbor, artist, co-worker, or volunteer. Beneath each role, there is enough room to list one goal that can help you improve in that area during the week. Keeping this card in your planner will help you focus on those roles and make incremental progress each day.
Schedule Your “Big Rocks”
It’s a classic object lesson: you can’t fit big rocks into a jar full of sand, but put the big rocks in first, and you can fill up the space around them. Keep this principle in mind as you commit tasks to your planner pages. At this point, you have your Master Task List and Weekly Compass Tasks ready to schedule. Those are your big rocks. Once those are in, you can plan your other important and fulfilling activities to round out your week.
As you develop strong weekly planning sessions, your life will have a new sense of perspective. A good weekly plan helps you see past the daily grind to where life’s milestones await. And that perspective makes all the difference.