I’m a big believer in planning out your week, and I’m proof that approaching life in this way can allow you to create a life you love filled with everything you currently can’t seem to make time for. Today's post takes you through how to design your week, and is actually part of one of the lessons featured in 7 Steps to Slow Things Down (a free email course you can sign up for now!).
To start on your personalised planning process you’ll actually need a planner. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’ll need 2. The first will be an electronic calendar for you to plan ahead by months rather than weeks, and the second will be a either an electronic or hand-written weekly planner (call me old-fashioned but for this I definitely prefer a hand-written version, and having a hard copy to stick on my fridge is a great reminder for the days when I’m not glued to the laptop screen).
I use Google Calendar for my long-term planning (not sponsored - I just like using it): it’s easy and free to use, syncs seamlessly with my phone (and therefore reminders pop up should I need them) and allows me to colour-code my appointments / tasks – and I love a bit of colour-coding. When I first set it up I added all birthdays for family and friends and any long-term plans for the year (weddings, baby showers etc.), plus I blocked off my working hours to prevent any scheduling clashes – this will work if you work for a company or for yourself, but just might take a little more time to organise if your working hours are often sporadic.
Once your long-term calendar is up and running, designing your week is ridiculously easy. I created my own planner, and if you think it might work for you too then simply sign up to download it right away. Each week print off a copy and transfer over anything in your long-term calendar. What you’ll be left with is time to mould and shape into whatever you wish.
I like to set aside evenings in the week for specific activities, and of course remember this can change every week, and it might even change mid-week – but THAT’S OK! This is your plan and it should work for you. Adopting this approach is not necessarily going back in time, but it does utilise some of the same notions and ideals from history: Monday was wash day, Thursday was cleaning day and everyone shopped on a Friday. They might have been on to a thing a two.
To give you some ideas, here’s my evening plan for a typical week (I work in the day):
- Monday: my other half is at work so I blog and sort out bills, admin etc.
- Tuesday: a bit of housework, but mostly I set aside time to read.
- Wednesday: usually set aside for plans with friends.
- Thursday: sometimes I have a course / club to attend, but otherwise I try to get outside or work on the blog if it’s too miserable.
- Friday: date night!
- Saturday: wash day, then set aside for plans with family.
- Sunday: meal planning and time to fill out my weekly planner followed by a bit of self-care (think bath, book and nail polish).
Yes, my time is still full. No, I don’t have children, and I know that this sort of plan won’t work for everyone. What you can do, though, is adapt and mould to your own personal specification. Maybe evenings aren’t the best time for you to create weekly rituals – maybe mornings or lunch breaks or just weekends are all you can manage right now – but whatever time you do have, following a process like this allows you to make the most of every ounce of that ‘free’ time.
Let’s recap with how you can design your week:
- Set up a calendar and make sure to include birthdays, anniversaries and long-term plans.
- Use a weekly planner and transfer everything over from the calendar before adding in daily rituals and plans.
- Make sure you add in time to fulfil your goals and plan out meals.
How do you design your week?