Why You Should Create A Weekly Planning Process

Executive coaching clients who have worked with me have heard me encourage them - time and again - to begin their week with a well-thought-out weekly planning process. A process that I first embedded into my weekly routine after reading David Allen's best seller on time management and planning, Getting Things Done, years ago. Related: Time Management: 4 Keys To Avoiding Work-Related Stress My weekly planning process allows me to enter each week feeling "in control." Not only that, but it also gives me confidence that I am focusing on the most important things in my life - my work life and my personal life - THAT week. My weekly planning process includes review of a number of lists and tools, my calendar, my goals, my Inboxes, messages, written notes, and so on - a whole host of items that allow me to scan across my entire horizon of open loops, action-centric matters, and goals. Two lists that I ALWAYS include in my weekly review and planning process are: 1.) my "Never" or "Absolute No" List, and 2.) my "Always" or "100% Commitment" List. These are two lists of promises I've made to myself that are in total alignment with my beliefs, personal vision, work, personal goals and objectives. Reviewing these two lists on a weekly basis flexes my awareness muscle and helps keep me conscious of these important promises.


I borrowed the idea for my "Never" list from one of my favorite authors and speakers, Cheryl Richardson, who offers the idea of "The Absolute No List" in her wonderful book (which I highly recommend), The Art of Extreme Self-Care. The idea of creating a "Never" list serves as a powerful reminder of those things you want to remove from your life because they no longer (or never did) align with who you are, who you want to be, and what's important to you. I find sharing examples helpful in explaining the concept of a "Never" list. In that regard, some of the items on my list and some that I've heard others express include the following: I will never...
  • Participate in or be a party to gossip.
  • Throw away anything that can be recycled.
  • Hang around with people who consistently bring me down or drain me emotionally.
  • Multitask when I'm on the phone with a client, friend, or family member.
  • Feel like I need to finish any book in which I've lost interest.


In addition to my "Never" list, I also have an "Always" list, a list of things that I am 100% committed to doing... always. My "Always" list serves as a potent reminder of habits, actions and behaviors that I fully embrace and that are in complete alignment with who I am, who I want to be, and with those things that I cherish in my life. As examples, I've seen the following on various "Always" lists: I will always...
  • Spend the first part of my day, every day, in quiet time - reading, meditating, journaling, and so on.
  • Perform a thorough weekly review and planning process first thing Monday morning (I've also seen this commitment on Fridays or the weekend).
  • Exercise AT LEAST three days each week.
  • Take a full two week vacation period each year, spending quality time with my family and leaving all work behind.
  • Send a thank you note daily, seeking an opportunity every day to express gratitude and appreciation.
How about you? What would be on your "Never" list? ...or your "Always" list? Tip: Begin with a short list... don't go overboard with too many things. Something in the range of 10 +/- items on each list is what I tend to see in reviewing clients' lists. Next step: Formulate your lists, and then, most importantly, review them often - certainly during your weekly review time. Some of my clients also keep their lists in their field of vision - as a constant reminder, particularly when they're initially beginning the process of abiding by the items on their lists. Become the person you can be and want to be. Try these two powerful tools and watch the magic begin to happen in your life. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Related Posts

5 Time Management Tips When Juggling Work And School 5 Tips For Planning A Career Change Hump Day Treat: 5 Quick Tips For Better Productivity Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less