How to Prepare for the Upcoming Week
The weekend is a great time to relax and reset. Unless you’re a part of a family like mine, where the weekend is just go-go-go. Even though weekends are busy in my house, I always make sure that I take time Sunday so I can prepare for the upcoming week. Planning and preparing help me stay focused throughout the week, and I’ve found that when I write things down in my planner and add them to Todoist, I’m more likely to get it all done.
I love using Sunday afternoons to sit down and get to work. Sunday mornings I have church, and Sunday evenings I have choir practice (at church), so I use the afternoon to do a little cleaning, organizing, and planning for the week ahead.
When it comes to planning my week, I use a combination of color coding, my Day Designer, and Todoist to keep everything planned.
1. I Start at the Monthly Calendar
When I have appointments, birthdays, or unusual events (like one time events or meetings), I write them down in the monthly page in my Day Designer. I’ll make the appropriate note for the day of the event and the time.
Then I think about what I need to do to prepare for that event. For instance, a few weeks ago I had a career fair on a Wednesday. Knowing that, I added to my to-do list on Tuesday to print off resumes so I’d be prepared.
2. What Else Do I Know I need to do?
If I need to pay bills one day, I’ll add that to my Day Designer, too. If I want to write a specific blog post on a day that week, I’ll add it. I try to add everything I can think of to my week. Depending on when I think I need to get it done, or what’s on my plate for a specific day, I’ll add it to the next day. I try to stick to six tasks or less, simply because I’m usually adding big tasks with my little ones (think blog posts, or right now I’m editing chapters). While one big task itself doesn’t seem like a lot, you want to keep it to one or two and sprinkle little things in between.
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3. Then Comes Todoist
I use Todoist a lot on my phone. If I’m out without my planner, or it’s in my bag, using Todoist is a great spot where I can dump to-do’s quickly and not worry about it. I’ve learned that hard way – if I don’t put it somewhere, I’ll lose whatever idea I have. I’m forgetful.
On Sundays, I look at what I have scheduled in Todoist for the week (I always add a due date to to-dos when I add them in – if I don’t have a due date, I’ll almost never see it), and add those to my planner, too. I try to make sure that the two match up, as much as possible.
There are some tasks that stay in Todoist that are mainly there just to give my Karma score a nice little bump, but for the main things that I need to get done one time, they go in both. By trying to make sure everything ends up in both, it gives me more peace of mind knowing that if something didn’t get in both, at least it’s somewhere.
In Todoist, I also elaborate on some tasks. For blog posts, I have a whole checklist in my app, but in my Day Designer, I’ll typically just write the title.
While my process doesn’t mean I’ll be able to anticipate everything I need to get done for the upcoming week, it does give me a solid spot to start at. As the week goes on, I’ll add more tasks where I need them to go, and by Sunday, I start all over again.
Do you have a specific way to plan for your week?