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weekly planning checklist

The Best (& Realistic) Weekly Planning Checklist For Your Busy Weeks

This post is all about the best weekly planning checklist that you can actually follow.

Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.

weekly planning checklist

If you’re having one of those weeks when you’re too busy and overwhelmed to spend 3 hrs planning, and you just need a quick hack to organize your week, this weekly planning checklist is for you!

The best part is, this weekly planning checklist will add structure to your days and give you a clear idea of what your week will look like, without you having to spend your entire Sunday planning.

It will also save you a lot of time every morning that you would have spent on your daily to-do lists.

In fact, if you’re a pro-procrastinator like me, you know that daily to-do lists never work! I actually find it exhausting, trying to decide every morning, “where to start on the to-do list?”🤦‍♀️ It always results in me procrastinating my most important tasks.

But don’t worry, with this weekly planning checklist, you’d never have to face that dilemma again!

Whether you like to strictly time-block your days, or keep it flexible, this checklist has it all. Including the *much needed* hacks on how to get sh*t done on days when you don’t feel like it!

weekly planning checklist

1. analyze previous week

Starting with the most important step, analyzing your previous week. It might seem like an unnecessary step on your weekly planning checklist but trust me, you don’t wanna skip this one.

This is the ONE thing that’ll make sure that you actually create an Efficient weekly planning routine, that works FOR you.

Simply take 10 minutes before starting your weekly planning routine and answer the following prompts :

  • What are the things you got done last week?
  • What helped you the most? (Thoughts, routine and habits that made you want to work)
  • What didn’t work?
  • What was your biggest distraction?
  • And at what time of the day are you the most productive?

2. Do A Quick brain dump

I can’t start my weekly planning routine until write down all of the tasks I have in my head, because I feel so overwhelmed dealing with a 1000 tasks in my head.

Write everything that you want to get done this week; including the smallest of things, tasks you keep on forgetting, EVERYTHING. This is what we’re going to pick all the tasks from.

3. figure out your top priorities

Let’s be honest, not everything needs to get done, or is equally important.

There are tasks that “would be nice” to get done. But not finishing them is not going to make a huge difference. You might not even notice that they’re still on the list.

And then there are tasks that are will move the needle forward, take you closer to your goals and would probably determine if you were being productive this week or not.

You need to identify the tasks that fall in the later category. Simply highlight these “important” to-dos. And focus on prioritizing them during the week.

4. put your meetings/non negotiables on google calendar

I’m a big paper planner girl, but I religiously use Google calendar when it comes to scheduling my days.

google calendar, weekly planning checklist

Start by scheduling all your meeting and appointments for the week on the calendar.

The best part? You can also add meeting links, meeting notes, and reminders with google calendar.

After this, you’d know exactly how much time you have left for the other tasks. I mean, you can’t plan to finish 5 days of work in a week when you know you’re out of town from Thursday, right?

5. the right way to plan your days

Now, there’s 2 ways I go on about planning and scheduling my weekly tasks, depending on how I’m feeling that week.

And I highly recommend you to try both.

a) When I’m feeling overwhelmed due to a long to-do list :

The thing is, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and have the thought “There’s no way I can finish this in a week”, all you wanna do is shut everything down and watch Netflix instead.

And having a strict calendar during such weeks, is only going to make you feel stressed. Feeling like you’re constantly behind on tasks is not helpful.

So, here’s what to do instead. Just pick 2-3 priority tasks (one’s that would take you closer to your goals) for everyday of the week.

Instead of creating a strict schedule, just create a rough to-do list for everyday of the week. And don’t add more than 2-3 tasks. This’ll force you to prioritize the important tasks first.

daily checklist for adults, daily routine

b) When I’m feeling on top of my game and want a strict calendar :

If you’ve had a productive week, and want to continue the streak, this is for you.

Time blocking your calendar works best, because it saves you the time and energy of planning your days everyday. And also, helps you avoid the mental battle of ‘what to do next?’

Bring out your brain dump list, and schedule the ‘priority tasks’ first.

Next, if you’ve got time, schedule your ‘would be nice’ tasks.

Make sure you’ve leaving enough extra space as well. Because life happens and things take longer than expected.

6. set some weekly goals

If you want to start a healthy routine, or have some habits that you want to prioritize this week, write them down in your weekly goals.

After all, this weekly planning checklist is not just about finishing tasks on your to-do list, it’s about being efficient with your time.

Some weekly goals you can set are : Waking up at 7 am everyday, or Reading 50 pages this week, or Going to the gym 4x/week.

