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Creating a Personal Weekly Plan

“Failure to plan is planning to fail”

“Plan your work and then work your plan”

I am a planner so these well-worn clichés are etched into my psyche.

This is why every Sunday I lay out a plan for the upcoming week integrating both the professional and personal parts of my life.

It’s a ritual I will not miss.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. I review the previous week and see what was left undone and decide what to do with them (add them to the upcoming week, not do them at all, etc.).
  2. I compile all the ideas, tasks and thoughts I’ve collected over the previous week and add them to my master Outlook Task List.
  3. Next I look two to three weeks out in my calendar and add to my list any work I need to do to be ready for upcoming meetings and events. I will also resolve any scheduling issues.
  4. I may block out time in my calendar to focus on an important task that requires quiet to do well.
  5. Then I will print a pocket-size card of the tasks I’ve chosen to focus for the week. It stays with me (held in a Levenger “shirt pocket briefcase“) all the time. If my list doesn’t fit on a 3″ by 5” card then it’s too long.
  6. Finally, each morning I will evaluate the previous day and then highlight the tasks that I want to achieve that day.

Simple enough yet when I don’t create a plan I feel as if I’m going through my week running with scissors.

When I do I enter each day with confidence that I know what I need to do to have a successful week.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. chris du mond #

    sounds a lot like David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” Get it out of your head and into a useful retrieval system. Speaking of retrieval systems, I recommend looking into OmniFocus for iPad for a list/organization tool. The only drawback for you specifically is syncing it into Outlook which I don’t think it does. So when you’re ready to migrate to a completely Mac ecosystem, (hint, hint) this might be an effective solution for you.

    February 27, 2011
    • Thanks Chris for the recommendation. One day a total Mac ecosystem may happen. Also love David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” though I picked up much of my system from the old Franklin Day Planner stuff as well as Covey’s pre merger time management system. Principles are very similar.

      February 28, 2011
  2. Jon #

    I’m seeing a Valpo stop on your things to plan for. Does that mean Kerith and I get to see you on our turf? Sure hope so!

    February 28, 2011

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