One of my new goals for the New Year is to be intentional.
Intentional of the energy I bring into a room or a situation.
Intentional of how I show up in my relationships.
Intentional of how I spend my day.
Folks, I’m declaring this the year of intention!
And to get there, I’ve been researching how to design your ideal weekly schedule. Because, it’s one thing to say you’re going to be intentional about your time and energy, but without a plan? Yeah, change probably isn’t going to happen.
That said, I need an ideal week schedule that allows for some flexibility. Because, the nature of my work and days is ever-changing (between the kiddo … recording podcast episodes and doing interviews … promotion of new programs … and you know how in flux creativity can be). Therefore I want a weekly structure that is ideal, yes — but can also move and flex and be what I need it to be. Because along with intention, I value and honor intuition just as much.
Also? I totally need a reality check. Because in order to actually design my ideal week, I have to figure out how I am currently spending my time — wisely and, er, not so wisely. What things do I love to do? What do I procrastinate on? What do I have to force myself to do (less of that, please)? What flows easily and effortlessly (more of that, please)?
In a nutshell, I need to look back on what I have been doing and currently do without full intention and envision what can be.
Wanna join me and do the same? Here are the immediate steps I’m taking to design my ideal week — please, come along for the journey! And, remember, this is YOUR calendar so it can be work only, personal only, a mix of both — whatever you want to intentionally design. Mine will be mostly work with some personal and family stuff worked in. Because that’s how I roll.
How to Design Your Ideal Week
1. Track how you’re currently spending your time. You can do this easily on pen and paper or in a spreadsheet — or you can use a handy app like RescueTime to see how you’re really spending those minutes.
2. Figure out what feels good and what doesn’t. Make a list of all of your main activities and divide them into five categories: love, like, dislike, dread and total time-waster. Think about how each of those activities makes you feel and why.
3. Make a plan to nix the stuff that’s not making you feel good. Now comes the fun part. Is there anything you can delegate? Ditch entirely? Hire out? Or do in a way that feels better? Get creative and see how you can change this list to be more intentional.
4. Ask yourself, what’s missing? Is there time in there for you? Do you wish you had more time to just be? Or brainstorm or dream? Or be a mentor or volunteer? Or eat lunch outside? Or work out or meditate? Think about what your ideal day would feel like and look like.
5. Add a new category to your list: A.P. (Awesome & Protected). These are all of those missing things you’re going to put into your days. Write down as many as you’d love to add into your life.
6. Think about when it feels best to do each activity. Morning? Afternoon? Evening? Make notes on the ideal timing of each one.
7. Now, bust out a weekly calendar and see how much time you really have to do all that you want to do. This is where the rubber hits the road. You can download a good ideal week schedule template here, but from your list, start plugging activities into your day. If you need flexibility like me (and I’d recommend that because, life), then I’d go with larger blocks of time with free/open space worked in to accommodate whatever specific stuff you’ve got going on.
8. Once completed, check in with how your ideal week schedule makes you feel. We’re doing this whole thing so that we feel more focused and less stressed. Ideally, your schedule will make you feel productive but also a little free. If your calendar feels tight or compressed, you might need to go back to steps 2 and 3 and explore some new possibilities (or get ruthless and cut out the stuff that’s not serving you).
9. Inform others it affects. Remember this podcast ep on setting boundaries? You might need to set some new ones or lovingly tell others in your life about the changes you’re making and how they can support you.
10. Try it … and ebb and flow with it. See what works and what doesn’t and change as necessary — with a whole lot of self love, of course! Because remember: this is a template that is meant to work for you, not stick you in a box. So change it up as often as you want.
We may not get it right on the first try or even the second, but setting the intention and having a plan to be intentional with my time feels really, really good to me. How about you?
Let me know what your ideal week schedule is and how it’s working for you! Would love your tips and lessons learned! —Jenn