Do you have a weekly planning routine? If not, or if you need some fresh inspiration, then this post is for you!
This post was originally published September 18, 2017. It has been revised and updated to reflect new information and resources.
I’ve been asked a lot lately for an update on my planning routine.
- How do I keep my month-at-a-glance calendar? (iCal)
- When do I sit down to plan? (Sunday afternoon)
- What does my weekly planning time actually consist of? (Keep reading…)
So, I thought I would do a post sharing about my weekly planning routine in hopes of inspiring you toward a more intentional life. I don’t think I have all the answers by any means, nor do I think this is how everyone should do it, but I do want to try to help so here goes!
I do my weekly planning on Sunday afternoons. Everyone usually spends a couple of quiet hours alone in the afternoon (babies nap, big kids read), which gives me some uninterrupted time to think and plan.
Here’s what I usually cover in my weekly planning routine…
My Weekly Planning Routine
First, I spend time reflecting on the previous week.
When God created the world, there is something He did at the end of each day that I find so fascinating.
God saw and declared it was good (ref Genesis 1).
At the end of each day, He looked back at what He had made and declared it good.
God went over His work to make sure it was complete and perfect.
If you have the Made to Give Life Planner, then these times of reflection are built in for you. But if not, then here are some questions to get you started reflecting over the previous week:
- How did this week go?
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- What changes do you want to make next week?
I like to write my answers to these questions down on paper. Writing helps activate your brain differently, slowing you down and making you really think through what matters most to you.
Next, I review my mission statement and goals.
I do nothing more than read through it most weeks, but sometimes, I spend a little time reviewing some of the scriptures I’ve written down if I feel like my heart is really swerving from the mission I feel God has given. But mostly I just re-read my mission statement and look over my monthly focus page in my planner to see if there is anything I need to focus on this week to move my goals forward.
These two steps usually take me about five minutes at most. This isn’t meant to be a long process, just a quick check-in with your big-picture and priorities so you can stay faithful to what matters most.
Next, I review my lists from the previous week.
If I see a task undone, I will evaluate whether this task needs to move forward to a new week, get taken off altogether, or added to a “someday/maybe” list. Depending on what I decide will determine what I do with the undone task.
If it’s something that I need to move forward, I will go ahead and write it on my master to-do list for the new week.
If it’s a task that I keep re-writing every week hoping I can get to it, then I move it to my Trello board as a someday/maybe item. Most of the time these are tasks that I wish I could get to, but life is just too full to take on the project, so it keeps getting put off. It is a task that I want to eventually get to and not forget – hence why I keep re-writing it – but now is just not a good time. I will put it on my Trello board list and keep it there until I can act on it.
If it’s a task that I wrote in that just needs to be let go because it’s not all that important, I will just strike through it and move on. These are usually idealistic/duty type tasks that I make into a big deal that aren’t. If I’m not getting to it, then it’s probably something that needs to be let go.
Finally, I spend a minute brain dumping any new tasks that come to my mind onto my Trello board. I walk through my mindmap of all of my roles and responsibilities and make sure there isn’t anything I’ve forgotten to capture throughout the week. I do a pretty good job of keeping things filed away from my brain and on my lists throughout the week, but I do a quick brain dump during my weekly planning to just make sure the “deck is clear” so to speak.
Then, I make my master to-do list for the week.
I do NOT put appointments on my master to-do list. Those are kept on my master calendar that I keep in iCal.
The weekly master to-do list is strictly for tasks that aren’t necessarily tied to a specific day or time. This list consists of my next actions for on-going projects like ministry work, cleaning, and anything else that doesn’t necessarily have to be done on a specific day at a specific time.
I use this master list to make my daily to-do list each morning.
After I’ve made my master weekly to-do list, I review my master calendar for appointments.
I make sure I know what is coming up for the week at specific times during the week. These times are usually put in as they arise throughout the month, or when I sit down to do my monthly planning. You can see how I do monthly planning in this post.
As I review my master calendar, I start making arrangements for what is coming up that week. I send invites to my husband for the nights he needs to pick a child up from an extracurricular. I arrange childcare for my mid-day appointments that I need to be childless at. I add a food prep item to my to-do list for when I need to make a lunch to go, etc.
I go ahead and get as much ready and squared away as I possibly can. This way I won’t have to remember to do it the day before and run the risk of waiting too late to find childcare.
Once I have a good idea of what to expect for the week, I make a menu plan and create a grocery list.
I plan our breakfasts and dinners using my seasonal menu plan, and I make sure to keep in mind what the day looks like for each meal I have planned.
If we have a busy day out of the house, I’ll try to line up a super easy meal for that evening knowing I will have little energy for cooking.
While I menu plan, I make a grocery list. I use my Master Kitchen Checklist to make sure I don’t miss anything, and I do a quick review of the meals we have for the week to be sure I’m not missing any ingredients for it.
Finally, I reset everything for the week.
Once I have my lists made, this means I’m ready to head to the grocery store. I make a quick trip to the grocery store while everyone is still resting, and by the time I get back they are ready to work together with me to unload everything and tidy up the house.
I use the next little bit of time to reset our house: tidy up, gather homeschool supplies for the week, prep some veggies for the week, and whatever else will make our week run more smoothly before eating dinner and shuffling kids off to bed for an early bedtime.
I try to end my day with a bath and early bedtime as well. When I do, I always feel better for it, but I won’t pretend that this is done to perfection each week. I’m a real person after all. 🙂
And that’s my weekly planning routine!
Free Weekly Planning Printable
Do you want a free worksheet to take with you to guide you through your weekly planning routine? Just pop your email address into the box below, and I’ll send it right over.
What about you? Do you have a weekly planning routine? What do you do each week to prep for a new week ahead?
Want help deciding how to make the most of the season you’re in right now?
If you want to live more intentionally, but you’re just not sure where to start, then the Made to Give Life Planner might be the help you need.
I designed the Made to Give Life Planner to help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.
It’s not just a planner. It’s a way of life.
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