When Should You Do Your Weekly Planning?
Audio Player Links: S1:EP5
Clicking on the links below will fast track you to each specific part of the show.
Ask Your Weekly Planning Question
& Become Part of the Show!
Episode Show Notes: When Should You Do Your Weekly Planning?
When should I plan my next week out?
What is the best day to plan the week out?
How much time do I need to plan my week, so it doesn't eat up all my free time?
Welcome back to this episode of This Week's Plan. We are in season one where we're helping you fit in all the right things into your week so that you can accomplish more of the right things. It makes no sense to accomplish more of the wrong things or more of other people's things. I want you to accomplish more of your right things.
In episode three, we covered, how do you plan your week efficiently?
It's an awesome episode.
We've had some great feedback so far from our dojo members and I want to make sure you go back and capture that episode. But if you missed it, there's three key ingredients that I shared with you that will help you make sure that if you check off those three things, get them included in your weekly planning process, it will create a very efficient process. It'll be very effective. It's dynamic. It's inclusive. You want to get that. Go back to SamuraiInnovation.com/podcast or you can go into ThisWeeksPlan.com, and both of those will lead you to the same place.
Check out Season one, Episode three.
What is the best time to plan your week?
When is it? What day?
When should you do your weekly planning?
That's what we got for you today.
The answer is that it largely depends on you. It depends on your preferences.
It depends on your style. Are you a traditional Monday to Friday worker? Great. Or do you have a different working schedule?
Are you working a four on, four off?
Are you in the medical profession?
Are you in the hospitals and you're working different crazy schedules?
Great. We've got you covered. This will happen and it'll largely depend on you. Today's episode, I want to lay out four options. Yeah, four options. It's awesome. I'm going to tell you all about each option and then I'm going to tell you which one I like the most, which is my favorite and which one at least like.
And there's one that I just I just don't do anymore. I almost detest it. It gives me a lot of anxiety when I think about that one. I'll let you know later in the episode which one that is.
The first one that we must consider is the end of the week or the Friday, Friday afternoon, Friday evening, end of the week.
Why do you want to do your weekly planning on a Friday afternoon?
The week's fresh in your mind.
The week is fresh off the press. You've been through it. You're happy that it's done. But now is the time to lock in the learning. Now is the time to extract what went really well, what didn't, what needs to happen differently or better next week. Now's the time to extract that.
The bonus to this is when you do this correctly, and you close down your computer or you walk away from your planning calendar device, whatever you're using, you get to enter into your weekend or your free time off with your brain feeling comfortable, your brain feels satisfied that there is a solid plan to the start of next week.
That is really important.
Friday gives your brain time for creative problem solving.
Your brain has time to say, I know what happened this week. I know all the things that we accomplished. I know some of the misses. We've got that accounted for. We have a solid plan for next week. And you know that there's one or two challenges out there that exist. Your brain has time to go to work on it.
And guess what happens when you use this method?
You'll get interrupted in a positive way sometime during your weekend or your free time off. Your brain will say, "try this next week". You'll say, "yes, that's awesome. I want to try that." So that's the first tip.
The second part is Saturday, your first day off.
Do your weekly planning on a Saturday, your first day off.
This works brilliantly with a lot of my executive clients that have young children and they've got the Saturday program.
And the Saturday program is getting up, have something to eat, and then rush out the door and go play some sports or go to the park. Usually there's a very family heavy Saturday routine in place. For a lot of my executive clients, the Friday option isn't as good because they've got to get home for the weekend program. They want to get home with their family. They want to have dinner or date night or whatever is happening.
There's is a big push and pull on a Friday to get out of the office a few minutes earlier and start that weekend a few minutes earlier. If that's you, then the Saturday morning can work really great for you. For a lot of my clients that are in this position, I encourage them to get up before the kids are up.
You can do that.
You can get up an hour or two early. You probably already get up at five to eight o'clock in the morning sometime during the week anyway. You're already conditioned and programmed. Just run that program on the Saturday.
Get up at six or seven a.m., get your programming done, get your weekly plan done, and then get on to the rest of the day. Now, the great thing about it is because your brain also can say, I have my plan done and now I can go start the Saturday with the family.
Now I can go take care of my interests and passions and hobbies on the rest of Saturday, the rest of Sunday. You also get to take advantage of that brain creative problem solving time. Where in the background, you're giving your brain those tasks and those objectives and those priorities to muddle through and think over.
It's a very powerful thing. Take advantage of that.
The third day to do your weekly planning is the Sunday or your last day off.
