Today I’m sharing the process I’ve been happily using for the past year to “create my week.” It’s fun and simple, it takes about 5 minutes, and it fits in beautifully with the year and month resources we’ve shared in the past couple of posts. My hope is that you’ll feel a sense of excitement and relief as you see how these little planning bursts can make a big impact on how you feel about your life! (Stay tuned next week for Create Your Day!)
Remember that the accompanying worksheet for Create Your Week (pictured below) and all the Create Your Year bonus templates are totally free AND stored on one single page! Simply click here or at the bottom of this post to sign up!
I’ll jump into my “steps,” but really, the goal is for this to become so quick and easy that there’s no reason NOT to do it. 🙂
And one more important note: inside our Steps to Everyday Productivity program, we walk through how to do a complete Weekly Review–which maintains the full Command Central and helps to manage all the calendared events, routines, projects, papers, etc. This can be done as a 5-minute component of that same Weekly Review, or for those not yet in STEP, it can be done independently.
All right, let’s dive in!
Briefly review/think about the vision you created for the year–focusing especially on who you want to become and how you want to feel throughout the whole year. (If you completed the Create Your Year template, it would be great to keep a digital version/screen shot/photo in a Notes app on your phone so it’s easily accessible wherever you are.)
Open (or bring up a picture of) your Create Your Week template and simply go through each section. I’ll explain what each image means below and give some examples, but remember that this is a high-level plan that isn’t intended to be a “checklist.” It’s more of a happy guide for the week, and then in the next post, I’ll explain how it makes the Create Your Day process super simple.
Sun = Connection with Your Higher Power
Although I personally have a daily time for prayer and study, this is specifically for the Weekly Review. Is there a special place I want to go this week (worship service, event, etc.) or is there an activity I want to do personally or with my family that will provide spiritual strength? Or is there a special book I want to read or service project that I believe will bring me closer to my Higher Power?
- Attend temple with Eric
- Special Family Night lesson with Eric and Spencer
- Focus on increasing my faith in regards to the challenges I’ve been facing
Book = Personal Learning
I like to think about the online courses I have access to, the books I’ve checked out from the library, and any study topics that have been on my mind.
- Practice Spanish at the English Connect class and with Spencer and Eric around the house
- Listen to Spanish Lessons on Wondrium
- Watch Masterclasses about sleep and leadership
Dumbbell = Exercise
I like to take a moment to think about my physical health and upcoming schedule and then identify what a happy week of physical fitness would like:
- 3 Days of Caroline Girvan’s Iron Series
- 2 Days of Pilates
- Walking Sunny Daily
Dinner Plate/Place Setting = Family Meals
This is a good time to think about our schedule for the week, how many nights we’ll be eating at home, what ingredients we already have, and what we could make for our dinners together. I might also plan to eat out one night or have everyone “fend for themselves” for a couple of nights. 🙂 As a little P.S., now that we only have one child at home, and since Eric and Spencer are both pretty easygoing when it comes to food, I don’t cook very often. I typically have a smoothie for dinner. Back when we had 6 of us in the household, we had a more formal menu, but we still kept it simple.
- Monday – Pick Your Own!
- Tuesday – Teriyaki Chicken in Crockpot
- Wednesday – Fajitas
- Thursday – Pick Your Own!
- Friday – Takeout
- Saturday – Pick Your Own!
Zs = Sleep/Rest Schedule
This is also a great chance to assess how you are doing sleep-wise. Are you getting to bed at a good time? Are you getting up at a good time? Are you making it a priority to have sufficient downtime during the day?
- Make sure I get to bed by 10:30
- Try 20-minute naps before 2pm
Balloons = Something to Look Forward To
I like to look at the week’s calendar and have at least one event or block of time scheduled that feels like a treat. Maybe it’s an afternoon at a bookstore, a fun date night, or a phone call I schedule with a friend from college. (We’re going to do a simpler version of this with Create Your Day as well!)
Calendar = Scheduled Social Events
This might overlap with the balloons/something to look forward to, but I like to think about the social needs of each of our family members and see if there’s anything I’d like to schedule.
- Spencer/have friends over Friday night
- Invite another family over for dinner or dessert
- Go to friend’s birthday lunch
- Community service project
Hearts = Romance
I’m trying to think more about this because it is SO easy to let “life” take over and then romance is an afterthought. I want Eric to know he’s my number one.
- Lunch together on Wednesday at his favorite restaurant
- Keep my schedule open on Monday and Friday morning so we can relax together
- Hide a couple of little notes around the house for him
Smiley Faces = Social Connections
Again, there may be overlap with the events above and/or the “something to look forward to” section, but that’s okay! This is usually when I think about my personal social needs. Do I need more “girl time”? Could I text a friend, make sure I get out a bit more this week, etc.?
Picture of Current Projects List = Deciding on Next Actions
As part of the Steps to Everyday Productivity program, we create a fresh “Next Actions List” each week. This helps us to move forward on our Current Projects with bite-sized steps organized by context (where we are when we’re getting them done). I just take a moment to look at my selected Current Projects for the month, and then I decide which of those I want to move forward this week. (You don’t have to move all projects forward every week. The goal is just to get them completed by the end of the month.)
I might say, “Okay, this week, let’s really focus on Spencer’s Eagle project. Then I’ll work on getting ready for our family vacation afterwards.” Or inside our business projects, I might say, “Let’s fix this tech issue first, and then I’ll work more on content for the site.” Having a moment to picture the week and how all the things I want to do can fold together feels really empowering.
And if I ever have a week where my energy is low or we’re traveling to a conference or an emergency has come up that needs my attention, none of these things stress me out. I just clear my week and know I’ll think about it again the following week when I have the bandwidth.
Now that I have a general brainstorm for the week, I plug things into my calendar and Next Actions List. It takes just a couple of minutes, and honestly, as I’ve done this week after week, I’m amazed at how everything folds into place. Certainly there are adaptations made along the way, but the little images and the fact that I am at least thinking about these areas of life that are important to me ends up giving me a huge boost!
Okay! I hope this was helpful!
Remember you can download this template (printable or fillable!), and you can also get the templates for Create Your Year, Create Your Month, and Create Your Day!