My to-do list was a major cause of stress for me at one time. I always had something new to add to it and it just kept growing and growing. The stress I felt became a crippling fear when I pondered where to start. I knew I needed to get things done — I just never got around to actually doing anything. This was my truth until I learned that planning was the key on how to organize my life, boost productivity, and get it all done. If you’re ready to learn how to plan your week, you are in the right place.
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If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants person, planning your days may seem too rigid for you. But I really want you to think about your days. Do you get it all done or do you end up with lots of loose ends hanging? Do you have to rush to meet deadlines because you didn’t prioritize your day? Are you always letting things fall through the cracks?
How to Plan Your Week and Let Go of the Stress
I, personally, thrive on routine and love knowing how my day will flow. I wasn’t always this way. I was the person that ran late, never knew what I needed to accomplish from day to day, and was stressed beyond belief.
That was until I decided to make a change in my life. And trust me, if I can do it…so can you!
Don’t get me wrong, I still love spontaneity and adventure but there is a time and a place for everything. With my day to day life, my priorities come first. If I don’t approach days this way, it is easy for me to fall back into my old lack of routine self.
To get to this point took a lot of trial and error, the decision to make a change, and following through until it became a habit.
Related Post: If you want to learn more about creating positive habits, click HERE!
How to Get It All Done
If you are like most people, the number of tasks you have to complete in a day is overwhelming. You have so much to do that you don’t know where to find the time to fit it all in. The stress this causes makes it even harder to focus on the task at hand.
And while you are trying to focus, more and more things come to mind that you need to add to your list. Some are urgent and some not so much but all of these “things” keep pulling you away from where your focus is needed.
This is why I’m a planner. I plan my days and weeks to avoid overwhelm and stress.
Planning ahead helps me manage my time and focus to be more productive daily.
What Planning Can Do for You
- Boost productivity
- Controls time management
- Lessen stress
- Organizes your life
- Teaches you to prioritize
Where To Start
I start with a brain dump. If you’re wondering what the heck a brain dump is — Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like.
I have created a nifty little printable to help you with your brain dump — and it’s FREE! Enter your information below and your printable will be on its way to you!
A brain dump is putting pen to paper and getting all of your thoughts out of your brain. It releases all of those nagging little thoughts that cause you to lose your focus and gives them a place to rest.
Brain dumping gives you a chance to organize all of those thoughts and to create a game plan instead of letting things build up.
THIS is my crucial first step in planning. By releasing all of these thoughts, I’m able to see the bigger picture and prioritize what I need to accomplish.
Prioritize – Prioritize – Prioritize
Doesn’t it feel great to have all of those thoughts out of your mind and down on paper? But what’s next?
Sit back and look over your brain dump and prioritize.
What’s important, urgent, needs your attention immediately?
Since your brain dump has no rules, you will see that some of your items aren’t really important at all. But these items were occupying your thoughts and are things you may want to tackle some day.
As I start going through all of my thoughts, I organize them and give myself a little structure.
I organize my brain dump by using four categories: Must, Should, Could, One Day.
This prioritization is essentially my “new” to-do list.
Wait! What? I know you are thinking about your neverending to-do list and why you are here. But this to-do list is just the next step in how to plan your week. By organizing your thoughts you will create a plan to get it all done. You will make sure you tackle the most important items and not stress over the lesser items.
Being productive is not about completing everything on your list in a few days. It’s learning to prioritize and manage your time wisely…make the most of the time you have available.
Being realistic with your time is a necessity when planning.
Let’s Get to Planning
Now that you have your priorities set you must remember that there are only 24 hours in a day…and not all of that is productive time.
Sit with your planner and pick your main tasks and plug those into your most productive time slots of the day. I am a morning person so I start planning with my morning time. Make sure you give ample time for each task. If you know something will take you a minimum of 2 hours and you only schedule it for an hour, you have shorted yourself and your project or task.
After you have plugged in your main tasks, let’s look at your should list. What items on this list do you have time for? Do the same for your could list. When it comes to this list you can be more flexible because these items aren’t the most important.
And voila! There you have it…How to plan your week!
Planner Tip: Just because I’m a planner doesn’t mean I’m not flexible. To keep my days running smoothly, I have accepted that things don’t always go as planned. Leaving a little wiggle room or scratching out a good portion of the day if needed isn’t a failure. It is just life. It happens.
How do you plan your week? Let me know in the comments below!