How to Plan Your Week Ahead
How Much Time is this Plan Going to Take?
Everyone has a different amount of time to spare, but organising yourself in advance can save you loads of time during the week and can save you from a lot of stress.
You can pick and choose how much detail you go in to with your weekly plan, so the time it takes can be as short or as long as you wish. You may find that some things you plan at the beginning of this process become second nature to you in a few months and no future planning will be needed for that area.
I personally take between 5-10 minutes on my weekly plan, but I could easily make this longer if I was more fastidious!
Plan Your Meals
This makes good financial sense as well as a way of saving you time.
I write down seven dinners I plan to have that week and check the cupboards to see what foods I need to buy. I write down my shopping list and remember to include sandwich-making ingredients and any snacks we always keep in the house, as well as breakfast foods.
Writing a shopping list saves me time from wandering aimlessly through the supermarket and picking up a variety of foods just because they're on offer. If I did this, I'd end up getting home and realising that I didn't have any complete meals and I had no budget left to supplement the food I had bought.
Having a meal plan and assigning a meal to each day enables me to not think about what I'm going to cook when I get home. I usually find that by the time I get in from work I'm tired and just want to collapse on the sofa, but if I have a plan for dinner, I can make that and know that my slobbing out time is just half an hour away!
Obviously, you need to plan when you're going to buy the weekly shop. I do this on a Friday on my way home from work. I find the supermarket isn't too busy and that chore doesn't take up my precious weekend time.
- Top Tip: Save time at the supermarket and take advantage of the scan and shop options. This enables you to pack your bags as you pick the items off the shelves and just present payment once you've finished. There is very rarely a queue to pay either!
Whether you're training for a specific event, or you're just keeping fit, planning your workouts helps you to stick to them.
Don't only plan the day you're going to work out, but also plan the time. For example, I plan to run three to four times a week, but I plan to get up early to run before work. I need to know this in advance to make the time for my runs.
Planning your workouts also means you can book any gym classes in advance before they're fully booked.
Check Your Diary
There are a few things you are looking for here:
- Appointments (e.g. doctors)
If there are birthdays coming up, do you need to buy a card or present and send them in advance?
If you have any appointments, do you know where you are going and whether you have to pay to park? Is there anyone you need to inform, for example your boss, in case you need to take time off work.
You may need to check your bank account if bills are due to come out to see if you have enough money. If not, do you have to move money between accounts?
Ever keep hitting that snooze button on a weekday morning and before you know it, you're going to be late for work? Yep, me too. One way that I still make it to work on time is by laying out my clothes the night before.
Now, you can choose to plan your wardrobe the night before or the week before. If you do it a week in advance, you can make sure your clothes are washed and ironed at the weekend and not panic during the week when your time is a little more restricted by working hours. Still, doing it the night before still saves you from that morning rush.
Now I admit, I don't always go this in depth. I normally decide the night before what chores I will do the next day. Though when I do plan them a week in advance, I tend to have a cleaner and tidier house...
Chores you may want to assign to different days include:
- Cleaning bathrooms
- Vacuuming/Mopping floors
- Cleaning Windows
If you share the chores with someone else, make sure they're involved in deciding who does what and they know what's been assigned to them.
Now this is something I don't plan on a weekly basis and I don't use my personal free time to do any work planning. But some people may find this useful and if you're one of these people that needs to write things down in order to let your mind rest, you may want to do this.
Start by writing down the day and time of any meetings you have. This will allow you to review any information you need to before the meeting starts. You can then walk in fully prepared.
List all the tasks you need to complete that week then number them in priority order. Make sure you don't have too many. You only have so many hours in the day and you can't be expected to do everything if it's impossible. If you can assign any tasks to anyone else to lighten your workload, make a note of who to allocate them to. If you can't assign them to anybody, make a note to speak to your boss about your unmanageable workload, they may be able to help.
Any More Ideas?
Please post any more ideas you have to plan your week ahead below. Any tips on how to make life easier is always appreciated!