With a weekly plan, you focus on your top priorities over the course of 7 days rather than 1 day. The tasks can be work-related like client projects or business development and marketing activities. Or they can be personal like prioritizing family, movement, sleep, outdoor recreation and creative hobbies.
A weekly planning session leads to more clarity, control, focus and flow.
It gives you a broader perspective of what you need to get done. It also gives you more flexibility to get the right things done. It’s often more essential than a daily to-do list or a daily action plan.
1. Clarity: Weekly planning reduces overwhelm and makes space for your best work with greater ease. It gives you more direction in how you will move forward on your high-level projects, while taking care of routine tasks and obligations to others.
- The Five Projects Rule
- The four blocks to plan your days in each week: focus blocks, social blocks, admin blocks and recovery blocks
2. Control: Weekly planning reduces stress and feelings of defeat because it puts you in control of the next 7 days. It not only gives you more flexibility, but also allows you to be more spontaneous. You have a whole week, not just a day to accomplish key tasks.
- The Eisenhower Matrix or Priority Matrix: important and urgent; important and not urgent; urgent and not important; not important and not urgent
- Do, defer (schedule), delegate, drop
3. Focus: Weekly planning gives you more freedom to focus. It makes daily planning easier because you can add, delete, and check tasks off as you move through the week. It puts you in proactive mode instead of just react to what comes up in the day or what’s coming up the next day.
- Triage your calendar and task list
- Use weekly to-do list instead of a daily one
4. Flow: Weekly planning produces more flow, which is the optimal experience in which you’re so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. It’s a key ingredient of a meaningful and happy life.
- Synch with your natural rhythm
- Align with context and circumstances
- Consider the concept of state-dependent recall
- Kate Northrup, Do Less: A Revolutionary Approach to Time and Energy Management for Ambitious Women
- Charlie Gilkey, Start Finishing: How to Go From Idea to Done
Here’s to planning your ideal week,
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Dyan Williams is a solo lawyer who practices U.S. immigration law and legal ethics at Dyan Williams Law PLLC. She is also a productivity coach who helps working parents, lawyers, small business owners and other busy people turn their ideas into action, reduce overwhelm, and focus on what truly matters. She is the author of The Incrementalist: A Simple Productivity System to Create Big Results in Small Steps.