The Stoic philosopher Seneca once wrote1:
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.
If you feel like you don’t have enough time, that’s not quite accurate. You have plenty of time every day. The problem is how you use it.
So, you don’t need more time — you need to spend it more wisely. And the best strategy I’ve found for doing that is The Weekly Planning Ritual.
This is a process you use to review the past week and prepare for the one ahead.
It’s best to establish a ritual that fits your unique circumstances, but you can use this protocol as inspiration:
- Begin your ritual. Get a cup of tea or coffee and put on some of your favorite music. Make this something you look forward to.
- Review the week. Did you achieve your small goals and complete your keystone habits? Celebrate what went well and analyze what needs more work.
- Empty your to-do list. Revisit any random tasks you captured in your Braindump Depot during the week and either complete, schedule, or delete them.
- Check your calendar. Ensure that you’re on top of any deadlines and special occasions coming up in the weeks ahead.
- Define your objectives. Decide which three things you will accomplish in the upcoming week to move closer to your long-term goals.
If you invest 30 minutes every Sunday in a Weekly Planning Ritual, you’ll avoid wasting hours in the week ahead.
You’ll approach each day with greater clarity, confidence, and focus. And that will make it much easier to achieve your goals.
- On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
I first learned about weekly planning from Scott Dinsmore.