You’ll never get ahead of the game by only looking at today and never thinking about tomorrow—which is exactly why you need to work by the day, but plan by the week.

You choose the best time to do this—when you feel ready to look ahead—Sunday evening seems to work for most.

Here are some ways to make the most of your weekly plan:

  1. Review and write down your roles for the week. You live our life in terms of roles—not like “role-playing,” but in the sense of authentic parts you’ve chosen to fill—such as manager, mom, softball coach, wife, student, etc.
  1. Think of your long-term goals in each role, and ask yourself, “What are the one, two, or three key things I need to do that role this week?”
  1. Transfer each of those key activities onto a specific day and time of the upcoming week. Make that activity as an appointment with yourself.
  1. Review and evaluate previously-made and repeating appointments and commitments and consider other activities you may want to plan into your week.
  1. Transfer those items onto your calendar.

Without weekly planning, you’ll spend your days reacting to the demands of the day instead of feeling in control of your schedule. Anything that increased your perception of control over a situation—whether it actually increases your control or not—can decrease your stress level and make your week productive.