If you’ve ever struggled through a long to do list at the beginning of the week unsure of how to prioritize your tasks, you should try implementing a planning hour into your week. Spending an hour planning your week will save you hours of time, plus it will help make sure you accomplish your most important tasks each week.
My word for this year could almost be planning because I am so focused on giving myself time to plan this year. I’ve recently implemented a few new planning blocks on my calendar to help me have the focused time I need to plan out my work tasks and personal tasks.
Let’s back up though. Why do you even need to focus on planning your week?
The reality is we are all busy. We all have a lot of things we are juggling and often times the biggest things we need to focus on fall to the bottom of our lists.
Why you need a planning block
A few years ago we started picking up our groceries exclusively instead of shopping at a grocery store. This was actually before Covid when this became a very common thing, but at the time I had a 4 year old and 1 year old and spending my time shopping at a store felt like a huge waste of time.
The first few months we did this, I inevitably would forget to place the order the day before and we’d be scrambling to have whatever we needed for that day while we waited for an available time for pickup. Grocery pick up has gotten a lot better now (and we actually do grocery delivery through Walmart+ which is an even bigger game changer) but the point of this story is that without planning properly, I couldn’t get the benefits of something amazing like grocery pickup.
Your planning hour each week is what is going to set you up for success each and every week.
Spending just one hour each week is going to save you hours of scrambling, procrastinating, getting distracted scrolling through Instagram, and whatever else you waste time on each week. (and trust me, I’m speaking from experience!)
Do these things during your planning block:
Look ahead and review
Taking a moment to look at your calendar for the week or two weeks ahead of time is going to help you figure out what you need to do. Sometimes we scramble at the last minute to prepare for something because we did not look ahead.
For example, if I have a team meeting coming up, I may need to prepare for what we’ll cover during that meeting. Ideally I don’t want to be doing that the morning of, I want to prepare for that a few days or a week ahead of time.
Look at what is coming up on your personal calendar. Do you have doctor’s appointments, school events, dinner with a friend? This is mostly just to review and bring awareness to what you have going on.
Once you have that awareness, make note of any things that need to happen. For example, if you are going to be rushing around after school to get to soccer practice, what meal can you prep ahead of time?
If you have friends coming over for dinner, what do you want them to bring or when will you get groceries for that meal?
Are there any pieces of content that you need to prepare for this week? It could be blog posts or social media posts for this week or for a week ahead, depending on how far you are working ahead. But recognizing the need to work on that ahead of time will help you to plan when you will do it.
Set up your work blocks
Depending on if you have recurring work time like when your kids are in school or when you have regular childcare, you may already have these dedicated work blocks each week. But setting them up is going a step further to plan ahead on how you will batch your tasks.
For me, we have our older boys in a homeschool enrichment program on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I know those are my main blocks of time to get stuff done. Those days my husband takes our baby for the day so I can have a larger block of time to focus and work.
When I look ahead at my week, I’m going to plan my most important tasks during those days. Especially the tasks where I need full focus. Whereas I might plan to test a recipe during a day when everyone is home with me.
Think about the time you want to block off during your week to do the main tasks you need to do for your blog, from admin work on the computer, time writing blog posts, editing photos, recipe development, etc. Eventually these might become fixed blocks in your ideal week.
Set up your tasks
Any tasks that need to be set up, create those. Whether it’s creating a physical paper to do list or creating tasks in Asana, put the things you want to do somewhere you can see daily.
The important thing here is to get all of the tasks and to do’s that might be spinning in your head and get them written down somewhere to reference later.
There are frequently weeks where there is too much on my to do list to actually get done. I’ve spent years creating a massive to do list each week only to feel defeated when I don’t complete it by the end of the week.
Instead what I do now is have a running to do list (or parking lot for larger ideas and projects) that I can pull from when I plan my week. But when I am making my to do list for the week, it’s a more reasonable amount of tasks that can actually be done in the time I have.
It’s also important to make a personal to do list. You can choose whether to keep this list together or separate. For me, it’s helpful to have these separate so I am not getting pulled into personal or work tasks when I am not supposed to be.
Of all the things I plan, this is my favorite! Looking over that daunting to do list can be overwhelming. Once you have it though, you can start to identify what your team, spouse/partner, or kids can help with!
Without this planning hour, I would often realize too late that I needed help with something and not want to ask someone on my team to do something last minute. So this habit of looking ahead for what I need help with has been a huge help in getting things off my plate and being respectful to my team/family by not asking for things last minute!
Thank you to NAME from BLOG for our tip of the week! Be sure to check out their NAME OF BLOG POST here!
I would love to know from you – do you do any sort of weekly planning? Which of these parts of the process would you add to what you already do?
ready to take your food blog to the next level?
We work with food bloggers looking to stand out of the crowd through custom brand and website design.