I’m a big fan of weekly planning. In Tranquility by Tuesday (my most recent book) I made “Plan on Fridays” my Rule #2. The actual day isn’t so important (though I gave what I think are some solid arguments for Fridays!) but looking at the whole week helps you plan life holistically. If next Tuesday looks really busy, you’ll see that before Monday. You can also make plans to move things around to accommodate that busy day. You can look at work and your personal time to make sure everything fits together.
Anyway, I’m about to embark on a portion of my Friday planning. I’ve actually started spreading this out recently. These days I create my priority list for the upcoming week on Thursdays. I fill out the blank weekly page in my planner with what I need (or want) to get done professionally and personally over the upcoming week. I then keep thinking about this in the back of my mind and spend a few minutes on Friday adjusting. On Thursday, I also create the detailed plan for the upcoming weekend — based on the loose plan that was made the previous Thursday/Friday. I send this to my husband and our older kids.
Then, on Friday, I create what I call the “activity schedule” for the upcoming week. This lists out who needs to drive who, and where and when. Much is the same week to week (so I can repeat a template) but there’s always *something* different or we may be down a driver, or down a car. I create this for the upcoming Monday to Friday week, and then I email it to everyone who needs to know it (I also print up a copy for the younger children to see).
In all this, of course, it’s easy to get stuck in the process. So I’m trying to remember to ask a few questions every time I create the marching orders.
For example, when I look toward the weekend, do I have something I am genuinely looking forward to? My “realistic ideal weekend” template involves some adults only fun, a long run, a family adventure, and singing with my choir. I’m not running long these days (I’m working on walking reasonable lengths of time…) but in general that’s the goal. I also look to see if each of the kids is doing something and what their weekends look like individually. This is more about the little kids as the big kids are in charge of their own social lives. (But sometimes I need to remind them to tell me if they have plans…)
Also, during the work week…do I have enough time to work? My work hour tallies often wind up bearing the brunt of any “extras” in the week, so sometimes I need to shift around the driving to make sure I get the time I need to run my business, or see if we need extra childcare. This is going to be even more complicated with my physical therapy appointments now. As you might imagine, it’s easiest to put them during the work day but…that means they’re during the work day.
Anyway, that’s what my planning is looking like now. It works for me. Mostly, people get where they need to go. Mostly, I end each week with all my priorities for the week crossed off. Mostly, I have some fun stuff in my life. Now, on to creating that driving schedule!