At the start of every week, I sit down, collect my thoughts, and write out a plan for the coming week. It’s not an especially detailed plan, and it’s guided by my recently-acquired philosophy of focusing on what’s truly needed and letting God take care of the rest–a philosophy which has helped to eliminate a lot of stress and overwhelm from my life, let me tell you.
At any rate, I was writing out this week’s plan in my work notebook, when I thought to myself, “Hey, Jeanie, I bet there are some OCD list-making geeks like you out there who might actually get something out of seeing this, and might even want to play along at home by posting and sharing their own weekly plan. What say we put this up on ye olde blog?”
To which I replied… okay, I didn’t actually reply, because I’m not really that cuckoo. Most of the voices in my head belong to fictional characters, and I am aware that they aren’t real, which makes me perfectly sane, regardless of the fact that I sometimes address myself by name. Right?
So anyway, I thought that was not the worst idea in the world, and so here begins a new weekly feature wherein I post my plans for the week up on Monday. Hopefully, besides appealing to the aforementioned OCD list-geeks in my audience, it will also help to keep me accountable and on track.
But before I get to the plan, here are the guidelines I follow. First, I don’t actually schedule anything at this point. It’s basically just a master list of things that I want/need to accomplish during the week. Second, I break the list down into three broad categories: Writing/Publishing, Freelancing, and Health/Home/Other. Your categories will probably look different, but you get the idea.
Third, I do my best to keep it realistic and write down specific, achievable goals. F’rinstance, I don’t write “Draft my novel” or “Clean my house.” Instead I put down, “Write 2,500 words on my WIP” and “Dust and vacuum the living room and wipe down the kitchen counters.” I find that smaller, specific goals or tasks are a lot more likely to actually get done and not create decision paralysis, which is something that’s a big deal for me.
I sort my list into three columns, with the above categories as headers. I try not to list more than 5 – 7 things in each category. Usually, if I go over five, those extra things don’t get done and carry over to the next week. Which is okay, but for the sake of feeling like I actually accomplished something, I generally try to stick to five goals each.
One more thing: underneath the list, on the bottom half of the page, I leave plenty of room for notes. Here is where I write down important reminders — not just appointments and significant dates and such, but also little reminders to myself about proper priorities and what’s truly important. I also list things that I’d like to do in my spare time, if I have any, but that aren’t necessarily needed that week.
Without further ado, here is my plan for the first week of February.
- 2500 words on GHOST OF A CHANCE (500 words per day)
- Write and schedule at least 3 blog posts (this one counts!)
- Finish the “First 10K Readers” video series (more on this in a later post)
- Implement mailing list advice from the training video
- Read three chapters of David Gaughran’s LET’S GET DIGITAL.
- 2 ghost blog posts and 4 Facebook page updates for steady client
- 2 editing gigs via Fiverr
- 1 book formatting gig via Fiverr
- Daily – read and respond to Fiverr messages and e-mail
- Add graphic design and author platform services to this here website
- Update Fiverr profile info to include Matt (he’s learning editing and is getting quite good — good enough to help out when I’m overbooked)
- Stretch daily
- 20 minutes of maintenance cleaning daily
- Dust & vacuum the living room
- Finish the finance book I’m reading
- Block and finish my crochet bunting
- Meal plan based on what’s on hand/make Sprouts/Aldi lists
- Make a pot of goulash w/ thawed ground turkey before it goes bad
That’s my plan. Throughout the week, I’ll refer to it as I make my daily To Do lists, which are basically shorter versions of the above, broken down into the same three categories. On Friday, I’ll post a follow-up to review how well I stuck to the plan and how much I actually accomplished.
Now it’s your turn! I challenge you to post your own plan for the week on your own blog, and then leave a link to it here in the comments. It doesn’t have to follow my template and it can be as detailed or as streamlined as you want it to be — I’d love to know how you go about organizing your week. Tell us what works for you!