There’s nothing more helpful to balance and focus than planning your week. It’s Monday morning, so if you haven’t made your Week’s Plan yet, let’s go ahead and do it together. It’ll take less than 20 minutes. Bare with me; I’m writing from the land of Didactica today. Surrender to the process and it will go quickly and painlessly.
Step 1. Pause and reflect.
Grab a piece of paper and write down the worst thing that happened last week. Or just write it on this line.
And now write the best thing that happened.
Say them out loud. Crumple the paper (or this handy form I’ve created) and chuck it out the window. Oh, blow on it before you do that. Or sit on it. Say goodbye in some way, then get rid of it. That was last week. It’s gone.
Next try closing your eyes, breathing slowly and moderately deeply, rubbing your hands on your belly. Go ahead and take two whole minutes to wake up to having a body. Get some extra oxygen into your brain. Feel the air breezing by your sinuses. Maybe whisper to yourself, “Yes, I am a 3-dimensional human with feet and hands and skin. I am in the present slash here tick of the time space continuum, and yes, this moment right now is actually a sweet clear moment where I’m pretty good with everything.”
Step 2. Make a plan.
Next, think about your roles and choose the 4-7 you will pay some special attention to this week. Remember, the Stoker is at the top of your list because we all need to make sure we feed our energy.
Now, grab another piece of paper or a 3×5 card or this handy Printable Pocket Planner, write the date in the upper right, and for each role write the one most important thing you will do this week— just one thing for each of the roles you will play, not the most urgent thing, write down the one most important thing.
Make each one a goal. Start with a verb, attach an object, and make sure it’s something you can check off when you’re done. Here is what my Week’s Plan looks like. Explanation below.†
Now here’s the key: Make this plan add up to a great week. Planning is not about figuring out how to get a lot of things done. Instead…
Planning your week means taking the time to figure out your best chance at making this week a great one.
This next step is very important.
Put each of these goals into your calendar at times when you know you will do them. These are the bright spots in your week. Give yourself the best chance to make a great week by scheduling them when your energy will be right for them.
Finally, say each goal loud. In my example:
“As a Stoker I will do T’ai Chi two times this week.”
Step 3. Do it.
Yup, when the time comes to do one of those things you said was the most important, set everything else aside and do it. Really. Trust that you knew what you were doing when you made this plan. When you do them. Check them off your Week’s Plan.
[Quote from someone with more credibility than I.]
[Love Beams followed by a motivating reminder such as, “This is where you get a chance to actually make this a great week. Come on, you know you can do it.”]
That was simple, wasn’t it? Have a great week!
†NOTES: My Week’s Plan (Explained)
As a Stoker __Do t’ai chi twice. Even though I’ve been exercising every day, as I’ve written recently, Anxiety has been visiting with some tenacity. T’ai chi is a pretty good ingredient in the remedy.
As a Finisher __Spec the Big Really app. In my mission to make 10 Attention Management Tools this year my new design for something I call ‘Big Really’ is almost there. I need to get it ready for developers to bid on and that will take about 6 hours of concentrated work. BTW, do you know any good mobile app developers? I’m not going for native at this point. They should be good with Bootstrap. Please let me know.
As a Breadwinner __Finish Diana’s website. I’m about 3 hours away. I have some other jobs, but this one is the most important. Finishing it will help this be a great week.
As a Father __Play with decorations. These are for my daughter’s high school, old-west-themed, parent/student dance for which I’m making some cows and a photobooth backdrop. This used to read “Make final decoration checklist” which would be a mental relief, but to make this goal contribute to a great week, not just a productive week, I want to emphasize how much fun making the cows could actually be. Gotta have some fun with this one.
As a Connector __Write a new value proposition. This is for you! I’ve been emphasizing designing a balanced life, but really, what I have learned is that the word ‘balance’ doesn’t capture what we want. I think we want lives that feel full of purpose and at the same time contentment. I think we want meaning and a vital connection to something big and important. I need to rewrite my proposition to you. Let me know if I’m right with this idea.
As a Homemaker __Get TIC plans from the city. I ordered all the plans for the building where I live. I need to see what the city knows before I try to make some adjustments to the back stairs. That’s won’t actually start for another year.
As a Son __Buy plane ticket’s to Delaware. And see my Mom.
Good enough. That’s the making of a great week.