Often, the general response to doing a weekly review and planning for your week is “Ahhhhh.”
It’s fun to nerd out about weekly plans and review, but actually doing it is a whole other thing.
It seems like such a hurdle to actually do them.
In this article, I want to show you how to get all the benefits of weekly planning and reviews with the least amount of work possible.
Weekly review and planning does so much for your professional and personal life, physical health, etc. It sets you up for success and allows you to take control of your time.
We’ve implemented this entire planning and reviewing structure in our company.
The bedrocks of planning and reviewing help us to avoid procrastination and burnout. When we identity what’s important, we avoid procrastination, and when we recognize our progress, we overcome burnout.
This whole process takes about 30 minutes a week. There is no right or wrong way or time to do it.
Why do a Weekly Review
Weekly reviews give you the chance to look back on your previous week and recognize the progress you’ve made. But it’s about more than just recognizing progress — it actually prepares you for the next week.
Here are the pillars:
- Celebrate your progress
- Get Clear
- Get Current
- Get Creative
Celebrating your progress builds on the Progress Principle.
The Progress Principle states that “your productivity, motivation, and morale are all improved when you are able to see that you are making progress on meaningful work.”
Get Clear, from David Allen, literally means to clean up and clean out. Clean up your workspace, clean out your inbox. Get ready to start the week with a clean slate.
Get Current is to help you get caught up to speed. What did you work on this week? Review anything from last week so you know what needs to be done.
Get Creative means to allow time and headspace to think, brainstorm, and plan for what’s next.
How To Do a Weekly Review
Here are few prompts to help kickstart your weekly review.
- Note any loose ends and undone tasks from the past week. Take a look at your task and project list from last week. “Is there anything I didn’t finish? If I didn’t finish it, does it still need to be done or should I chuck it?” Just because it was important last week doesn’t mean it is now.
- Take notes of any wins and accomplishments for the week. What went well? What big tasks or projects were you able to get done? These wins aren’t limited to your work life. What were some highlights of the week?
- What didn’t go well? What did I learn? Did something not go well or not as planned? Did you learn something new?
- Take note of anything else you want to include or write down.
Your weekly review should roll straight into your weekly plan.
Why a weekly plan?
A weekly plan informs how I’m going to be spending my time for the week and what I need to accomplish.
It tells you what success looks like at the end of the week.
Here are the pillars of a weekly plan:
- Identify what matters most
- Schedule and plan
- Be proactive and prepare
- Identify any daily themes
It’s pretty basic: schedule and plan what you’re going to do and when.
It’s helpful to start with the bigger picture and decide the most important projects you need to tackle and when you’re going to do them. This isn’t the time to get granular and schedule out your whole week in 15-minute increments — just decide when you’re going to work on your most important projects.
For example: “Write Weekly Planning article on Thursday morning.”
Next, be proactive and prepared for any meetings that are coming up or any events. Look ahead to feel prepared.
Planning your week and looking ahead allows you to be proactive and feel in control of your time.
I give a theme to each day. Ask yourself what is going to define each day. Such as, Monday is Admin day or Wednesday is Meeting day.
I give myself a buffer too. Friday is my buffer day where I don’t schedule or plan anything. You don’t need to pack your schedule full — leave some buffer for yourself.
How to Plan Your Week
Here are a few prompts to help you plan.
- List out three big goals for the week and why they’re important.
- Why does this matter? This makes it easer to sit down and do it when the time comes. Don’t expect the future you to be connected to the why, so write it down.
- Reserve time on your calendar for your big goals.
- Daily Events
- Daily Themes
- Misc section at the bottom of your page. Add anything extra or miscellaneous admin work.
Make it efficient for you. There’s no right or wrong way to do this.
You won’t use a system that you don’t trust, that’s confusing, or convoluted.
Schedule what matters.
Reviewing and planning for your week doesn’t need to be a pain. As you’ve seen, it can take 30 minutes at most and it gives you a tremendous amount of peace of mind knowing you have a plan.
Don’t believe me? Just try it once. Plan out this next week and see the difference it makes. I’m hooked — a true believer. I think if you give it a try, you will be too.
Don’t forget about the free workshop on how to plan your week coming up this Wednesday (we’ll send out a replay if you can’t make it live).