Plan your week

Weekly planning checklist

A successful week starts with a weekly planning.

I plan my week every Tuesday morning. I always try to go to a café to get some distance from my everyday life. Planning then takes about 30 minutes.

1) Weekly review

My weekly outlook starts with a review. Because only if I take the time to learn from my past can I improve my future.

I look at the calendar and check all appointments for the past 7 days according to the following criteria:

  • Did this appointment make sense?
  • Was it necessary for me to be there?
  • Was I well prepared and did I have all the materials?
  • Was the appointment a reasonable length?

Then I ask myself:

  • Was there enough time for myself?
  • How much time did I spend with my kids?

In a second step, I look at my completed tasks. It's very easy in Todoist.

I see if I have done everything that I set out to do or if I took over the last planning.

This review of tasks often makes me proud of “I'm crazy, what I've achieved!” And that gives me momentum for the new week.

2) Schedule appointments

After looking back, I change the place. I go to my office. Because I need my special whiteboard for the specific planning.

As a second step in my weekly planning, I look at the dates ahead of me:

  • Is that what I have planned to do there?
  • Are there enough driving and rest times between the appointments?
  • Does every appointment make sense or should I cancel it?

Then I try to bundle the appointments in order to get more free times. For example, if I have two appointments in the same place in a week, I try to summarize them in order to avoid travel times.

I also prefer to pack myself a full day when I can have a free morning or afternoon on another day.

Now I put all my appointments on my whiteboard with a blue pen. A field always stands for one hour.

If an appointment lasts longer, I fill in more fields accordingly. That protects me from undertaking too much. If the column is completely filled one day, I don't plan any further appointments or tasks.

On the board, business and private appointments land side by side on an equal footing. Because I only have 24 hours available once a day.

ATTENTION: Yes the board does not have 24 lines for 24 hours. I only plan 8 waking hours a day. The rest of the time is used for relaxation and is always filled with unplanned things as if by magic.

Thanks to this approach, I always have enough time for urgent surprises.

3) plan private

In addition to business and private appointments, I plan my private matters every week:

  • When do I take time for the children?
  • When do I go hiking?
  • When do we have time as a couple?

Once I have set them, these appointments have just as high priority as all work-related matters.

4) plan tasks

I organize my tasks with the Todoist tool.

I collect all of my tasks in it and give them a due date.

However, very few of these set dates are completely fixed. In the weekly planning, I distribute the tasks for the coming week over the seven days.

I use my whiteboard as a guide. On days when there are already many appointments, there is little space for tasks.

What sounds so logical, however, many people neglect in their planning and thus take over themselves. Self-inflicted stress arises. The board is then a good protective mechanism, on it I record all major tasks (lasting 20 minutes or more) with a red pen.

5) Find the frogs

"Eat the frog first" is a common time management piece of advice. What is meant is: If you start your day with the most annoying or most important task and complete it, it gives you energy for the rest of the day.

If the most important thing is already done one day, then it is already a successful day. Even if you would just lie on the sofa afterwards.

Eating a frog is not a nice idea. Perhaps it also helps to accept the frog as it is. Life is not all about beautiful tasks. In fairy tales, frogs that you accept and kiss - become a prince!

I'm already looking for my 7 frogs for the next few days while planning the week. I write them on the top line of my whiteboard.

Every morning after my morning routine, the first thing I do is look at a frog like this.

Checklist:

1) Weekly review calendar and tasks

2) Schedule appointments

3) plan private

4) plan tasks

5) Find the frogs

Conclusion:

With such a weekly planning you avoid unnecessary self-inflicted stress. You don't overtax yourself and you always know exactly what to do.

Now you know my weekly planning checklist.

How do you do it? What else can I learn from you?

I'm looking forward to your commentary.

Benjamin Floer
I am, podcaster, theologian, minimalist, husband and dad. I help self-employed people to have more time for their families and themselves. And that without having to forego professional success. I love to be on stage and drink whiskey (not necessarily at the same time 😉)

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