We’re often wishing for more time, increased focus, and a greater sense of balance and flow in our lives.
Despite this desire, many people are living life without a plan. We are not given a roadmap or instruction manual for life, so many of us simply make it up as we go along!
Here at Day Designer, we believe that everyone can live an intentional, productive, and beautiful life. We believe that big dreams are more manageable than you think. Small steps, accumulated over time, turn into big leaps.
We hope to inspire you to live more intentionally though the use of this simple formula: Yearly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Well-Designed Life.
We’ve talked recently about how to set up the perfect planner for your year and how to track your goals on a monthly basis.
Today, we’re sharing our top tips on setting up your weekly routines!
Let’s begin (or build upon) the habit of designing your week in five thoughtful steps:
1. Pick a time.
Start by picking a time and creating a ritual where you reflect on the week past and plan for the week ahead. Celebrate what you’ve achieved, and brain-dump everything you need to remember and accomplish in the next week!
Some of our planner friends do this on Friday afternoon, many on Sunday, and others first thing on Monday mornings. Commit to a time, think about how long you’ll need, and adjust as you go.
2. Prioritize these!
First things first. What matters most?
Review your goals to ensure that the week you plan is in alignment with what you want out of your month, your year, and ultimately your life. Look at different aspects of your life and ask yourself the following questions for the week ahead…
• What do you need to do for yourself?
• What do you need to do for those closest to you?
• What do you need to do for your personal growth?
• What do you need to do to better steward your time, money, and energy?
• What do you need to do for work?
Review your project list. What next steps can you take this week?
Schedule in your free time to ensure it happens!
3. Create routines.
We’re juggling so much and often repeating our efforts week after week. Routines help us with follow-through and efficiency, opening up time for ourselves and our families. Think though the following areas, and make notes of any we may have missed that are an aspect of your life. Whenever possible, batch your work to increase focus. For example, you could set aside a day or a chunk of time just for errands, emails, phone calls, or meetings. Day Designer founder Whitney English designates one day per week as her internal work day with no external meetings or scheduled calls.
You have to take care of you. Prioritize your health and well-being!
Consider a pre-planned weekly menu to follow.
Meal Prep and Cooking
Do what you can at the beginning of your week.
Pick a day and set aside what you’ll need: receipts, returns, paperwork, etc.
Do you clean by room or by task? Which days work best?
Do you go from start to finish on a set day or do you tackle it little by little?
Consider setting aside your outfits for the week.
Carve out time to stay on top of homework, reading, journaling, and photo projects.
What is your work schedule? Even if your job allows you flexibility, define your working hours when possible. Adjust as needed.
4. Block time for commitments.
Between our professional and personal lives, we are often pulled in many directions. Streamline when and where you need to be by getting it all down on paper and planning ahead.
Activities, Events, and Other Commitments
What’s coming up this week?
Meetings and Appointments
Do you need to schedule in some prep time? Make a note of what you need to bring.
5. Be realistic!
It might feel tempting to plan your week down to the minute. (Trust us, we’ve been there!) But you’d be setting yourself up for disappointment. Your ideal week is not meant to become an unreasonable standard to which you hold yourself. Be sure to leave some white space—some room for flexibility and the unexpected—some room to simply enjoy the life you’re working so hard to create!
There are many different ways to plan for a week, yet often, the only key requirement for a successful one is that you’ve planned ahead at all. What’s most important is that you find what works best for you—and maintain it! If you’re looking for a great place to write down all your big plans, you know we’ve got you covered.
Do you set aside time to plan your week? Has this guide inspired you to start? Let us know in the comments below!