If you’re a member of our Fabulously Balanced Life Community, you know that every Sunday, I encourage you to spend some time planning for the week ahead. As a solopreneur and a mom of two teenage girls, I have learned that taking that time for myself on Sunday is key to both my productivity and my sanity.  

Weekly planning is an important habit and ritual that I have developed for myself with a lot of trial and error over the years. It isn’t a perfect system and I admit, there are times when I don’t follow it to a “T”. I’ll also admit that when I don’t, something is bound to fall through the cracks.

My weekly planning ritual is a time to grab my cup of coffee, sit in my favorite quiet spot and plan out the week. This time is so much more than just time to plan. It’s become my “me time” which us moms rarely get. My weekly planning time is a time to review my goals, a time to journal and a time to dream about what I want in life.  

During this time my focus isn’t just on my business or focused on my personal life. As an entrepreneur, I believe that there is no division. My Sunday planning covers all aspects of my life: Business, Personal Care & Fitness, Family & Relationships and of course Finance.  My Sunday planning time is what helps me stay in line with my definition of balance.

The obvious reason planning is necessary is to keep things on my radar. Without my weekly plan, I will mindlessly go through each day and find myself blindsided by deadlines and conflicts. I admit it, I’m prone to over scheduling and have a tendency to think I don’t require transition time or travel time – DOH!

To slow down, to be present, to ensure balance in all areas of my life, I need structure and discipline.

My planning ritual is simple, yet it is also a part of a larger system. Here are some of the pieces of this system and how I use each:

My Bullet Journal

As much as I rely on my Google Calendar, my iPhone, and many other electronic tools, I will never be entirely digital. I’ve tried several different planners but never found one that did exactly what I wanted – until now.

My bullet Journal serves as my calendar, my collection tool, a journal, and my creative space. Since it slips right into my purse, it’s always with me when I want to jot down an idea or work through a challenge.

When I sit down to do my weekly planning, I typically spend some time journaling and reviewing my various lists. These include task lists, goals, project plans and the latest brain dump.

My Google Calendar

Everything goes into my google calendar. If I need to be there, It better be on my calendar. If it’s not on my calendar, there’s a pretty good chance I won’t make it, or I’ll be scrambling at the last minute.

There are a few things I look out for when reviewing my calendar:

  • Any appointments that need to be canceled or rescheduled
  • Enough room for client work and business building tasks
  • Time for personal needs such as fitness and self-care
  • Time with family

When reviewing my calendar, I check appointments for the week. This review of my schedule allows me to consider any preparation or reminders for the appointment. It also allows me to cancel or reschedule any conflicts early to prevent any last minute cancellations.  

When I notice appointments that require preparation or action on my part, I add those tasks to my task list or project management system. A review of my Google Calendar allows me to prepare if I have a particularly heavy week coming up.

I have discovered that simple things like picking up my kids from practice need to be blocked off to allow for travel time and avoid overbooking.  

My Email

My email isn’t a direct part of my weekly planning ritual, but it is an important part of the process. I do my best to handle my emails daily and have shared how I do that in Overwhelmed to Organized: How to Master Your Email. I determine what the next action is on each email as it comes in. If it’s an appointment, it goes right on my calendar. If it’s a project, I add the project to my Project Management system and task lists.

Since I use Gmail, I can search for an email at a later time if I need to reference it or need more information. Until then, it’s just digital clutter. My project management system or task list bring me back to it when I need it.

Project Management System

My project management system is where I plan out my projects, my business calendar and any tasks for myself and my team. I consider this our virtual office, where we can plan and keep all relevant business information in one central location.

During my weekly planning, I check in to see what my focus should be for the week by reviewing any tasks and open projects.  

There’s one last piece to this system that is of particular importance to us moms that are wearing many hats. Make sure to find out what others need or expect from you. Make it a part of your weekly routine to check in with anyone who depends on your throughout the week. Not too long ago, while planning for an exceptionally busy week, I forgot to check in with the girls to see what they needed from me. Waking up to find out that my daughter needed me to sew her cheer uniform for school, wasn’t on my radar.

My system may not be perfect for everyone. The important thing is to take time before the week starts for planning! Be sure to stop in the Fabulously Balanced Life Community on facebook and share your planning rituals.

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