Each Sunday night I take half an hour to plan out the week ahead. It’s a habit I began in my teens, when my workload of managing a job and school was overwhelming at times. I knew if I didn’t write down everything I needed to do, I’d forget something!
If you find yourself floundering throughout the week, procrastinating on projects and unsure what to do first when you get up in the morning, this post is for you! Scheduling your week in a planner is the best way to stay on track with everything you need to do. Following are five things I do each Sunday as I get ready for the week ahead.
1. Write Out Weekly Appointments and Tasks
The very first thing I do is write down my appointments and “must-do” tasks. These big items HAVE to be done, so I want the rest of my responsibilities to work around them. Class schedules, work hours and doctor appointments should be written into your planner before everything else.
2. Set Goals for the Month and Week
Each month, I sit down and set some goals I want to complete by the end of those four weeks. Then, I break these goals down into weekly, smaller goals. On Sundays I move these smaller goals into my weekly plan.
If you don’t know what you want to accomplish each week, you’re probably going to procrastinate and waste precious time figuring out what needs to happen next. But by determining the most important things for your week, you can schedule them appropriately.
3. Break Goals Into Daily Tasks and Routines
Once you know your goals for the week, break them down further into daily tasks and routines. I know I need to do laundry every week, but I don’t want to get overwhelmed by it. Instead of waiting for it to pile up, I assign a certain “type” of laundry to each day: towels on Tuesday, dark clothes on Wednesday, etc.
You can do this with your homework, too. At the beginning of the semester, take out your syllabus and write down all the assignments a week BEFORE they are due in your planner. Then each week, revisit your homework assignments and write down which day you’ll do them.
4. Create Routines for Repetitive Tasks
A morning and evening routine are a must for a smooth start to your day, but these aren’t the only routines you can implement. Just as I made a routine for my laundry, you can make routines for your own repetitive tasks. It can be as simple as setting out your physics homework and everything you need for it on your desk the night before you plan to do it. Create routines that support what you need to accomplish; be your own cheerleader!
Remember too how awful you feel when you put things off. This is a big motivator to just get it done! A body in motion stays in motion, as the scientific principle says, and once you’re up and moving, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to stay motivated.
5. Plan Meals
Lastly, I plan my meals. Even if you’re single and in college, you can plan your meals to save money and stick to a healthy diet, if those are some of your goals. Determine some meals that appeal to you (I usually plan dinners and breakfasts, and eat leftovers for lunch). Make sure you have all the ingredients, and if not, make a grocery list and get those items on Monday. Write out the names of the meals on the days you plan to cook them.
You can also do meal prep on Sundays, especially if you don’t mind eating the same thing for lunch each day at work or school. This is a big time-saver and will make your mornings much easier.
Once you’ve plugged all these things into your planner for the week, you’re ready to go! Pray over your week, and then revisit each day’s plan when you get up in the morning. Get into this habit, and you’ll find that it will help you for a lifetime.