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Sunday planning can help revolutionize how you look at your schedule and to-do list. After reading this post, you’ll be able to look at your week ahead and figure out exactly what you need to do every day.
No more wondering what you’re supposed to be doing. No more forgotten appointments. No more running around in survival mode. For every minute you spend planning, you save 10 minutes in execution. That’s a 10X return. That’s a great investment for your time.
Planning your time actually makes you more productive. When you don’t plan and you are just living in the moment, you waste so much time. You spend so much time figuring out what to do next when you could spend time doing the thing and getting it done.
What is Sunday Planning?
Sunday planning is planning your week intentionally every Sunday. You set aside some time to sit down and plan out your week on purpose and with a purpose. You look at your to-do list and calendar to figure out what you want to accomplish that week.
You plan out what you’re going to be doing that week and when. You add the to-do list, appointments, etc. to your calendar and throw away your to-do list.
What!?!?!?!? Sounds great, right? It is. Sunday planning has been helping me plan out my week and hitting my goals for over 2 years now and I will never go back to the old way.
Benefits of Sunday Planning
There are more benefits to Sunday Planning than I could ever mention in this blog post, but I will highlight the top ones.
You are essentially creating time.
Because you are saving 10 minutes with every minute you spend planning, you’re giving yourself more time. When you don’t plan, you just sit down and stare at your to-do list until you figure out what you want to do next.
When you plan, you don’t even have to think about it. You already know what you’re going to do without looking at your to-do list because it’s in your calendar.
You get to throw away your to-do list.
When you do plan on Sunday for the week, you get to toss that to-do list out the window! You know what you’re going to do and when because it’s on your calendar. No more rewriting your to-do list every single day because you only knocked out a few things.
Provides clarity and focus.
No more worrying about having to remember things. No more worrying about getting your to-do list done. You plan for the week once and you’re done. After that, you just have to do what’s on your calendar.
When you’re not living in the movement, you’re in control. You’re not constantly running late or forgetting everything. You don’t say yes to 10 things when you don’t have any more room on your calendar.
You even save a ton of time because you already have your week planned out and you don’t’ have to check and see if you have time and get back to someone. YOu can tell them right then and there.
Helps you be realistic with your time.
When you plan, it helps you to be realistic with your time. You judge how long something takes and then put it on your calendar. If you know it takes you 45 minutes to cook dinner every night, you don’t’ put down 30 minutes.
That’s unrealistic. You don’t’ put down that you can do laundry, cook, and clean at the same time. You’re more realistic and therefore set yourself up for success.
How to Plan for the Week Ahead on Sunday
Look at your calendar
Look at your calendar for any appointments you might have that week. You need to make sure your appointments are already in your calendar first. I personally use Cozi for my family calendar and use gCal (Google Calendar) for my personal calendar.
I started using Cozi so long ago and I love it, but I still really love gCal for my personal calendar and to-do list. I look at Cozi and see if there are any appointments and then transfer them to my gCal.
Do a brain dump
Do a brain dump of everything you want to get done that week. I mean everything. All the phone calls, all the chores, all the things. Think about it by role.
As a mom, we wear a lot of hats and have a lot of roles in the house. What roles do you have? After you think about your roles, what do you want to do by role?
What do you need to get done for your mommy role? What do you want to do for your chores role? Think of everything. It doesn’t matter if your writing looks horrible or you feel like there are too many things on the list. Just write.
Start adding to your calendar.
The next thing is to start adding your higher priority stuff to my calendar first. Look at your previous step. What are the things that mean the most to you and align with your values and goals?
They are things like spend time one on one time with my family, work on my business, do taxes for the business, etc. These are the things I want to do first so I can schedule them when I can complete them when my brain is at its best.
Look at the things left on your list.
Now, look at the items leftover on your list. Look through and cross out anything you don’t really want to do. There are things you think you don’t want to do, but you really do.
Things like doing the laundry. It might not excite you to do laundry, but you do want clean clothes, so therefore you want to do laundry.
Add the other items to your calendar.
Look at the items left and batch the like items together. These items can go in 1 block and you can knock them out at 1 time.
For example, if I have to make 5 phone calls, I make them back to back in 1 block of time.
I estimate how long they’re going to take and then plug them in. This is where you fill everything into your calendar.
Prepare for the Week Ahead
Now that you’ve planned your week ahead, it’s time to prepare.
- What do you need to do to set up your week?
- Do you need to arrange transportation for your kids?
- Do you need to ask off at work for an appointment?
- Do you need to put your daughter’s therapy stuff in the vehicle?
If I have anything to do with errands, I try to put them into my vehicle after my Sunday Planning. For example, if I need to take something to the nurse at school for my daughter, I pack it into my car. If my son has to use a blanket for daycare for naps, I pack it. I try to get as many things ready as I can after I plan my week.
Success Tips to Stick to Your Plan
Look at your calendar often
Look at your calendar a few items a day. I always have the gCal app pulled up in my phone to tell me what to do next. I am always looking at my calendar.
Add a buffer time
You have a buffer in your budget and you should also have a buffer in your time too. You don’t need to switch immediately into each task.
Take a small break in between tasks to give your brain time to adjust to the new task. Taking a break is scientifically proven to increase focus and productivity.
Evaluate what’s working and what’s not
You always need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. If it doesn’t work for you to cook an elaborate meal every Wednesday, stop.
Start cooking a simple meal on Wednesday. If you can never seem to do laundry on Saturday morning ask yourself why and fix it. Maybe you want to do it throughout the week.
Maybe you want to do it at night after work and tackle a load a day. Figure out what’s not working and why and then adjust your schedule.
Break up larger tasks into bite-sized pieces
Break up larger tasks (like decluttering your home) into smaller bite-sized pieces. Don’t try to declutter your whole house in a day. Just declutter room by room.
Or if you have a lot of stuff, do closet by closet. Break things down until they’re in manageable bite-sized pieces. They will make you not dread them when you go to do them.
Next, you can grab the free Prioritize Your To-Do List workbook. It will help you walk through your to-do list step by step to ensure you’re getting the things done you want to get done first. You will be able to do more of the things you really want to do in less time.