A lot of people traditionally say this is great because I've had my Friday night or my Saturday off and some of my Sunday and now, I want to get the week ready. And that's great. I encourage you to look at this in three considerations.
Consideration number one is, if this works for you, do it in the morning like you would on the Saturday, get up before the family, spend an hour, hour and a half, whatever is going to work for you, uninterrupted, lock it in, get it done, and then enjoy the rest of your Sunday off and you'll start the Monday morning or the first day back of the week in a powerful position.
It also gives you that confidence that the rest of the week is set up and you can enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
Some people say Sunday afternoon works good because usually the kids take a nap or, you know, everybody cycles down and does their own thing for a few hours on Sunday afternoon and then we have a Sunday night dinner. That can be a winning formula as well.
The one that you really want to consider is the Sunday night.
If you do the Sunday night... be prepared for the Sunday night sweats.
What's the Sunday night sweats?
It is born from many years of me doing that myself and going in. And you're planning out your week late on a Sunday night.
Invariably when you are planning out your week, you're also planning out. How can I win and how can I minimize losing? How can I minimize the risk? How can I make, you know, things that are tough, easier or smoother, that creates a lot of adrenaline in your brain? And for a lot of my clients who've tried, as they say, it's just horrible.
I have trouble falling asleep. I don't get a good night's sleep on Sunday night.
Do you want to go into your week not optimized?
Do you want to go into your week with a less than good sleep on Sunday night going into Monday?
Do you want to go to bed with the Sunday night sweats and all the anxieties and things that you're thinking about your week on your mind?
You could be super excited, too. You might be involved in some really exciting projects right now. You're saying, "Shane, my life isn't all doom and gloom. It's great and I'm excited and I can't wait to get started Monday morning."
You don't need that anxiety on Sunday night, ramping you up when you're trying to get a good night's sleep.
The fourth time to do your weekly planning is Monday mornings, or your first day back at work.
One main big awesome thing about this is that you knock off Friday or your last day, you go plow right into your weekend. You enjoy that weekend. You thoroughly love it. You ravish it. And guess what?
Now you jump into Monday morning and you spend that first period of the Monday morning warm up time by planning. Once you figure out what the week is like, you then guess what?
You just jump into action.
A lot of people have a warm up period on Monday mornings where they jump in and they make coffee and they walk around the office and talk to people or, they read some articles and things like that, and then they ease into their weekly planning routine.
A lot of people don't have a routine, so they're not going to be as powerful as you are.
But if you choose the Monday morning, then I say go for it. Do this, because the benefit to you is that you've used that, warm up time on Monday mornings to actually get your planning done and then you just flip over. If you spend from 8a.m. until 10:00a.m. in you're planning time, at 10:01a.m. you're flipping into your first action item and you're excited and everything's great.
The downside to this form is that your week from last week can be a little far away from you.
While last week on a Friday is fresh off the press. It's ready to go. You got everything baked off. It might be a little cooled off and you might have lost a few of the details. You might feel a little less sensitive about certain things. You might feel a little less sense of urgency on certain things. So really, this is the kind of the downside to this one.
I want to remind you right now that This Week's Plan is brought to you by our no fail planning methods course. This is a special course that I put together for our dojo members and we retail this course. But I'm happy to purchase it for you as our gift to you for being a part of This Week's Plan.
There's eight no fail planning methods. And I know that one of those methods you're going to say you're going to jump in the air and say, this is for me, I need this. Why have I never thought about it? It seems so simple and you're going to be energized.
I'm excited to give that to you as our gift to you. It would be a perfect compendium to the work that we're doing here in This Week's Plan.
Simply go to NoFailPlans.com and you will find all the information there. Just drop in your contact information and we'll give you a discount that will discount the course 100 percent. Can't get any better than that. I look forward to help and support you further there.
Which one of these four weekly planning days are my favorite?
I'll tell you, it's Friday afternoon.
And the reason why Friday afternoon is because the week is just concluded.
It's fresh in my mind. And there's a couple of good reasons. Now, I like to take one to two hours on my last day of work. For me personally, I actually do coach people on Saturdays. Saturday typically is my last day at work. I will usually spend some Saturday afternoons doing this and I'll take an hour or two and I'll go through the week as I've been laying out for you.
The other thing is that I like to do a deep dive once to twice a month where I extend that planning session into about a two to four hour period where I'm going through and planning out this next week. I'm looking at a couple of weeks out and it also gives me a chance to clear off and organize some stuff, whether it's email inbox or physical files. And I just get some general declaring an organization happening in that time frame.
