Sunday Planning Ritual

Like most people, I waste a lot of my week. Some of this waste comes from endless meetings with little output. Other parts of my week are wasted purely because I do not have a plan for what to do next. My workdays can be full of meetings which can make it easy to get lost in the day-to-day and not progress towards my bigger work goals. I work hard, but I always feel I could do more.

I have tried all sorts of productivity tips and tricks, but very few of them stick. However, a Sunday planning ritual has been a big part of my working life for the last decade. Every Sunday, I sit in a coffee shop with paper and a pan and plan my week.

This ritual started when I first got married. We both worked long hours outside of the home and got very little time in the house when we were not cooking, cleaning, or preparing for work. My mum sat me down and explained the importance of time in the house alone, so I created this time for my wife to have regular space in our small flat when I was not around. I would walk down the road to the town centre and get a coffee or two and plan my week. This Continued and has become a key part of my week since. This process prepares me for the week ahead and clears my head for better focus on Monday morning.

This process usually involves four distinct steps:
Step 1: Mind dump – tasks, ideas, and commitments
Step 2: Review the previous week – write a weekly update for my teams
Step 3: Unstructured plan for the week – write a plan.txt
Step 4: Identify a ‘Highlight’ task for each day and which days I must commute into the office.

I review the plan each morning and time block my most important tasks, including my 90-minute deep work block.