Start each week off right by creating a weekly schedule that actually helps you get more done!
In the past week I’ve shared a bunch of different ways that I am incorporating my word of the year, focus, into changes I’m making in my life. Whether it be through exercising and eating healthier or focusing on spending quality time with my family, I’m really trying to focus on one thing at a time. I’ll be honest, it’s tough. Really tough.
But there’s one thing that has really helped me to make it work for me so far in 2016 – creating a weekly schedule.
I’ve used a planner for a long time and even wrote about how much I loved my planner when I shared my tips for being more productive. Using a planner means I’ve sort of planned out my weeks, if planning means knowing when things are due on my blog, when my son is in preschool, when my husband goes to the office, etc.
But this year I’ve started taking things to a whole new level and am actually planning out each day, a week ahead of time. Planning each day down to the hour.
It’s been a game-changer.
I’m getting more done than I ever have before, and I’m enjoying it all a little bit more because I’m not so stressed about trying to figure out what I need to do and how I’m going to fit it all in. Planning my weeks each Sunday night shows me that everything I want to do can fit, I just need to stay on task and make it fit.
I know everyone’s schedule is a little different so rather than telling you exactly how to plan out your schedule, here are five of my best tips and guidelines for creating a weekly schedule that actually helps you get more done and fit everything in.
How to Create a Weekly Schedule that Helps You Get More Done
#1 – Create a weekly routine and stick with what works.
Determine what your general weekly schedule looks like. For me, I know that my son goes to preschool from 9-12 on MWF so those three blocks of time are set aside for blog project work like making and photographing recipes, creating crafts, setting up parties, etc.
Anything that needs a good chunk of time or natural light gets scheduled into those blocks of time. On Tuesdays, we go on a fun adventure and Thursdays are set aside for playdates with friends. Nap time in the afternoon is for my other business stuff like answering emails, editing posts, contacting brands, and anything else that needs to get done that day.
Rather than writing out my daily schedule in my planner, I’ve actually created a weekly master schedule in Excel that I just edit the necessary portions each week then print and tape into each day in my planner. There are things that aren’t going to change and doing it this way saves me time so I don’t have to write the same thing (church, lesson planning, date night, etc.) over and over again each week. This is what my master weekly template looks like, obviously yours would look different.
#2 – Schedule in everything that’s part of your daily life.
If you actually want to do it, schedule it in. If you want to work out, schedule those workouts in. Schedule in when you’re going to have family time. And when you’re going to run errands or take time for yourself (so important!). If it’s not in your schedule, it’s likely not going to happen because something else is always going to get in the way.
Each of my days is scheduled from when we get up in the morning until when we go to bed at night. Things change and you’ll likely need to be flexible but it’s a lot easier to be flexible when you know what you were planning to do in the first place. Start with the things that have deadlines first or that are the most important at the beginning of the week; that way if things change, you can still fit them in later.
#3 – Schedule in time for the long-term goals.
This is one that I think we often forget about. We set long-term goals or things that we really want to work on but then we don’t set aside any time for those things, so they never get done. Figure out what are 1 or 2 of the most important things that you’d like to get done (that are outside your daily survival routines) and schedule in some time for those during the week.
Mine are noted as WIGs (from Four Disciplines of Execution) and today for example I’m working on rebranding my website from 4-5PM, but you can call them whatever you want. Just make sure to add in at least a little time each week so they actually happen.
#4 – Plan out your meals and snacks.
I swear one of the most time-consuming and time sucking activities on the planet is coming up with something to eat. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve walked to my fridge and pantry looking for something to eat and spent 20 minutes just trying to figure out what I even have.
Twenty minutes times five times a day is a lot of wasted time looking in the pantry. Create a meal plan at the beginning of the week and add each of your planned meals and snacks into the schedule.
#5 – Add a time limit to time sucks.
Time sucks, the activities that somehow take up your entire day without actually accomplishing anything. Facebook, checking your email every two minutes, Instagram, Pinterest, your favorite news website, etc. You know what yours are, so I won’t try and list them all here. For me, mine are for sure Facebook and checking email every second of the day.
I’m not going to suggest eliminating those things all together, just set a time limit on them. And put that time limit directly into your schedule so you know, hey I have 30 minutes to answer emails and then I have to move on to something else and not check my email.
What helps you get things done during the week? Now that you know how to create a weekly schedule, check out these tips for being more productive on a daily basis!