We talked about planning and prioritization last week, but how exactly should you go about planning? A great place to start is by prepping for the week ahead.

Imagine how great it’d feel to wake up on Monday morning with your plans for the week already laid out. It’s the same kind of feeling you get when you’ve already laid out your clothes, breakfast is ready in a few minutes and you don’t get caught in traffic.

So, set aside some time to plan ahead. Taking even an hour each week makes your entire week more productive, less stressful and more intentional.

Pick The Right Time

While we personally love Sundays, this might not be the right time for you. Prepping for the week ahead works best when you do it at the beginning of your week.

Ideally, pick a quiet time and set aside at least an hour. You might even make this an early morning routine as you drink your coffee. Or, make this a relaxing activity a few hours before bed.

Review Your Goals

The Day Designer Flagship Planner includes a goal worksheet at the front of your planner. Review your goals every time you plan your week. You want your plans to help you get closer to your ultimate goals. What can you do this week to get you one step closer to success?

Establish Weekly Routines

You likely already have some routines in your life. You may go to work at the same time each day, have breakfast each morning, do laundry Tuesdays and Fridays and so on. These things fit in your schedule because you’ve made them into regular routines.

Want to accomplish more with your week? Want to achieve those goals you’ve set? Establish weekly routines. When you’re prepping for the week ahead, schedule in time for the new routines you want to create.

Without routines, it’s easy to procrastinate. As we’ve discussed before, unless you schedule what you want, other things will fill your time. Create weekly routines to take full control of your time and before long, those routines become easier and you get closer to living the life you want.

A great weekly routine is to plan and/or prep your meals for the entire week. By prepping everything in advance, you’re able to eat healthier meals without feeling stressed for time.

Review The Previous Week

Mistakes are just lessons, so don’t let them hold you back from achieving what you want to accomplish during the coming week. Take a little time while you’re prepping for the week ahead and review the previous week.

What went right? What do you wish you could change? What went wrong and why?

Answering these simple questions will give you more control while planning the next week. Maybe you tried to schedule too much and felt overwhelmed. Schedule some breathing room so your week flows better. Overall, learn, plan and keep going. You might even create a mini-goal for the next week or month to overcome a common obstacle or challenge.

Include Time For What Matters Most

It’s easy to quickly fill your weekly schedule with appointments, work, meetings and family obligations, such as driving your kids to various extracurricular activities. However, prioritize what matters most – yourself and those you love.

Take a look at your weekly plan. Does it include any time for self-care? Is there any downtime to exercise, read a book or enjoy your favorite hobby? Your well-being and health should always be a priority. Remember, if you don’t make time for you, you won’t be at your best for everything else on your schedule.

Next, have you left any time to spend with loved ones? Carve out time to talk with your kids, your spouse, friends and other family members. Prioritizing your relationships helps you feel happier and healthier.

Prioritize Plans

Most importantly, prioritize your plans each week. Start by filling in time for things you absolutely have to do. Next, schedule time for your top priorities, such as yourself, relationships and goals. Finally, fill in the rest, but leave space for surprises, prepping for next week and simply relaxing.

At Day Designer, we want to make prepping for the week ahead easy. Our weekly planning page, which is the heart of our Flagship Weekly Planner, allows you to visualize your week with prompts for your schedule, to-dos and top three along with space for notes. Try it for free today!