Planning is no doubt an important aspect of our lives. As human beings, we have to make sure that we manage our time with our jobs and businesses, while still making time for our families, friends, hobbies, and health concerns. When we plan our week and our days carefully, we can create a clear path and achieve a balance between “work and play.”
However, when we become too busy and our schedules become too filled, we tend to forget all about planning and end up multi-tasking. And so, we need to remind ourselves the importance of planning so that we can become successful, even in the smallest of tasks.
Table of contents
- Why Do We Need An Ideal Week Planner
- The Components Of An Ideal Week Planner
- Steps To Create An Ideal Week Planner
- Printable Templates For The Ideal Week Planner
- Tools For Making The Ideal Week Planner
Why Do We Need An Ideal Week Planner
It’s now more important than ever to spend every day according to our week planner as the pandemic has forced many of us to work from home. Moreover, for freelancers, maintaining a weekly planner prevents blurry lines between work and home.
Here are three important reasons why we need to create plans:
Planning helps reduce stress.
It’s undeniable that one of the reasons why many working adults and students are stressed is the overwhelming amount of work. Often, when we know that there’s so much to do, we panic and we overthink. We think about how we can do this one thing when we need to also accomplish other things.
Read How To Stop Feeling Overwhelmed At Work For Better Efficiency
When we plan, however, we can get peace of mind because we know that all of the things we need to do are attainable. It also helps us to prioritize the things that we need to do, therefore helping us to stay calm.
Planning prepares us for obstacles.
When we plan, we should always consider the possible problems that we may face and set up contingency plans. This way, when a problem does come, we can easily solve it and move forward.
Planning evaluates your progress.
Planning lets you know if you’re right on track or if you’re behind your schedule. Therefore, you can easily evaluate your progress.
The Components Of An Ideal Week Planner
This category typically consists of everything that has to do with our work – whether freelance or permanent. Under career, you could list down client work, billing, making presentations, etc.
Personal Development 🧑🏽💻
For excelling in our career and personal life, we need to be in a mode where we are open to learning and applying. This category can include online courses, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, etc.
Family And Friends 👬
What’s life without relationships with our friends, family, and significant others! When you put it in your ideal week planner the times you want to invest in relationships, you will be a more successful person. Under this category, you can note down date nights, time with friends, extracurricular activities with kids, etc.
Physical And Mental Fitness 🏋️
We can’t enjoy life if we are riddled with mental and physical issues. Therefore, you should make it a point to build in activities like yoga, meditation, exercising, etc in your ideal week planner.
Entertainment And Other Activities 🏄♀️
If you love hiking, trekking, reading, painting or sometimes just sitting quietly amidst Nature, don’t forget to add such fun and entertainment activities in your ideal week planner! In fact, just plan when you are free to do anything spontaneous or doing nothing at all.
In the process of creating the ideal week planner, we often put the most focus on tasks related to our career. As you can see, there are other aspects in our life that can’t be put on the backburner. Therefore, your ideal week planner must include all the fun activities and the times you need to nurture healthy relations with yourself and your loved ones.
Steps To Create An Ideal Week Planner
Now that we’ve narrowed down why planning is important and the categories we should include in an ideal week planner, it’s time for us to think about the best steps to create a plan.
- Define your top priority goals.
This helps you get a clear path of what you’re really aiming for. An ideal week planner must have your top priority goals etched in it. Make sure to take a few minutes to write them down.
When you pen down your goals for an ideal week, don’t back away from adding your personal development, health, and relationship goals in your weekly plan. We tend to put the floodlight on career objectives only, whereas our health and wellbeing are equally, if not more, important.
To help you set your priority activities for an ideal week, begin by putting your tasks in one of the four boxes below.
|Important and Urgent|
Do it now!
|Important But Not Urgent|
Schedule to do it before it becomes urgent.
|Urgent But Not Important |
|Neither Important Nor Urgent|
Remove from the list.
