Have you ever been overwhelmed by everything you have to do? One way to minimize that overwhelmed feeling is to have a weekly planning session to plan the coming week.
The purpose of this session is:
- to see what appointments you have;
- to see what other things you need to do;
- to figure out when you’re going to do everything and make sure there isn’t too much;
- to have a plan rather than flying by the seat of your pants (I crash when I work that way).
A simple form that shows the week and provides space for must-do tasks will make your weekly planning simpler (a completed form and a blank form are available for download at the bottom of this article). Here are a few ideas for completing the worksheet:
- Fill in the things you HAVE to do – like appointments, errands, work, social events. Don’t just write them in – you also need to block out the amount of time these activities take.
- Fill in the things you know you WILL do – like get ready for work in the morning, eat meals, sit on the couch and watch tv. Be realistic when you plan because if you aren’t, the plan won’t work. This isn’t a worksheet of goals, it’s a plan for the week. And again, don’t just write these things in – block out the time each activity will take.
- Fill in the section at the bottom for daily tasks. Include in this section things that must be done – like call someone on their birthday, mail a card, finish your grocery list, set out the trash, etc.
- If you have time and think it will help you, color code your worksheet so you can see at a glance when you are busy and when you have “free time”. I use blue for meal breaks, yellow for babysitting my grandkids, orange for relax time, green for appointments and errands, and pink for things that don’t fit the other categories, like watching football!
- And the most important step of all is to analyze the data and see if your plan will work. Obviously if you have two appointments at the same time, one will have to be changed. Or you might notice that you’re going to be gone every night of the week and that’s too much.
- Finally, plug in some of the other things you need to do (like house cleaning or cooking) and some things you want to do. The weekly chart helps you see when you will be able to do those things.
This method might sound like a lot of work but it really isn’t. The more you do it, the quicker you get. So give it a shot and see if it makes a difference for you. Plan your week and work your plan!