Earlier this year I wrote about my Daily To-Do list and how I go about making one. Perhaps more importantly, however is the weekly To-Do. There’s always going to be tasks that can’t be done in a day, or only during a specific time of the week, even. To get a firm grasp on everything you want to achieve in any given week, making a weekly To-Do is essential. I already told you last time that I always derive my Daily To-Do from the Weekly, because it’s a good idea to break down things into smaller, bite sized pieces. Especially if you’re working on a larger project that has several steps to completion. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Start at the beginning
The best time to sit down for your weekly To-Do is Monday, although starting on a Sunday evening can also be very handy, so you get that feeling of having a head start, because you already know what to do on Monday morning. But I prefer doing it on Monday morning, because it makes you feel als if you’re starting a fresh new week, full of new possibilities!
So, how do we start? Well, first of all, you’ve got an entire week to get all the stuff done and you can do a lot in one week. Just think of all the things that need to be done this week and write them down. Then think of all the things you’d like to get done and write them down as well. It doesn’t really matter if the order of items on paper is a bit messed up.
When you write things down, you can try chopping them up into smaller pieces. For instance checking my manuscript can be done per chapter and the minimum I’d like to get done is one chapter a day, so I wrote them all down as sub-goals for the main goal of checking Bren’s feedback.
Looking at the list
Eventually this ended up being my Weekly To-Do list:
- Call the vet to make an appointment for Storm
- Make an appointment for my car check-up
- Start with feedback processing for “Stempels”
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Write two blogs:
- Monday Musings #16
- To-Do Weekly
- Write reviews for TBDN (The Book Dragon’s Nook)
- How to avoid a climate disaster
- Darth Vader #2
- Exercise 3x
- Look into study loan possibilities
Quite a long list if you look at it like this, right? But when you consider you’ve got all week to take care of all this stuff, it doesn’t seem impossible. Don’t worry if your list ends up being a whole lot longer than mine. It’s quite hard to really know how long certain tasks will take you, especially if you’ve never done them before. Experience is something that needs to grow over time and if you keep at it, you’ll notice your To-Do lists will become much more reasonable over time.
As I said before, writing down stuff that needs to be done and stuff that is nice to have done is good. That means you’ll have an easier time prioritising all of your tasks. It can be handy to number them accordingly and trying to finish them in the order from most important to least important. That way, if you don’t manage to finish everything that week, you can spill over some of the stuff to your next To-Do list. Always keep in mind that if you didn’t manage to finish everything, that it’s not a bad thing. But finishing your entire list at the end of the week will give you a lovely feeling of accomplishment!
If you keep having a hard time estimating how long certain tasks take, always estimate them higher, because my experience learns me that those things that I have no clear idea of how much time they will cost me always end up being the most time consuming. For instance, when I called Dutch service for education regarding my study loan they put me on hold for quite some time and then I was disconnected due to an error on their side. In total all of that bureaucratic nonsense took me an hour or so. All I had was one question about it!
Adding a habit tracker to your weeklies
One thing I added to my weekly To-Do list is a habit tracker. This is a very simple and effective tool you can use if you want to learn a new habit. Research shows us that if you keep doing something for roughly 70 days it’ll turn into a habit. But if you’re like me and you’re quite lazy, or have a tendency to procrastinate, then a tracker is an invaluable tool. All you have to do is write down something that you want to do on a daily basis. Some of these things are already a habit of mine, but I wrote down these three things:
Then, behind each of these items, you add seven check boxes for every day of the week. You can number them if you like, or add the abbreviations for every day of the week. Then if you did that particular thing, you can check the box! Another option is to broaden the range of this tracker to make it last a month. At the end of that month you’ll be able to quickly see how you’re doing with your new good habit. Remember that it’s always okay if you skip a day, but make sure they don’t chain up, because that’s wen you’ll know you’ve lost your goal!
For me, exercise one is something I’m particularly bad at making a habit of these last few years. But Bren and I go for our daily walks around lunch time and that’s part of the exercises I want to do every day. The others involve weights and my rowing machine. I know I should do these things for my health, but somehow I always end up finding excuses not to do them. The habit tracker helps me to confront myself with this and I have had quite some success turning things into habits that way. So make sure you give it a try sometime!
Next up, the monthly To-Do
Now this is something I don’t do as often anymore, because I like keeping things a bit short term. But you can also do a Monthly To-Do. This can help if you’re working on larger projects, like writing a novel, or renovating a house. I’ll try to write something about them too, although I personally prefer doing yearly goals, weekly To-Do’s and daily To-Do’s. A monthly can give you a better overview of all the stuff you want to get done in a larger timespan than a week though. It all comes down to personal preference, I guess.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article and am curious if my method sounds interesting! Please let me know in the comments below!
Jeffrey, Love your discussion of a Daily To-Do List….”needs” & “likes” for the week written Monday mornings! And your habit tracker items are an excellent idea until they become “habit.” I like your Monthly To-Do List idea. I not only do a Monthly but a Yearly! –Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, it’s all in my hard copy calendar book for each year that gets filled with entries at the end of the previous year for the next year….many things being repetitive tasks/items. So each Monday I am merely “adjusting” things already entered. I look at the previous week & move things not done up to the next week or some other week that month. Your Daily To-Do list approach is great! My approach looks at a broader span of time. GREAT JOB HERE! Phil
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