This exercise will enable you to assign high, medium, low, or no priority to your tasks to ensure your ideal week planner has started on the right note. Read more about scheduling here.
- List what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Next, list in a logical order all of the tasks needed to help you get to where you want to be.
For each category, there will be a list of one or more activities. You can refer to the examples covered in the last section to get an idea of what kind of tasks to include in your ideal week planner.
Also, give an estimated time for each of the tasks in the ideal week planner so that you know how much time to block for them. While doing this activity, focus on the big rocks or the high priority tasks that need more time than the rest. But don’t neglect planning for the other tasks that contribute to your mental and physical wellbeing.
You can hence put your weekly plan in its proper perspective and plan your fun and entertainment time chunks accordingly.
- Map the activities in the ideal week planner.
With the list of chores and the estimated time for each, now it’s time for you to move the ideal week plan to your calendar or a hard-copy planner. Assign each activity to a time slot in your calendar.
Take care to use your body clock when scheduling all the events. The most important jobs are often not the most pleasant ones. And if you want to do them when your productivity is at an ebb, that’s not the ideal approach.
Eat the frog first thing in the morning when your productivity level is high. That means, do the hardest and most important chores first. That will relieve you from stress and you can take things easy as you move on to the next task on your ideal week planner.
However, some night owls are more productive after the evening. So, listen to your body and map your chores on your ideal week planner in a way that produces the best results.
- Customize your ideal week planner.
Wondering what an ideal weekly planner looks like? You can simply take an excel sheet and convert it to your ideal week plan. Just take seven columns for the seven days of the week. Then put the hours of the day along the left side in a row. You can use this as a printable template too.
To customize the template of the ideal weekly plan, add color codes to differentiate between each task category. For example, all work-related tasks to be red, personal development tasks blue, entertainment stuff in green, etc.
- Practice using the ideal weekly planner.
Once you have your own or a downloaded weekly planner template, it’s time to put it into practice. Focus on the big rocks during the most productive hours, keep the less important chores when you’re feeling a bit low, and stick to your ideal plan when it comes to any activity that will keep you on top both mentally and physically.
To prevent a spanner in your ideal week, define your working hours on your calendar and set boundaries. Let others know from before when you will be away from your phone, the time slots when you won’t be replying to messages and emails, or set appointment slots during which you are free to meet others.
Make sure to plan not only a weekly schedule, but a daily one as well. This is so that you can keep track of your progress. Don’t worry if you ever fall behind. You can always make adjustments.
- Use tools
Nowadays, there are lots of apps and devices that can help you plan such as mobile phones and computers. Some of the apps you can use are Google Calendar and TimeTackle.
Printable Templates For The Ideal Week Planner
If you don’t feel like using an excel sheet for the ideal week planner, we have you covered. There are plenty of sources from where you can download printable weekly planner templates that are ideal for your purpose and plan. Following is a list of these sources.
⇒ Day Designer offers a free download of the ideal week planner printable template.
⇒ Week Plan is another source that will give you a printable template for your ideal week planner to help you focus better on your career and personal life.
⇒ 99 designs offer you the ideal week planner template for free.
⇒ Smartsheet is another source to download the ideal weekly planner excel template.
You can find more tools and apps for the ideal week planner when you search on Google.
Tools For Making The Ideal Week Planner
Google Calendar is a free cloud-based tool that you can use with your Google account. Since it is also cloud-based, many other Google users can also collaborate on it if you send them an invite. You can also create multiple calendars for different projects. On each calendar, you can then input tasks and details. You can also assign it to fellow Google users. You can also set reminders for each task so that you can keep track.
TimeTackle is an online app that lets you export your Google Calendar data into a downloadable file. It is even more helpful when you are in the final stages of your project and making a report on it because TimeTackle can merge all the hours and duration of the details in your calendar. That way, you can evaluate if you were able to successfully follow your plan.
Let the ideal week planner bring more order and productivity in your life! Start today!
Related Reading: How To Create Google Calendar Templates To Save Time