Make them measurable. So that, by the end of the week you have a straight ‘Yes or No’ answer to whether you accomplished the weekly goal or not.

Use habit trackers to easily track your progress and patterns.

Related Post : 21 No-Nonsense Daily Goal Ideas

7. Future proof your plan

The truth is, you’re still going to have days when you won’t feel like doing anything! That’s life.

Prepare yourself for those days right now.

Answer this, what thoughts make you want to procrastinate work?

The most common ones are :

“I’m tired.”

“I’ll do it later/tomorrow/ after this episode.”

“I don’t know where to start.”

“There’s no way I can finish all this.”

Now, come up with a plan to deal with these thoughts.

Here’s what I usually do :

  • I’ll do it later

Whenever I get this thought, I replace it with “I’ll do it for 15 minutes and then I can decide if I want to do it or not”. And when you start doing something for 15 minutes, you gain some momentum and you usually want to continue doing it even after the 15 mins.

  • I don’t know where to start

The thing is our brain loves to indulge in confusion and spend 3 hrs trying to plan the right way to complete your overwhelming to-do list.

And you might think that this is the right thing to do, BUT it’s not helping you be productive, is it?

Thoughts that will help you actually get sh*t done are There’s no right or wrong way to do this.’ and ‘I’ll just focus on finishing one task right now. And I can take care of the rest later.’

I’ve found that there are 7 common thoughts that make most people procrastinate. If you want to learn about these thought errors and how to work around them in depth, get inside the Take Your Weekends Back course.

take your weekends back

Here are other things that you can try, to get yourself out of the bleh mood :

a) Pick your favorite form of procrastination

If you have a lazy brain like me, you’ll understand this one! I’ve found that there are different forms of procrastination. Somethings – like scrolling through social media to procrastinate – would only take you down a rabbit hole of feeling sh*tty.

But other things like – reading your favorite book, or going on a walk, or cleaning – would help you take the break you need, but will also make you feel better by the end of it. So, pick a form of procrastination that helps you take rest but also feel motivated to get back!

weekly planning checklist

b) Productivity hack list

Make a list of things that get you in the productivity zone. Including the weirdest of things. One of mine is watching my favorite youtuber’s videos (You’d think that this is another distraction, but I always feel more motivated to get sh*t done after those 10 minute videos).

c) Ta-Da list

If you’re feel demotivated because you’re busy all the time and still not getting anything done, start making this list.

Basically every night make a list of things you got done today. And it’ll make you realize that you’re actually getting more done than what you give yourself credit for. And it’ll make you feel more accomplished and motivated to do better.

7. extra hour on Friday

You need to keep your schedule flexible, even if you love time blocking your days.

Truth is, life happens. Things take longer than expected, you might get a new priority task in the middle of the week. And you don’t want to throw your weekly plan down the gutter the minute something unexpected pops up.

That’s why it’s important to have buffer times in your routine to keep you on track. A simple way to do this is by scheduling 1-2 hrs on Friday to finish all the leftover work from the week. This way you can easily move things around as needed.

8. get sh*t in order

This is my favorite thing on the weekly planning checklist – preparing for the week ahead.

There are so many things that you can do on Sunday that’ll set you up for a productive week, like,

1) Grocery Pick Up

Make a list of your weekly meals. You can meal plan to save yourself some time throughout the week. But even if you don’t want to go that far, at least order all the groceries you’d need. This will save you from the mid-week grocery runs.

2) Plan Your Outfits

So that you have one less decision to make every morning. And you look presentable when you step out of the house.

3) Cleaning

Start with putting everything in it’s place. Make sure your work desk it all set up. Basically, a clean space equals a clean mind. And you don’t want to wake up on Monday morning and worry about a messy home.

9. make a good vibes list

Make a list of all the little things you do everyday that bring you the good vibes. <3

Things like reading your favorite book, working from a café, or playing with your pet. Write down all of them.

And now add as many things from this list as possible in your weekly planning routine. This’ll make sure that you’re doing more things that you actually enjoy, everyday.

10. Keep your Sundays free

Not your ideal weekly planning checklist advice? I know!

But what most people don’t realize is that having guilt free rest days is the KEY to productivity. And “worrying about your to-do list while you scroll through tiktok” rest days don’t count!

I know it’s hard to silence your racing thoughts. But there’s no way you can be a 100% productive on your work days if you don’t let yourself enjoy your rest days.

These to-do lists are always gonna be never ending. And that’s not a problem. Find comfort in the fact that you’ll always get the most important things done!

This post is all about the best weekly planning checklist that you can actually follow.

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