top of page

An Overview of How I Currently Plan my Week

This is an overview of what my personal weekly planning session looks like. This is a habit that I have been working on for over 5+ years. So if it feels crazy or complex, don’t be intimidated. Feel free to just jump over to my post on how to get started with a weekly plan where i try to give the main pillars of what i think anyone can start with.

I block off time every Friday morning for week planning. I block an hour 9am to 10am. It usually doesn’t take me an hour, but i like having the space so i don’t feel rushed. I do my best to start planning as the first thing i do so i am at my freshest. My goal is to get going before i even opening up my emails or other messages. This helps me be creative and retrospective.


1. Review (what did I do last week?)

If you remember from my post on making effective plans i talked about how i implemented quarterly planning. In Evernote i have a folder dedicated to the goals for the current year “2021 Goals”. Every quarter i come up with my goals for that quarter and i write them in a notes file “2021 - Q2”. Every Week, i make a copy of that quarterly notes file and use it to write down my week review. I denote the week numbers W1-W12 (12 weeks in a quarter). “2021 - Q2 - W10 - Sep 10”. In this way i have a notes file for literally every week in the year.


So to start my review i pull up three notes files and align them side by side.

The current quarter, the current week, and last week.

This 3 column view gives me some great insight into how i did this week in relation to last week. It also helps me see if i ignored the same project two weeks in a row. And it helps me to see how this week ties into the big picture. This particular example is week 10, so getting close to the end. What do i need to do in the next 12 weeks to make sure i hit all of my goals for the quarter?


Summary

The first thing i write down is a short summary of the week. How did i feel, anything themes this week? Anything about this week that makes it abnormal, like sickness, Friday off, big work fire to be put out. Stuff like that.


Take Credit

Then i go through my goal list and i write down anything and everything i did to execute on each one. I look through my calendar and sometimes my completed to todo list to jog my memory. And i write down how i am feeling about my progress. I try to take a minute to relish in the progress i made. Just a little positive reinforcement for myself.


Give Thanks

Next i write down three people that helped me with all this stuff this week. And i make todo list items to send them all a short message saying that i appreciate them. This is a helpful reminder that I can’t do everything on my own. There are tons of people that have helped me get where i am.


Was I on Purpose

Where did i miss or neglect? i write down and highlight if any action needs to be prioritized higher for the up coming week. I can also clearly see the highlighted lines from last week too, so i can make sure that i did those things.



2. Mindset

Quotes and Questions

I try to have a few quotes that i rotate in and out periodically. They are usually things that i find in books or videos that i want to hold onto. The purpose of these quotes vary depending on the content. They can either be motivational, or maybe just something that i want to try to remember about my behavior. Here are my current ones:


”What is your frequency? What energy are you attracting?”

”What thoughts are you embedding into your sub-conscious?”

”Are you executing on another level? Or are you like everybody else?”

”Are you drowning in opportunity? Or are you selecting the tasks that add the MOST VALUE?”


Review my Personal Mission and Purpose

This is brand new. I have been thinking about purpose a lot this year, and one morning this just sorta jumped onto the page, so i ran with it. It is subject to change, but so far i really like it.


My Mission: Helping people grow into who they were meant to be.

My Vision: Empower the world to reach their fullest potential. My goal is to show people who they can become, and give them the tools to achieve a life well-lived.


Reading this every week (sometimes every day), has been incredibly valuable to ensure my small actions align with who i am and the impact i want to make on this world.


3. Whats Next?

Now that I have reflected on last week, and tuned my brain into the thoughts and paradigms that i value, it’s time to plan the attack on next week.


Tasks

Everybody needs a todo list. I use an app called Todoist. Which lets me categorize tasks into projects, color code, set priorities, use tags, and set due dates. It also lets me create custom fliters so i can view my tasks in a way that fits how i work. The main filter i created only shows me tasks that are due today, this way i have clarity on what i should be doing right now. Whenever i create a new entry, i decide if it needs to get done today, this week, or later. If it needs to get done this week but not today, i tag it as @thisweek. If it can be done later then i just throw it in the appropriate project.


I start by reviewing the lagging tasks that i identified from last week and i make sure those have proper todo item for next week. Then i review my full list of current projects and spend a little time proactively thinking of what i could and should get done to push that forward this week. Those get todos as well.


