How Thrivers…Plan the Week

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While I grew up, each day was pretty well-scheduled. I woke up half an hour before school start – keep in mind the horrific traffic, so I was always late despite mom’s nagging to wake up earlier. I started waking up earlier when I started A period Physical Education (basically P.E. in the morning). I finished school around the same time everyone did, went home, and nap. I wasn’t the most active child.

Caringmother: “Child! When do you do your homework?!”

Undeachievingstudent: “When I’m waiting for my parents, during the car ride home and from school, or during the class before my other class start. Once in a while, I skipped lunch and buried myself in the school library (Yes, I needed a good head hitting when I was younger – but, I did make the honor roll. I’m grinning while writing this part)”

Anyways, once you leave the household – may it be for college when you’re 18 or after you save enough money when you’re 25 – everything gets out of whack! The world is enormous and the freedom horizon expanded which makes us all completely lost despite everyone believing we got our life pulled together.

It happened to me.

Other than missing mommy’s homecooked meals and attempting to survive on cup ramen during the final season, I was barely scraping by deadlines for all my assignments. Honestly, I recommend learning how to cook instead of praying mommy cook food when you tell her you’re coming home because at one point, she will stop.

While the semester progressed, I was falling deeper into the endless abyss of exams, projects, and ridiculous homework by professors who think their class matter more than my core classes.

*Awkward cough and avoiding glares from previous professors*

So, I began apologizing for missing parties because I had to type up a million word essay or telling my friends “Yeah…I can’t come [place reason why here and began apologizing relentlessly]”

Gettothepointperson: “So, how did you start planning?”

One day, I was strolling around Target, I stumbled upon a planner for a few bucks. I was like “What do I got to lose?”

I lost the few bucks.

It was a worthwhile investment!

*Right now, I use something similar to this

I began instituting a new habit: Weekly Planning.

The power of weekly planning structured your life instead of merely drifting with the flow and hope everything puzzle together (Life never puzzle together easily). Weekly planning allows you to manage the day-to-day task with some long-term plans/goals – never shot too long!

How I Plan My Week:

Choose a Day:

Pick a single day of the week and plan, plan, plan!

I decided to start planning on Sunday’s evening when everything had settled down. The weekend is an excellent time to do it because it allowed review the previous week’s and look ahead to the next week.

I decided not to do Friday or Saturday because that’s party days! Bring out the pizza and annoying family members!

Make sure to do it somewhere quiet with some sweet tunes in the background or complete silence – your choice.

Calendar

Irrelevant, but I used to spell calendar with an e.

Everyone has their preference when picking a calendar. Some people prefer digital, and others prefer a pen and paper. Each one has pros and cons.

Digital calendars:

Pros:

Make planning re-occurring events a breeze.

Send reminders to you by email or as a pop-up before your event.

Allow you to share calendars with others – syncing at it’s finest.

A free personal assistant making you feel like the boss even when you’re broke.

Cons (Personal experience):

The pain of adding new events

The device runs out of power, meant you couldn’t access your calendar.

Forgetting you have a digital calendar

Paper and Pen Calendars:

Pros:

Does not run on power – yes I checked!

Give your brain a break from technological devices.

Cons:

Losing your calender meant losing your life – I had experienced this once, and I didn’t know what to do for a whole week. The struggle of re-writing everything was horrific (I’m being dramatic, it wasn’t that bad – I recommend writing all yearly events in a journal you keep at home)

I’m still a paper and pen kind of gal since I like decorating my calendar. Lately, my eyes been hurting since I’ve been on my phone quite often – which is why I probably won’t switch to digital schedule anytime soon.

I recommend experimenting and see what works for you!

Mind Dumping

I want to title this something else, but I don’t think it was appropriate.

Anyways, during the week our mind consume a long list of nitty gritty stuff that needed to be done: daddy wants a call from his baby, when to give momma laundry and forget to thank her, responding to emails, studying for a class you’re barely passing, etc. The problem with this is that it burned you out, resulting in a mental breakdown by skipping class on a Monday morning to sulk in your overly comfortable warm bed.