I make sure my analog and digital devices are all synched up and it's a really great add on to do. Generally, on Fridays, or your last day, there's generally less distractions because all the low performing people (I don't mean that in a condescending way) aren't as dialed in as you are. You're here because you're a dialed in, high performer, and high achiever. Those folks are onto their weekends and bless their hearts, that's great.
And it's great because they give you a period of time that you can actually get some stuff done and no distractions, no distractions. You get that done. You lock in the plan and everything's ready for your first day back or your Monday morning.
I have two least favourite times to do my weekly plan.
First one is Sunday evenings. I don't like the Sunday night sweats. I don't like wrapping myself up to try and get excited or not excited about what's to come in the week.
I prefer to give myself Sunday nights off where I can enjoy a Sunday night off and I can have family time, friend time, book time, reading time or whatever. And I can have that. I can ease into my week knowing that I have a plan set.
My second least favorite would be the Monday mornings because I've tried that in the past and while there are the advantages that I laid out for you; it didn't work very well for me.
I typically try not to use that. It's almost my de facto emergency plan. If I got really busy, or I didn't do any weekly planning and now it's my first day back. I will implement that as kind of a last resort or a backup planning method.
I want to encourage you to try a social experiment. It's going to last for weeks. And what I want you to do is take each one of these and you can do it two ways. Take each planning day, try one out. So start this week on the Friday, then the next ones are Saturday, then the Sunday and then do the Monday and then evaluate at the end of that which one felt better, which one worked better for you.
Send me an email to Shane at Samurai Innovation dot com and tell me, "Shane, this one worked really good and I liked it, or it didn't work very good for me for these reasons."
The second social experiment is pick just one of them and do it for four weeks consistently because there's a thing called the consistency stride. And that's an important thing for you to get into. I want to encourage you to try that out.
Don't just wing it, commit to it and see greater results for yourself. All right. It's the activation time in the episode.
Which social experiment will work best for you?
You're not going to know until you try it out.
Do you have those three planning blocks in your plan?
If not, go back to Season one, episode three for more details. I'll flesh that out for you. In brief, it's the clean up, it's the weekly review, and then it's the prioritize and forecast.
What is your time budget?
That's the big one for this week. As you've picked a day that's going to work for you, now pick 30, 60 or 90 minutes, commit to that time. Set a timer on your phone to go through it. When your phone goes, beep, beep, beep, you will know if there's a lot outstanding and then you'll know next week, add on another 15 or 20 minutes.
And that's how you will know what amount of time is right for me to plan my week. All right.
Make sure you send me your questions so you can be part of the show.
All you have to do is go to ThisWeeksPlan.com. And on that page, we have a nice little black box, and it says, give us your question, become part of the show and your questions will help make our show better for future episodes.
Today, I want to handle Debbie's question.
Debbie is from Dallas. She's been a long time Dojo Member and I love her to pieces. She asked, "My biggest issue is how to use technology to help me better utilize my time. I sometimes feel like technology eats my lunch every week."
That's a great question, Debbie.
Number one, I want to encourage you to make sure that your analog and your digital devices are always together when you're planning out your day.
This could be daily planning, weekly planning, monthly planning, quarterly planning. Make sure that all the information that you touch is in the same place.
My next answer is clocks and calendars.
We live our lives in clocks and calendars.
There's no other place that we exist. The clock has 24 hours a day. The calendar has a set number of days per month per year. And those are the two places that you have to work within.
What really trips up a lot of people is when they start thinking that they can get 30 hours of work done in 24 hours. It doesn't work that way.
That's where a lot of my clients come to me and say, "There's more week left at the end of the week than time. I have lots left undone."
That's ambition. And that's something we're going to address later in the season or even into episode or season two. And there's always the ambition factor.
But right now, just make sure your digital and analog devices are there. And then when you're thinking about deep work time, quality work time, make sure it goes into the clock in the calendar.
That will help you take down the technology effect on you so that regardless whether you're in paper calendar or digital calendar. You're getting back to how much time or these tasks are going to take and you're going to negotiate with others what you're capable of.
Thank you, Debbie, for sending that question in.
I look forward to the next episode with you. Remember that season one is all about the fundamentals of weekly planning. We are giving you some core practices and techniques that you can implement. It's all about fitting in the right things into your week. I look forward to seeing you next episode.
Forge ahead this week with confidence to pick that social experiment that will work for you. Do it. Try it out for the next four weeks. I look forward to your email back with your story and your feedback.