Friday planning gets it done (even when things don’t go as planned)

It is lunch time on Friday. From this vantage point, a few hours from quitting time, I am pretty sure I am going to end the week with the week’s major to-dos crossed off my list.

Perhaps this shouldn’t astonish me, but it does. Work was heavy, though not overly so. The planned personal events consumed many hours — the new house end-of-project walk-through, organizing and wrapping presents (that took over 3 hours to ensure under-the-tree equity…), a child’s band performance, choir practice — but these were built into the model. The complications happen when you throw in the curveballs: the forgotten earth science project materials that necessitated a trip to Michaels, the 6-year-old scratching his eye with the foam at gymnastics last night such that it is swollen and he can’t keep it comfortably open so he is home with me today, a during-the-week house showing that came up yesterday….

Life seldom goes as planned. But the upside of thinking through the week ahead of time — which I do each Friday — is that you can identify what absolutely has to happen. Then you can think about when it can happen. And then you can build in open space for when the inevitable crises arise. Since you know what has to happen, those priorities get automatically rescheduled for the available open space. And one way or another, stuff gets done.

Well, most of it. I didn’t order the mat to go under the exercise equipment at the new house, but to be honest, despite the time sensitivity there, it probably wasn’t a top priority…

Do you plan your weeks on Fridays?

4 thoughts on “Friday planning gets it done (even when things don’t go as planned)

  1. I tend to plan my weeks on Sunday afternoon/evening.

    I’m usually so ready to say goodbye to work and responsibilities on Friday, that I don’t have the mental headspace to really think through the next week, yet.

    The presents look great – I think it’s such a great idea to assign each child unique wrapping paper; definitely would make judging equity a bit easier.

    1. My kids and their cousin all have birthdays within days of each other so we often do one big celebration for all three kids at once. My mom started a tradition of buying them each their own wrapping paper, based as closely as she could manage on an interest of theirs from the past year (unicorns, soccer, music, airplanes, whatever). It’s been a huge hit and it sparks a lot of memories in pictures of the kind of person they were at that age. 🙂 It’s since been adopted to their Christmas presents as well.

      1. @Jenny – individual wrapping paper is so the way to go! We have wrapping paper for extended family presents too that’s different. Costco sells 3-pack jumbo rolls of double sided paper so we really didn’t need to get too many units of paper to get 12 different kinds! Plus leftovers from years past…

  2. I plan my week on Sundays, a more laid back day for me than weekdays, when I’m working on my web guide and blog. I use the Apple calendar on my laptop. My recurring tasks (daily, weekly, monthly and annual) are already entered for the year. First thing every morning I open yesterday’s date and drag unfinished tasks to another date. I make adjustments to today’s schedule if necessary. Then I print it, fold it into quarters and secure it with a binder clip. I tuck little things into the folds – like dry cleaning tickets, a list of things needed at the grocery store, prescriptions to fill, etc.. I keep the printout with me all day. That way I can add reminders as I think of them, often while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or doing some other mindless thing.) The reminders I added yesterday include refill the bird feeder, call a friend who’s in the hospital, fix the Christmas lights that fell down overnight and buy silver ribbon for my gift wrap supplies box. They will all get done….it’s Sunday!

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