This is not the first time we’ve touched on Sunday planning sessions, even in our relatively short life. But it’s bound to come up as a topic now and again because there are many dimensions to it.
In today’s #ThrowbackThursday post, our founder & editor David Andrew Wiebe explains how Sunday planning sessions can improve your life.
This post originally appeared on David Andrew Wiebe. There are no alterations to the original text except to enhance clarity, cite more resources, or offer more up-to-date information.
Have you ever woken up Monday morning only to discover that you completely forgot about a meeting you’d been booked for?
If you managed to pinpoint this oversight in time, you may have narrowly avoided a disaster.
But if you missed out on the meeting completely, you might have angry emails or voicemails waiting for you. Even if they aren’t angry, you still feel bad, because you know it reflects on your integrity.
And while no one is perfect, oftentimes, this type of situation is avoidable.
You may have seen one of my #StrategySunday posts.
To tell you the truth, I resisted doing anything of the sort for a long time.
But then I started publishing daily. And as I gained more practice and learned more about writing and marketing, I saw the wisdom in coming up with a plan.
Which is why each day in the week has a specific theme on my blog:
- Monday – entrepreneurship
- Tuesday – self-improvement
- Wednesday – productivity
- Thursday – creativity
- Friday – inspiration
Once I’d settled on this format, I’d figured out what to publish on the weekends – a weekly digest on Saturdays, and a #StrategySunday post on Sundays.
These posts serve functional purposes, and people are already finding value in them. But truth be known, they are much easier for me to write. I get to have a bit of a mental break on the weekends.
So, you can see from this example that Sunday planning sessions have helped me create a stronger focus and gain more clarity on my vision.
It has also helped with my Medium strategy. Since I’m looking to grow my following and earn some more cash on Medium, having all the above in place takes a lot of guesswork out of the week. It has already paid off, even if it’s only in cents and not in dollars.
Why Plan on a Sunday?
Does this make Sunday the best time to plan? Not necessarily.
Again, I had some resistance to this. I was brought up in the church, where Sundays were sacred and were deemed “a day of rest.”
I have no issue with that whatsoever.
But I think what makes Sunday planning powerful is that it’s quiet and it gives you space to think.
I get that Monday is the day most people dread, so planning on a Sunday could give rise to feelings of anxiety.
That’s not the case with creatives and creators who love what they do, though. They look forward to making the most of the week ahead.
And when you think about it, if you can work out all the “unknowns” in advance, Monday morning doesn’t have to be such a slog.
Of course, things can come up, and we may not end up doing everything according to plan.
But if you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. That way, even if you end up getting a headache halfway through Wednesday (or any day), you will have at least completed what was most important and urgent on your to-do list.If you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. Click To Tweet
5 Benefits of Sunday Planning
There are probably more benefits to Sunday planning than I can realistically identify or expand on.
But here are the main benefits I’ve reaped:
1. You Can Get Everything Out of Your Head
Author David Allen says your brain is a horrible storage device. I agree.
Getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper (or even down on your iPad) allows you to clear your mind and begin a new week knowing everything has been accounted for. That could contribute to a better sleep.
Writing everything down also reduces anxiety. Because you can get clear on everything you need to do, including errands and minor to-do items.
2. You Can Boost Your Productivity
If you do all your planning on a Sunday, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule and times when you aren’t booked for a meeting or anything else.
I’m not suggesting you fill every available gap in your schedule with productive work. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett was said to have surprised Bill Gates with his blank calendar. There is tremendous value in unscheduled time.
But if you want to squeeze more productivity out of the week, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule where that can happen. Such opportunities tend not to present themselves when you’re “flying by the seat of your pants.”
3. You Can Brainstorm Ideas
Although I’ve never run out of content ideas, it often happens that by the time Sunday has rolled around, I’ll need to brainstorm additional ideas for the week ahead. Especially since I’ve settled on the format detailed earlier.
So, if you need to exercise your idea muscle, and determine worthwhile actions for the week, you can use your #StrategySundays to get clear on next steps in your projects.
4. You Can Speculate on Possibilities
I’ve shared about some of my journaling habits already. One of the things I love to do is speculate on possibilities.
Speculating on possibilities is just that. It’s not about trying to come up with right answers. It’s not about trying to form perfect answers. It’s just asking yourself, “What’s next? What are my next steps? What could I do to move toward the outcome I desire?”
And then you write down what comes to mind, free form.
5. You Can Ponder Questions
This is a recent favorite and a valuable exercise.
Ask a question related to your projects. It could be something along the lines of, “What could I do to enhance my results in X area?” Or “What could I do to ensure I follow through on Y?”
Then, ponder the question and write down your answers. Again, your answers need not be right or perfect. The act of pondering is sometimes enough to cause a breakthrough.
Sunday Planning Sessions, Final Thoughts
Whatever you focus on expands. Or so they say.Whatever you focus on expands. Click To Tweet
So, if you focus on your projects and plan for them, you will achieve more meaningful results in your creative efforts.
If you focus on your health, well-being, and self-care, you will feel better and have more energy for what matters.
Consider what you’d like to accomplish and in what areas you’d like to improve. Your Sunday planning sessions should revolve around those items and activities.
You can even take it a step further and time block everything in your schedule, so you know what you’re doing and when. After all, if it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t exist.
Do you have a Sunday planning habit? What’s your method like?
Let me know in the comments.
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