These incomplete mental tasks are like useless programs you have running on your computer, always there. It slows you down, similar to those moments where your laptop decided to act up. The result would be your desire to throw it across the room and scream to the sky about your tragic life – something we never do but wished we can. So, with your minimum amount of computer knowledge you check the Activity Monitor only to see that a bunch of unused apps is hogging a crapload of memory, causing [place what you’re working on] to a stop.

Mind dumping is a way to cleanse your mind, dumping everything on a sheet of paper or screen. So, you don’t have to remember what you had to do that week – use that memory space for tear-jerking exams!

Review Life Plan & Goals

I’m going to take a stop and discuss this with you all a little.

Long-term goals are great! I love long-term goals!

Reality check.

They don’t all come true.

Do you want a house by the time you’re 25?

Not unless you’re banking sweetheart.

I want to state that it’s okay if by the time you’re [insert age here] and you didn’t accomplish that long-term goal. That’s what it is, a purpose and sometimes goals had to be move. Don’t have a breakdown because you didn’t get married by a certain age, have a house, or graduate college.

It’s okay!

I’m more on the side of short-term goals, which is easier to accomplish, building up to that longtime goal.

There is no such thing as a perfect life plan, and you shouldn’t live entirely in a planned life.

Reflecting Last Week

Reflect on your previous week and how you performed – I’m not talking about you know.

YoungReader: “What?”

ClearlyDisgustedAdultReader: “Move on!”

While you’re sitting there sipping on your homemade coffee to save some money for eggs to add in your ramen, you should reflect on the previous week. I had a friend who enjoys writing down everything she did on that particular day – I’m more of a weekly reviewer (Plus, my hand muscles get cramp if I write too much)

I would ask myself:

How did it go? What goals did I achieve? What were my successes? How could I do things differently? Any tasks or items I need to follow-up on?

Keep it positive!

I recommend writing down any thoughts that come to you during your reflection on the previous week in a journal (almost like a diary without the juicy secrets about how Todd looked at you during the first period).

The benefits would be writing, helps make your thoughts more concrete and cleared. Second, by writing down your observations about the previous week, you create a record that you can look back on to see if you’re improving. Third, you get to treat yourself for accomplishing the tasks. Bring out the unhealthy candies!

Blocks

The most important things:

1. Class Time

In my calendar, I would shade these time because I know which class I’m attending – and just in case a potential stalker picked up my planner, I don’t want that person to know where all my classes are located.

2. Reading Time (per class)

Honestly, throughout college, I don’t read that often from my book. I was a heavy online researcher and class note taker.

3. Notes review/outlining/homework

Set aside a time when you can review..review…and more review – I recommend doing an hour per class so your brain won’t be overwhelmed.

Block Time for Others

It’s like separating oil and water – wait don’t they divide by themselves…?

Ignore that weird statement.

If you had to choose between your job and hanging out with friends, which would you pick?

Naturally, you irresponsibly hang out with your fri- No! Go to work!

Make that obviously-low-paying money from your overworked job!

Know how to prioritize!

It’s fun hanging out with your friends, but it’s okay not to see them for a few weeks or months because you come first! The bills come first – welcome to adulthood!

I’m not saying plan every minute of every day, just the outline. Give yourself some “you” time.
Do It Again Next Week (Until you retire or roll into your gra-)

If you want to see success, you need consistency. There will be days where the world throws rocks at you, and you would feel like everyone is against you, but we all have those days. It’s all right to push back some assignments, but don’t put your life at a complete stop!

I would always say “Build a bridge and get over it!”

Make sure to check reality and not overplanned things. You’re one person with 24 hours in a day where 8 of them should be spent sleeping (I can hear you guys laughing at the 8 hours of sleep per day)

After years of continually planning out my schedule, I admit, I get dependent on it. My life is out of wack when I don’t plan on Sunday evening.

I highly encourage you to plan our your week, and grab your life by its tail saying “I’m in control!” Throw in a crazy laugh too!

You’ll find yourself with more motivation, consistency, and fewer mirages.

Happy Planning!