It’s really easy not to plan. Like, insanely easy. In fact, if you’re looking to take the path of least resistance, planning is certainly not it. It is considerably more fun to pop open a tub of Moose Tracks ice cream, throw on The Office, and drift off into leisure-world.
Wow. That actually sounds awesome. Maybe I’ll stop writing this and go do that instead…
Wait. No, Corey. Focus!
But… Moose Tracks…
Fine, fine. Back to the task at hand. Can you see how strong the allure of ice cream and Netflix are though? Especially when it’s competing against doing something that requires effort? This is the challenge you face every single week.
But if I can do it, you can too. After all, though it may not seem enjoyable in the moment, there are massive benefits to be gained from planning your week.
You need a plan
To keep it brief, when you create a plan, you choose to be deliberate with your time. And the more deliberate you are, the more deliberate your results will be. Conversely, if you drift through life, you will end up wherever circumstances lead you.
With intentionality, however, comes an intentional existence. One where you find fulfillment in your relationships, career, home, physical and mental states, etc.
Sounds good, right? Of course it does! Because someone that drifts through life doesn’t read articles like this. Only someone like you – someone driven, hopeful, someone that has aspirations – reads these types of posts.
The flexibility of a skeleton
To create an intentional life you need to be intentional with your time. Creating a plan for your week is one way to do that. Now, things will come up and derail your plans. That’s fine. Expect it to happen and when it does, be flexible.
That said, even when things change it won’t be a problem because you can simply adjust your plan.
Do you need to unexpectedly pick up your son from daycare when you intended to read? Well, knowing that you still need to do it, you can move things around and plan to read that evening instead. Use your plan as the skeleton for your week – the things you want to get done between Monday and Sunday – and when things need to be moved, it’ll be that much easier to see what still needs doing.
In my own life, each Sunday evening I sit down and plan out my week. Every. Single. Sunday. Even though at this point it takes me a good one-to-two hours to do. Yes, you read that correctly.
Moose Tracks is sounding pretty good now, right?
Don’t panic though. My life is particularly busy and you shouldn’t expect it to take that long yourself. And even if it does take you that long, it will be worth it. You’ll see. Therefore, here’s what I do each Sunday to plan out my week.
It’s very straightforward. Just a little time-consuming.
*Note: I primarily use Google Docs for everything. See this post for more info.
What I do on Sunday to ensure success in the week ahead
- Clear my notes
- Check my goals
- Note any travel to-do’s
- Note any baby tasks
- Reconcile the budget
- Note any home tasks
- Check my deliberate life doc
- Plan out web design tasks
- Update my health charts
- Note any personal tasks
- Plan out QuickBooost tasks
- Note any calendar events
- Create my schedule
Clear my notes
First, I keep a note on my phone that accumulates miscellaneous thoughts/tasks throughout the day.
To start the planning process, I move these items to respective Google Docs for long term storage. *An idea based on David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.
Check my goals
From there, I look at my goals and note which ones I need to work on in the upcoming week. If you don’t already have a doc like this, see this post.
Note any travel to-do’s
I then check a doc that contains any tasks related to upcoming trips I have in the works (which, I presently have zero of). Any of these tasks that need to be completed in the upcoming week get noted alongside my goals from above.
*Normally, I put all of these tasks on a separate note on my phone. You’ll see what I do with it later.
Note any baby tasks
I then check another doc that contains any tasks I need to complete for my daughter (like baby-proofing our home). Any relevant tasks for the week get noted.
Reconcile the budget
I have a Google Sheet that I use in tandem with Mint to track our finances. I make sure all bills are current and that any new expenses are accounted for.
Note any home tasks
Similar to Baby Tasks, I have a list of tasks to be completed for our home. Any relevant tasks get noted.
Check my deliberate life doc
This doc breaks out the various categories of my life and what fulfillment looks like within each. There’s nothing to note here. Reviewing it just keeps the ideals fresh in my mind.
Plan out web design tasks
While QuickBooost (what you’re reading right now) continues to grow, and because I enjoy having numerous projects going, I do a little freelance web design on the side. Here, I plan out my week for any freelancing tasks to be completed.
Update my health charts
This is going to sound a bit… much… but… I track several health-related stats. Sleep, calories, and body measurements, as of this writing. Similar to my budget, I make sure that all fields are updated and current.
Note any personal tasks
Any miscellaneous tasks live here – chores, things I’m waiting on, activities to plan. Relevant tasks for the upcoming week are noted.
Plan out QuickBooost tasks
Similar to the web design section above, I plan out my week for QuickBooost.
Note any calendar events
I actually check my calendar several times during this process – normally when I’m planning my web design, QuickBooost, and master schedule (which I’ll touch on below). Any appointments, events, or meetings are noted.
Create my schedule
Finally, I take all the things I noted and create my detailed schedule for the week. Monday through Sunday.
From there, I create a more specific plan for each following day. So if today is Sunday, I create an extensive plan for Monday that looks something like this:
- Wake up 6
- Dressed 610-630
- QuickBooost 630-730, etc.
Example for the week
In the meantime, the other days’ only have their important tasks listed. So again, pretend that today is Sunday, I created my detailed plan for Monday, here’s what the other days would look like:
- Meeting with Person 11-12
- Doctor appointment 3-4
- Water plants in the evening, etc.
Moving forward with your plan
Planning is truly simple. It’s just a little time-consuming to do. And depending on your life at the moment, it can sometimes feel like assembling a puzzle. And yes, I know, puzzles are boring. But this is a puzzle that will actually give you a reward at the end of it.
So give it a try and see just how much more deliberate your week can be.
*Oh and by the way, if you’re wondering why I go in that particular sequence above, it’s simply because I have my Google Drive listed alphabetically and the names of the files follow that order.
**And another thing, when you’re ready to (finally) start achieving your goals, I highly encourage you to check out my goal success course.