I am a huge fan of weekly planning. A perfectly planned week gives me the confidence to know what needs to be done, what can move, and that I am doing what is required to move my business forward.
As a new mum I find it particularly valuable that I never have to wonder what to do each day, it is all mapped out in front of me. I just follow the instructions that I have already made for myself.
Sometimes clients can worry that making a weekly plan is too restrictive, or isn’t something they have time to do, so I wanted to break down for you all the advantages of a weekly plan, and explain how taking a little bit of time to put this in place, will benefit you tenfold.
Reasons to make a weekly plan
1. Reduce stress
First of all, it is a brilliant way of reducing your stress levels, something we all want.
During the week you don’t have to think about whether you’re missing something or what you should be doing. You know what is going on, and are not searching through emails, sticky notes, hastily written reminders to find out when that dental appointment is.
It also means that you know that you are doing the right things for you and your priorities. Say goodbye to drifting from one task to the next without knowing if you are prioritising correctly, then suddenly remembering at the end of the day the urgent deadline that you have missed.
By making a weekly plan you are proactively taking control of your time, not just reacting to each day and to each moment. Taking this control has a very calming effect.
2. Improve your time management
Making a weekly plan will help you to understand how much you can actually get done in a week. When you regularly schedule in tasks, you learn to be realistic about how long they take and therefore how long to allow for them.
Weekly Planning also teaches you when to say “no”.
Have you ever said ‘yes’ to something and wish you hadn’t? By planning out tasks, meetings, and activities in advance you can see what is on your plate, which can help you avoid overcommitting, and be realistic about what you can fit in.
Furthermore, regular weekly planning will help you understand which aspects of your work are useful and productive in the long run and what parts contribute very little to your overall success. Identify where your time sucks are and what could potentially be outsourced, delegated or deleted. Are these tasks things you can say ‘no’ to in the future?
3. Make progress on your big goals
A weekly plan is a key component of making sure that you are able to work towards your bigger goals and achieve more.
I had a client come to me who consistently didn’t make any progress on a project each week. It was always on her to do list and just didn’t happen. We looked at her diary appointments, including how long each took preparing, travel and follow-up work, time spent on emails and social media – and there was no time left in her week. No wonder she wasn’t making any progress!
If you are making a weekly plan you can start to block out time to work on an important project, and know that in order to achieve it you will need to schedule that appointment for another time.
4. More free time
Finally, perhaps the best reason to make a weekly plan, planning your time effectively means you can have more free time as well!
I had a client utilise this system who came up to me last year with a massive smile on her face. She said she’d just had a last-minute long weekend away with a friend. Previously she would have probably gone, but worried about what work she should be doing, tried to carry on working while away, and not enjoyed it very much. Having implemented this system, she looked at her plan, moved some things around, conceded some things can wait, and completely relaxed on her holiday doing no work at all. What a result – one of the best reasons to make a weekly plan.
How to get started with your weekly planning
I recommend you plan no more than 80% of your available time over the next week. List out all your appointments and then what you’re going to be working on, when, every day.
This plan is not concrete, but it allows you to achieve what you want in the week, so if something else comes along you can decide on the higher priority and move things – knowing the consequence. The aim is that you are actively making these decisions rather than them happening to you. It will make a massive difference.
This is what I want for you. Planning your week is not creating a prison – it is knowledge, and knowledge is power – power over your own life.
For a deeper look into how to maximise your time and create the calm business that you deserve, see my course The Organised Coach Method.
Read my other recent blog posts: