Use Friday to Plan Your Next Week

Many of us have little rituals to help us get out of the work week and make the weekend as relaxing as possible. Maybe you go to happy hour; you may be ordering takeaway; If you are me, maybe you can tidy up the apartment and light a scented candle.

Productivity expert Laura Vanderkam suggests adding another item to your to-do list for Friday: planning for next week .

Regular blog readers know that I always invite people to plan their weeks on Friday afternoons. This is a great time to review the week ahead and make a list of your top professional and personal priorities.

Vanderkam explains that Friday afternoons – or whenever your work week ends if you’re not working Monday through Friday – is a great time to gauge what the next week might look like and how you can schedule that week to include into it not only your immediate responsibilities and tasks, but also some of those long-term tasks that we tend to postpone.

In other words: If you are anxious to start a new exercise program, get your family back in the habit of eating regularly on weekdays (or breakfast if that doesn’t work), or meet a friend you don’t have. If you look over the course of several months, spend part of your Friday day putting this goal on your calendar.

Vanderkam also suggests using this planning session to “sort your calendar for next week.” Look for items that can be delegated, removed, or rejected, and then look for assignments and tasks that can be bundled. Maybe you can free up a ton of time that you can devote to a work project or personal goal, or, you know, you could just use that time to relax.

I usually use this type of scheduling on a monthly basis rather than a weekly basis, and it was extremely helpful as it helped me determine how much freelance and social responsibility I can take on each month. If you also conduct planning sessions like these, how do they work for you? Do you have a better work-life balance in general, or are you finding that both work and life get in the way, no matter how you try to plan and prioritize?


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