As part of the Day Designer community, you likely understand the value (and joy!) of planning ahead. And here’s the even better news: It doesn’t have to be hard (or time-consuming) either!

Start by picking a time—whether you sit down every Friday evening or Sunday morning or somewhere in-between—and create a weekly ritual where you reflect on the week past and plan for the week ahead. This is an opportunity for you to braindump everything you need to remember and accomplish in the next week: all of the appointments, birthdays, meetings, errands, projects, and so on.

Once you’ve gotten it all down on paper, you can find a place for it in your weekly schedule. While there are a lot of different ways to successfully plan for your week, we’ve outlined three simple tips for planning your week with ease and enjoyment.

Designate Timeframes

Call it the universal Law of Procrastination: We tend to fill up as much time as we have. That’s why if you say you have one hour to do the grocery shopping this week, you’ll take one hour. If you say you have two, you’ll take two. But the good news is: No matter what, you’re in control—so long as you plan ahead. Decide how much time each task or meeting will take (keeping in mind that most of us tend to drastically underestimate here) and schedule it on your calendar. And, in order to save your sanity, try sticking with only three or four major tasks in any given day.

Batch Your Work

It’s been said that every time you get distracted (or shift your focus), it takes 15 minutes to get back on track. That may not seem like a lot of time, but it really adds up when you shift focus all day long! The idea behind batching is that you do similar tasks in specific chunks of time. For instance, you might set aside one hour to respond to emails and voicemails and comments on social media. Then you might spend another hour focused on writing—your blog posts, your email newsletters, your social media posts. The point is you allow yourself to focus on one type of activity at a time, instead of forcing your brain to “code-switch” very quickly.

Plan Your Free Time

Here’s one very important thing to consider as you’re planning your week: What do YOU want to do? Sure, you have obligations to meet and people to please, but no week will be very successful if you haven’t made time for yourself. Block off time on your calendar to do . . . well, whatever the heck you want to do. If there’s an open spot on your calendar, there will always be someone or something who is waiting to fill it. Prioritize your free time by marking it off on your calendar, then spending it however you’d like to—whether that’s reading a new book, answering some personal emails, or catching up on your well-deserved Netflix queue.

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There are a 101 different ways to plan for a week—and often, the only key requirement for a successful one is that you’ve planned ahead at all. What’s most important is that you find what works best for you—and maintain it!

Of course, if you’re looking for a great place to write down all your big plans, you know we’ve got you covered. 🙂 Happy planning!

Do you have another simple tip for successfully planning your week?
Please share it with us (and your fellow readers!) in the comments below.