My mother was raised on a farm in Oklahoma and she has a phrase for feeling like your life is chaotic: “like a chicken with it’s head cut off.” Apparently, chickens will run around for a bit even after their heads are cut off. I bet you didn’t want to know that. My point is: no one wants to feel like that, like their life is beyond their control. So how do you take charge of your life? Start by creating a Weekly Planning Session.
I take an hour or so each Sunday for my Weekly Planning Session. I have clients who consider Sundays family time, however, so for them it’s best to plan on Friday morning. Whichever day and time works best is completely up to you. The point is to have a standing date and to guard that time with your life. The Weekly Planning Session is the thing that will make or break your week.
The Weekly Planning Session is the thing that will make or break your week. Click To Tweet
Weekly Planning Session Activities
Your Weekly Planning Session activities will be based on your lifestyle, whether you work full time or whether you have children for instance. Examples of tasks you may want to attend to in your session include:
- calendar review
- to-do list generation
- filling out your digital or paper planner
- making appointments
- meal planning
- grocery shop/put groceries away
- meal prep
- clipping coupons
- chore list/assigning chores
- family meeting
The most important tool for planning is a good calendar-whether that is digital or paper.
Some of my favorite planning apps are:
I try a new paper planner each year so I can better advise my clients. My favorite paper planners are:
For other planner ideas, visit my Best Planners for 2019 shop in Amazon.
Why not include a few fun items to decorate your paper planner with a little extra flair?
If you want to have meal planning, grocery shopping and prep as part of your Weekly Planning Session it helps to have all your recipes available. I keep recipes in two places: my “entrees” board on Pinterest and my binder of family favorites. (This post shows how to make your own recipe binder.)
As you plan your meals, consider your schedule. Is there a night where you’ll be gone right before dinner? That’s a great night for an Instant Pot or Crockpot meal, for example. I have 9 meal planning forms on my website you can purchase for just $5. They include:
- Easy dinner hacks
- Our favorite meals
- Weekly meals ingredient list
- Grocery list
- Weekly menu
- laminate this if you have access to a laminater and use it week after week to let your family know what’s for dinner
- Freezer labels
- Freezer inventory
- Recipe binder cover and dividers (15 pages in all)
My Weekly Planning Session
I use both a digital calendar and a paper planner. I always have my phone with me so it makes it easy to record appointments. However, I like to put so much more onto my paper planner:
- phone calls to make
- exercise classes
- goals and meals for the week etc.
So the first part of my Weekly Planning Session is to transfer my appointments from my phone into my paper planner. I color code these: pink for personal, green for business, purple for household appointments. When my kids still lived at home they each got their own color too.
Then I sit back and think about what really needs to get done this week. This can be harder than it sounds. I try to see beyond that long laundry list of things that need to get done (do they really?) to specific tasks that will move my business forward or get me closer to my personal goals. You know that Thoreau quote:
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is-what are we busy about?”
When I’ve narrowed down my list to what is important to do in the next week, I estimate how much time it might take and slide those chunks of time in between my appointments.
Next I look at my calendar to figure out the meals for the week. As I choose the meals and write them in my planner I hop up to check the pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what ingredients I already have. Those that I don’t have go on the grocery list.
This is where I stop my planning session. I plan on Sundays but don’t grocery shop until Monday when the stores are less crowded. You may have additional planning activities you’d like to tag on based on your household.
The Skinny about Weekly Planning Sessions
It may seem very involved but this process takes me less than an hour. I’ll be honest, there are days I’d rather not do it. Pretty Sundays in the Spring when I’ve been out gardening and don’t want to come in. In fact, I have skipped my planning sessions before and I felt like I was playing catch up for the rest of the week. I’ve learned that this admin time is super important to help make my life less stressful.
Do you have a weekly system? What activities do you include? Leave me a comment below!
Ready for MORE?
Feeling like a chicken with your head cut off? Learn one of my favorite tools in “Learn Mind Mapping: A Simple Yet Life Changing Tool.”
Not all of the tasks on your to do list are equal. Learn how to differentiate those tasks by reading “The Eisenhower Square: Finally Conquer Your To Do List.”