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How To Plan Your Weekly Schedule For Success

Want to be more productive and efficient with your time? Here are five steps to help you plan out your week ahead of time.

Tell me if you can relate to this: When a new week approaches, you feel stressed out because you’re not prepared at all. By the end of the week, you feel frustrated because you didn’t use your time in the most productive way.

We’ve all had the Sunday scaries for the week ahead. We’ve all left things until the last minute and then complained at the end of the week about not having enough time. And yes, that’s me calling you and myself out.

Want to be more productive and efficient with your time? Here are five steps to help you plan out your week ahead of time.

This anxiety and dread usually happens when you go through the week without a plan. If you don’t know what you need to get done and when you’re going to work on it, the chances of it happening are pretty slim.

Planning your week gives you time and space to figure out how you’re going to fit everything in. If you’re trying to make progress at work and in your personal life, planning your week will help you get there.  Plus you won’t feel like a chicken with your head cut off trying to do things at the last minute.

In this post, I’m sharing five steps that will help you plan your week in a more productive and efficient way!

Why you should plan your week

If I don’t have a hint of a plan for my week, I will stumble my way through my work trying to get everything done at once. Those are the kind of weeks where I feel totally unfocused and flustered, and naturally I want to avoid that as much as possible.

Planning is important because it helps you use your time in the most efficient way. You can realistically gauge how much you can get done and how much time you have to do it. That way, you can feel accomplished knowing that you did what you set out to do.

My routine these days is to sit down on a Sunday evening and review my goals and monthly plan. I’ll figure out what really needs to get done for the week ahead and what I’d like to get done. Once I have my weekly plan, I can go to bed with a little more peace of mind before the week begins.

“You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others.”

– Michael Hyatt

How to plan your week

Want to be more productive and efficient with your time? Here are five steps to help you plan out your week ahead of time.

When planning your week, you basically want to create an outline of what you’re going to do each day. This plan doesn’t have to be super detailed (that would be better for a daily schedule), but it should help you feel prepared for the entire week.

Tip: Before you begin planning your week, make sure you have all the tools you need to keep you on track. For example, I use a blank notebook for writing notes, Asana for setting deadlines, and a weekly calendar to keep track of appointments.

Step 1: Review Bigger Plans

  • Review any yearly goals you’ve set for yourself.
  • Review your monthly priorities and plans. Here’s a post on how to plan your month in advance.
  • Make note of any appointments or events that you need to plan around.

Step 2: Make A Detailed List

  • Make a list of every little thing you need and want to get done this week. This list could range from big projects to tasks like grocery shopping.
  • Go through the list and see if there’s anything that could be moved to another week if it’s not urgent now.

Step 3: Set Your Priorities

  • Figure out what absolutely needs to get done this week based on your list. Label or highlight these tasks as your weekly priorities.
  • Keep your weekly priorities list to 3-7 items.

Step 4: Design Action Steps

  • Create a bulleted list of action steps for each priority on your to-do list.
  • Think about action steps that will help you get your priorities completed or even just started.

Step 5: Make Your Schedule

  • Figure out which of your priority tasks you’re going to work on for each day of the week. Assign each priority from your list to a designated day.
  • If it works for your schedule, group similar tasks together so your brain doesn’t have to switch between different types of activities.
  • For each day of the week, choose the ‘one big thing’ that must get done. This will help you to stay focused and accomplish the most important thing first.

Sidenote: Sometimes your priorities for each day will change even after you’ve planned them. That’s just life. As much as you possibly can, try to stick to the plan you’ve set for yourself. Just don’t be hard on yourself if other things suddenly have to become priorities.

What does your weekly planning process looking like?

I hope this post has given you some ideas for creating your own weekly planning process so you can set your schedule up for a super productive week. Share any weekly planning tips you recommend in a comment below!

About the Author
Picture of Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! As the creator of The Blissful Mind, I love exploring ways to make life more fulfilling, especially when it comes to our daily routines, habits, and well-being.

18 Responses

  1. Ur awesome!! Your blog is supper Helpful because with my anxiety/ptsd that crushed me cause i over think etc. This helps me stay focused on my self care as well as things that i can priorities from important to its okay to put out for a week the world will not come to an end.

  2. Nicely done! I do something pretty similar every Sunday but like the idea of reviewing yearly and quarterly goals when planning things. I use a good ol’ paper planner, but may incorporate an app to help me keep track of my progress. Love your posts! Keep up the great work

  3. Loved your clear and simple steps to follow!
    My weekly plan usually starts with me freaking out about the number of tasks and ideas I have in front of me – both on paper and digital :)
    But after that, I take a deep breath and focus on my main goals. I usually keep a list on my desk which reminds me of what is my main focus.
    I try to not overestimate my capacity and make a list of tasks to accomplish the next week. If at the end of next week I’ve completed 80% of them I call it a successful week!

  4. As a college student, I am always having to plan out my weeks, but sometimes I struggle with doing this. I love how you went through what you step by step to prioritize and organize your week and the tasks you wish to accomplish. A lot of the time, when I write everything down I either feel ready to cross every single thing off that list, or I get overwhelmed and procrastinate everything.
    How you deal with this feeling of being overwhelmed/stressed out about how much you have on your plate? xx

  5. My Sundays are not complete without this ritual. If I miss any Sunday..then it’s a very anxious start to the week.

    I usually start with a brain dump of all the activities that need to get done. I then allocate items to each day of the week and schedule it on my diary as well as outloook calendar. Scheduling catchup calls with team members helps me also avoid random questions from them throughout the day. Sometimes I go as granular as 10 or 15 minute appointments.

    What I liked from your post is the idea of setting weekly priorities. That’s a thing I’m missing. Sometimes despite having a busy week, I realize that I haven’t got the big stuff done.

    A well planned week is essential to a productive week though.

  6. Hey Catherine,

    I like your step by step guide. For a long time I didn’t really plan my week or had many goals in life. Only recently I started setting my self more concrete goals.

    Now I use a planner book and I usually incorporate little drawings and color code. I realized I’m a lot more motivated if I put some effort into the planning process. Also makes it more enjoyable for me.

    Anyway, I shared your guide. Hopefully my friends will also find it helpful :)

  7. Wow! nicely done! I’ve always been a slow reader and I get bored easily when I see articles or writings with no numbers (i love numbers), But for the first time in a long time, I read this till the very end. This post has solved the questions I’ve always asked myself every time I beat myself of wasting my week.

    Thank you, Catherine. I feel relieved now, I guess. lol

  8. Hi, can I ask you which planner is that one depicted in the photo? I like it that there are separate sections for each day. I can see myself using each section for each of the hats I wear. Thank you!

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