How to Plan a Successful Week

Sarah Cann

Planning your week is critical to seeing success and achieving your goals.  

If you’ve been following me on social media for a while, you likely already know that I love to plan!  Now that Mia is back in school and we have help with Knox a few hours a day, I’m finally finding my daily routine again to make shi*t happen & feel productive.  I spend a few minutes on Sundays to jot down my plans for the week which include workout & eating goals. This practice helps set the tone for my week and reminds me to be intentional about how I spend my time.

With so many tasks on my plate, I have to be strategic.  Planning my week in advance helps me have productive days and pushes me closer to reaching my long-term & short-term goals.  

If you’re ready to make the most of every week and including getting in those workouts & healthy eating, I’ve got you covered.

Today, I’m sharing 5 SUPER SIMPLE steps to help you plan your week in advance. You’ll learn the things I do to prepare for the week ahead so I can set myself up for success. These steps ensure I’m maximizing my time, meeting deadlines, and checking things off my to-do list (including gym sessions & meal prep!). I’m confident they’ll help you do the same.  

HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEEK: 5 Steps to Getting your Sh*t together *aka Planning a Successful Week

STEP 1: Pick a Planner/Calendar.

I use both a paper planner and a digital calendar/app for all of my to do items. For Paper: I rely on my LUCKY Life Planner for my annual big scary goals/plans.  I love this planner for all of the big picture planning it includes, regular check-ins/reflections, and take action tasks to get things done. And a Bullet Journal because I like the freedom of writing my own daily/weekly outlines.

For Digital: My fave apps are Google Keep and Google Calendar.  I can easily access these on my phone and laptop throughout the day.  I use them on regularly to keep track of appointments, manage projects with my Assistant, and alert me with due date reminders to get stuff done.

Once I’ve got my plan/schedule created for the week I can snap a photo of it and save it to my Google Keep app. Keep can create a task list for you based on the photo--hello awesome!!  I transfer anything on my paper planner with due dates or priorities to my digital calendar at the same time. Copying this info into a digital form like these apps does not take a ton of time, 10 minutes tops!  

STEP 2: Pick 1 day per week and a certain time of that day.

Then stick to it no matter what. I prefer doing this on Sundays and I recommend you do this as well if you are able to (if not do what works for you).  Your goal is to form a weekly habit of planning. For me that means every Sunday night, after the kids are in bed, I will go into the office with no distractions, set a 30 minute timer and start this process.

STEP 3: Brain Dump.  

I write down EVERYTHING that needs to be accomplished that week.  From the mundane (paying bills, doing laundry), workout plans, both personal & business appointments, and work commitments/projects.  

  • Analyze your Brain Dump.  You’re going to prioritize your list into a few categories:  Urgent/Important (Do It Now), Important/Not, Urgent (Decide when to do it), Urgent/Not Important (Delegate), Not Urgent/Not Important (Do it later or dump it completely). Start by looking for any tasks that can be skipped completely.  

  • Delegation is a perfect way to quickly cut down your task list—is there anything you're waiting on others for? Get it off your list. No one to delegate to?  Throw that task onto a follow-up list or a “someday” list so you don’t forget it. but getting it off your normal to do list will relieve the pressure of seeing it there all the time.

  • Workouts and meal prep NEED TO FALL under the Urgent/Important category.  I sincerely believe in the fitness mantra, “Never miss a Monday.” I love this because it gets to a truth about human nature: We’re driven by momentum. The longer we wait to start something, the harder it is. But if we start strong, kicking off Monday with a burner of a workout and nutritious eating, we begin the week feeling great and we’re more likely to stay on track for the rest of the week.

STEP 4: Check your priorities and share them.  

Your Brain Dump list has been analyzed and sorted now let’s keep those priorities in check!  Every Monday morning, Jason and I quickly go through our calendars and our priorities for the week.  It’s nothing fancy, usually one of us is eating in between getting kids ready for the day lol! This not only gets us on the same page, but it also helps us support each other in our goals.  Especially helpful in keeping me accountable when I’m tempted to flake out--like skipping early morning workouts, etc.

STEP 5: Use your Non-Negotiables to plan your week by day.  

Now, it’s finally time to plan your week by moving those tasks on your Brain Dump list into your calendar and blocking off time to accomplish them. A blank calendar can feel pretty overwhelming at first. However, once you get into the habit of planning in advance, it’s going to get much easier. To help you out with this final stage, I have a few handy tips you can keep in mind:

  • Choose 3 daily Non-Negotiables.  “Non-negotiables” are those boundaries that you build into your life to keep you sane.  Think of them this way: No matter what, these things are happening. No matter how the rest of my day, my week, my month goes…these will be my constants.  These non-negotiables form habits that encourage the feeling of accomplishment. For example here mine are:  POWER-SWEAT-FUEL. Power practice includes 30 minutes of prayer, setting intentions for the day.  Sweat = Moving every single day. Fuel = Eating like a love my body

  • Fill in your days with appointments first then work backwards from there regarding the time available in your day.  Gym time and meal prep time should be included as daily appointments!!

  • Schedule your days based on the priority of a task. Consider the priority of the task that’s on your to-do list so you can assure everything gets done on time. Estimate the time a task will take and block it off. Next, you’ll need to estimate how long a task will take you to accomplish and then block it off on your calendar. It’s important to also allow yourself some buffer room for those times when tasks run over.

Afterwards, you’ll be left with an organized weekly calendar that’s filled with tasks. Not only that, but your tasks will be planned out in a way that’s most efficient and sets you up for a successful week!  You can maximize the time you have available and boost your productivity.

Remember, if you don’t plan it, then it won’t happen.