How To Plan Your Week | Weekly Planner Printable Free
Taking a look back at the past week, and planning my upcoming week – this is my favorite item in my to-do list, because A. I love planning and B. It gives me the illusion of work even though I’m only thinking about the work that I need to do but not actually doing anything. Jokes aside, this weekly plan routine might very well pave the way for your success and help you build a life that you want.
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Every weekend, in the morning I sit down with a cup of coffee, my weekly planner journal, my box of stationery, and plan my heart out. I started doing this from my freshman year of college when life became more chaotic, and this task has helped me get so much more done than ever before while keeping my sanity intact.
I discovered that having a cute spread increases the likelihood of me planning my week. So I made a weekly planner printable for you to get you excited for this routine. A brave lady admits her weaknesses. So I have to say that the printables I made before kind of…sucked. But I am very proud of this one. This free weekly planner template is a combination of graphic design and that art kid Instagram aesthetics. I think that I’m finally starting to get the hang of this whole printable designing thing. And I really do you hope you guys like it.
Click on the Weekly Planner Download button above to download the free weekly planner template before you carry on with the rest of the post. And you’ll find the printable waiting for you in your inbox.
This routine consists of two parts, on the first part we’ll turn around and take a look at our previous week to find out what’s working in our lives and what isn’t. And on the second we’ll move on to plan our upcoming week while keeping the lessons we learned from reflecting on our previous week in mind.
Part 1: Reflecting on Your Previous Week
I think one of the downsides of hustle culture is that we feel we have to constantly take action. That doing more is the only way we are going to achieve more. I have been guilty of this as well. It doesn’t matter if our actions bring us any real results or not. As long as they make us feel productive, we feel like we’re achieving something.
So, at least once a week, take a step back, slow down and take a look at the actions of your previous week to check which ones are bringing you joy, and which ones are making you feel like crap. Which ones are helping you get stuff done, versus which ones are giving you the illusion of being productive when in reality they are not helping you get to where you want to be at all. And what changes can you make in your life to make sure that you are spending your time and energy on the things that matter?
The first part of the free printable weekly planner is going to help you reflect on the past week. Take the printable and fill out the following sections to complete your weekly reflection routine.
3 Things I am Grateful for This Week
In my second year of college, I went through a very dark phase of my life. The perils of adulting, combined with an existential crisis, and a kind of overwhelming loneliness despite being surrounded by people all the time sent me into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety.
In those times, practicing gratitude every day was what got me out of that dark hole. It made me realize how lucky and privileged I was to be able to list three things I was grateful for every single week. They may be seemingly insignificant things to a lot of people, but to me, they were three reasons I should keep on fighting.
I know you’ve heard that practicing gratitude is going to improve your mental health, but I wanted to tell you about my experience here to get you on board with this practice if you haven’t already. I think with so much loss and uncertainty going on in the world right now, we all need to remind ourselves why we need to keep on trying to be alive, especially in these scary and uncertain times.
3 Things I Accomplished This Week
If you complete a task, cross it off of your to-do list and just forget about it, what’s the reward really? Yes, I know it is very satisfying to tick that box, but let’s make the effects a little more long-lasting by listing three accomplishments you made in the past week to get you motivated to do more the next week.
If you can’t think of anything you achieved the previous week, which is what happens to me most of the time anyway, take a look at your past week’s to-do list and add three tasks that you were most proud of doing to your accomplishment list. Even if it’s something very insignificant, like finally cleaning up that pile of clothes in your bedroom that you kept putting off for weeks.
By the way, a big genuine salute to the people who can list three things they’ve accomplished at the end of each week. Most weeks I just put not having a mental breakdown in image processing class because I can’t understand a single sentence, while doubting if I know…english.
My general rule of thumb is, if a task takes you a lot of willpower, convincing, and pep talks to get done, it deserves to be on that accomplishment list.
Highlight of the Week
I love going all out in this section. I write to my heart’s content, often glue photos, quotes, and fabric pieces around the paper cutout, anything that would let me vividly relive the memory when I flip through the pages of my journal.
Also, how cute is this spread? This is my favorite spread in the entire printable collection.
One Mistake I Made This Week and What I Learned From It
The rest of the sections made us feel giddy, warm, or proud inside. But this, this is the section that might tap into a couple of unpleasant emotions of our brain, like guilt or regret. But oh boy has it helped me to become a better person. It ensures that I never forget to look back at my mistakes. It helped me become more productive, more grateful, more cautious, and so much more than I could list here. And I hope it will help you as well.
Don’t feel like you have to fill out this section. Thankfully this is just a spread, not an answer sheet. And I know we often come across these wholesome weeks where we have absolutely no regrets at all. So, it is perfectly fine to leave this section blank if you are having one of those weeks or if you simply don’t feel like it.
Part 2: Planning the Upcoming Week
I don’t know about you but I’m the kind of person who has to see her entire week laid out in front of her. If I plan my week as I go through the days, I’ll end up putting too many things on the first day of the week and give myself no time to sleep or eat or shower. And then I’ll have nothing to do in the last couple of days. Which I discovered is not exactly healthy, physically, or emotionally.
I would suggest that you plan your week on the weekends of the previous week. This ensures that your tasks are evenly spread out and you don’t end up placing too much weight on yourself. I’m curious are you like me? Or are you more of a plan as I go kind of person who prefers to plan their to-do list one day at a time? Let me know in the comments below.
Top 3 Rule
I think we’ve all been guilty at some point of cluttering our weekly to-do list with too many tasks, most of which end up being unnecessary. I mean do you really need 30 things on your to-do list?
I think a better and more productive approach to planning your day is keeping your to-do list short and manageable by placing no more than 3 important items on one day. Life is uncertain and I understand that there are going to be days when you’ll have to do more than 3 things. But as a general rule, I always try to limit each day of my weekly to do list within 5 items. If I have more than 5 items in one day then I’ll reschedule a couple of items on the other days of the week. Limiting your to-do list makes sure you have ample time to get everything done. This also ensures that the quality of your work is better as you have more time and energy to dedicate to each task.
What if my life is uncertain and I can’t possibly know everything you need to do ahead of time?
This is a major problem I face when planning my week too. Because there are so many days when our teacher emails us literally in the middle of the night and kindly let us know that we have a test that’s worth 30% of our grade tomorrow afternoon. For some reason, this is a very normal incident in our college.
So, what I try to do when planning my week is, on the weekends I will insert no more than 2 things on each day of my weekly scheduler. This way I have a little more flexibility so as the week goes, I can fill out my list with the new to-dos that come up later on the night before.
I also included a habit tracker in the weekly scheduler I designed for you to help you keep up with your habits. If you truly want a new habit to stick for a lifetime, you have to create a system for it. Check out my post on How to Create New Habits That Stick, where I talk about a 3 step foolproof formula to creating new habits and keeping up with old ones. This formula might change your life.
Here is a preview and link to the free printable weekly planner again in case you haven’t downloaded it already. This planner is not editable because the habit tracker and the checkboxes can only be done by hand. But I hope you end up using it because I worked very hard on it. If you like it let me know in the comments below if I should design more of these printables for you with a similar Instagram aesthetic art kid meets graphic design vibe.
About The Author
Hi, I’m Zarnaz. I’m a self help junkie, caffeine addict, writer, engineer and I’m extremely passionate about the science of people. I want to know what inspires you, motivates you, drives you to make better choices and ultimately, how to help you reach your full potential. This is a blog dedicated to that cause.