How to set yourself up for a less stressful week

Life is not always predictable but there is a lot about our weeks that we do know and can plan for. Taking some time out on Sunday to plan for the week ahead can really help ease the stress throughout the week.

It doesn't have to take too much time but the 10 - 15 minutes you spend on planning ahead will give you greater clarity, peace of mind that you have captured all you need to do and reduce procrastination through out the week.

There are many different ways you can plan ahead for your week. Over the years I have created a super simple pen and paper process that works for me. Give it a try and see if it helps reduce stress for you over the week!

1 - List it all

Write down all the things you want to do this week. List everything you want to do for work, home, personal and create a separate column for each. Get it out of your head and onto paper or screen if you like having a digital list. Don't limit yourself with what you write down, write everything that comes to mind.  

2 - Accept and prioritise

The harsh reality is that you are unlikely to be able to do everything on the list you have just written. However, the simple act of writing it all down will save you mental energy and reduce stress as you will not be worrying about what you have forgotten or trying to hold lists in your head. The skill here is to accept that you won't be able to do it all and prioritise what is most important to get done for the up coming week.

This list becomes the master list for the week that you can add and delete items from as needed

3 - Three things for the day

From the master list create your to do list for Monday. Write down a maximum of three priorities for each of the columns you have created - home, work and personal that you think you can or need to achieve for Monday. Depending on the size of the tasks, you will most likely be able to complete more than this across your day but by working on what is most important first, you won't fall into the trap of doing "busy work" then having to rush and stress about finishing the important things by the end of the day.

4 - Repeat

At the end of each day, cross off the items you completed and choose your next three focus tasks for the following day. When you get to Sunday, write a new list carrying over any uncompleted items. Then REPEAT!

Set aside some time in your diary each Sunday to undertake this activity and it will definitely help your weeks run smoother.

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