Then on a weekly basis i review all of todo items from all projects that have no dates and are not tagged for this week. This way i can ensure nothing gets missed that needs to get done. This “review of all the things“ is also essential for my brain to trust my system. I know that all my todos are in there and i trust that i will see them when i need to. This frees up an incredible amount of space in my head to focus on the here and now.


This is also a good time to do a little garbage collection. Some tasks just shouldn’t be done by you. They either need to be completely removed, renegotiated, automated or delegated. The weekly review is a good chance to look around for those types of tasks.


Sometimes tasks require a specific time to be done. Like if I need to make explicit time for a specific task (calling the dr). If so throw it on the cal and move it around later. This is a good Segway into the next part about calendar review.


Calendar

Most use a calendar to make sure they don’t forget important appointments. Said another way, it is a tool that help you to be respectful of other people’s time. While this is a nice endeavor, we often don’t use it in a way that is respectful of our own time.


During my weekly review i do my best to make sure my calendar is representative of my goals. In the same way that my todo list has due dates for the most important priorities, my calendar should also only have meetings that push my priorities forward. There are caveats and realities to this philosophy of course, but i always try to start by filling up the calendar with my most important priorities first.


As i look at my calendar for the week, these are the questions i ask myself

  • What can be removed. Which meetings do i not really need to be in? What value am i adding in being there? If it is low, then I consider politely declining, or even just double checking with the organizer if they really need me in the meeting.

  • What can be async? Do we really need this meeting or can we just message the group over email or messaging app? If it is a large meeting that I will likely not speak in, then can i watch the recording later? This can be done at 1.5-2x speed, and i can message someone if i have feedback of followup questions. This approach requires a little extra discipline to go watch that meeting later, but it is definitely a worth while time saving practice.

  • What can be delegated? Are there others on the team that can go to that meeting instead of me? Depending on your role in the team, this may or may not be an option. But once you reach some level of leadership among your peers you need to start thinking about what meetings and responsibilities you should be giving to others so that they can learn and grow as well (while freeing up your time). Note this is not a “go do my job for me” mentality. Leaders prioritize where their time is best spent and give others the opportunity to take on more ownership of the project.

  • Push it, push it real good! Bam ba dam bam. I do this less often, but sometimes i see stuff on my calendar that is just so far off my team’s radar. It is way too far out and we‘ve got too much to execute on right now. In this case i, politely (always politely), ask if we can push the meeting out a bit further until i can free up some bandwidth. If the answer is no, then figure out how to get it done. But it‘s good to ask.

  • Do i have adequate gaps? Good meetings leave good notes… and good notes take a brief, but vital, period of time after the meeting. I do my best to ensure i do not have too many back to backs, this gives me time to recap and write down all the decisions and next steps that came from the meeting. Not always possible, but something to shoot for. This also needs to be balanced with trying to group meetings together so that i have more heads down time to myself. Life is a balance.

  • Do i have enough time to do deep work? If my calendar is so packed, and i didn’t even get to schedule time for my todo list items, then something has got to go. I need to get that deep work time booked on the calendar (remember i am being respectful of my own time?). Then I need to go back through the above questions and get rid of some crap.


All of these questions take a little bit of balls. Deal with it. Your time is important. Your goals are important. You cannot expect things to happen by accident or luck. You need to make time for your priorities. You don’t need to be ruthless, just politely ask, and people often times aqueous.


4. Wrap It Up

That is pretty much it. After seeing the calendar is in a good place I just like to scan my todo list one more time and just make sure I am happy with everything. Then to wrap up I say a short prayer for God‘s guidance over my week. i try to remind myself that the following week is a privilege and I should do my best to use the time wisely and strategically.


I hope this was interesting or helpful to you. It’s constantly evolving and changing into what I need it to be and what creates the most value. It really has been one of the main pillars of my journey. This weekly plan helped me to see where I needed more long term clarity which led to me doing annual and quarterly planning. It also shows me where I am lacking habits or discipline needed to execute on my goals and it forces me to make necessary adjustment. It also is a great time to refine my use of my todo lists and has helped me get the most out of my calendar as well. I’m sure there is tons more, but I will leave it at that. I hope this was valuable to you.




31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page