I’ve always been strategic, but I haven’t always been the planner I am today. It was the turn of the decade that drove me to it. I was riding the hype and excitement of the new year and was motivated to make some changes to my habits and how I used my time.
Things started off well. I was going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I was drinking more water, reading more, and exercising. Of course, like almost everyone else in the world, my plans got derailed in March 2020, but the story doesn’t end there.
Enter Sunday Planning
In May, I began hearing people talk about Sunday planning, so I figured I would give it a shot. Long story short… it worked. I was hooked. I finally had a way to get ahead of my week, so that things weren’t catching me off guard. Obviously, that didn’t mean that life always went according to plan, but I discovered that it was easier to adjust a plan than live without one.
You might be wondering, what is Sunday planning? In short, it’s time I set aside on Sunday evening to sit down and prepare for the week ahead. The good news is there aren’t strict rules for it. It’s designed to be a tool that serves you, not your master. (You don’t even have to do it on Sunday, but that works well for a lot of people.) Here’s the basic outline of what I do.
Steps To Plan Your Week
- Take time to write down ideas and thoughts that are bouncing around in your head so you can free up that mental bandwidth without worrying that you’ll forget something important.
- Make a list of tasks or commitments that have to be done the following week so you know what you’re facing.
- Choose 1 small project you want to work on during the week (or 1 small part of a larger project). Change out seasonal clothes. Declutter a space. Order seeds for your garden. It’s okay not to have a project every week.
- Look over your calendar and the commitments that are already there and assess whether they deserve to be there. Are there things you could choose not to do? Once you’ve done this, find space for the lists you made in steps 2 and 3.
- Don’t let the details catch you off guard. Even if you have something on your calendar, what details are required for it? Make a plan for those. Baseball practice? Who is driving? School fundraiser? What do you need to contribute? Birthday party? When will you buy a gift? Dinner? Do you have a meal plan and the groceries you need?
The Practice Of Planning
Just the act of sitting down and going through these simple 5-steps at the beginning of the week can help you get a handle on life. No, not every week will go according to plan. But you’ll begin to see patterns that can help you plan better. You might even realize that you’re overcommitted and need to take some things off your plan.
Planning your week doesn’t have to be difficult, and you might even find that you really enjoy this time. I’d love to hear if you have a similar practice. If you try Sunday planning, let me know how it goes.