The Weekly Momentum Planner
If you can see what you're doing and what you've committed to in one place, you have a better chance of working with confidence and a clear head.
The Weekly Momentum Planner is a planner that places the primary focus on the projects you need to do this week, rather than on the time you have to do those projects in. It's great when you have a lot of autonomy about when and how you do the work, but still have a lot of projects to do.
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The Big Idea
Many creative people have a different orientation to time and work than other people do. We work from all over the place and often blur the lines between at-work and not-at-work. On the other hand, there's a lot of pressure to get projects done, week by week.
Time is usually not the primary consideration — the work to be done is.
It's really easy for us to overestimate how much we can get done in a week, especially when we're continually juggling multiple projects. Because individual projects take longer than estimated and we've agreed to multiple projects, we end up with three options:
Stack projects (thus working longer hours).
Renegotiate deadlines for agreed-to projects (a Band-Aid, at best, that still drains credibility).
Drop agreed-to projects, either intentionally or unintentionally.
None of these options are particularly appealing.
So the idea behind this particular planner is to get all of your projects in the same space. If you can see what you're doing and what you've committed to, you have a better chance of working with a clear head and being able to commit with confidence. Knowing that you'll be able to complete your current and proposed commitments, you can complete your projects with the clarity that you're working on what you should be working on.
You'll notice that this form is about constraints. If you're juggling more than five projects at a time, you're doing a lot of shuffling. If you're planning to work on five decent-sized deliverables or projects during a single day, you're probably planning too much. Hopefully, the physical constraints of the planner help you gain the focus you need to do your best work.
Take a second to envision what it'd be like to actually complete your projects with less stress rather than always working under the gun of a deadline and the stress of juggling too much at once — I hope this planner helps you get there.
How to Use This Planner
Watch this video walkthrough of the weekly planner and/or read the step-by-step guide below.
This planner serves as your weekly dashboard. Use it when you're planning your week and review it throughout to make changes as needed.
Start with the left side of the planner first, as it's mostly about your constraints.
This Month's Projects
Here is where you will look at the bigger picture to see what projects you'd like to complete this month. If you're also using the Quarterly Momentum Planner, you can simply transfer your Monthly Objectives from there to here.
This Week's Projects
This Week's Projects are simply the projects you're working on this week. Yes, there are only five spots available – this is intentional. Use the short name for your project, since you're probably using it with yourself anyway. Also, use the number (1–5) of the project as a reference throughout the planner.
If you've completed your Monthly Momentum Planner, your active projects here are, hopefully, the same ones on your Monthly Momentum Planner. If they're not, then remember, if you're planning effectively, you'll always be changing your plans.
If you're scheduled to be somewhere for a day, that's time you can't use. So mark down your scheduled events before you think about when you'll be working.
The purpose of this section is to organize the things that are coming up for the week that you need to focus on. These are generally commitments you've made with your clients and what you're used to working against. Remember: the sooner you complete the project, the sooner you can focus on something else.
Note: Think long and hard about whether you want to have multiple deadlines on one day. Stagger them if at all possible and save yourself the stress of it all.
Now that you have the left column filled out, you should have a pretty good snapshot of when you should be working on what. Be mindful of how much time you're planning on working on a deliverable and how much time you're actually working on that deliverable. Notice trends so that you can better plan in the future.
Though I recognize that you may need every row on every line, don't feel like you have to have something on every line. I would err on the side of under-committing rather than overcommitting until you have a good feel for how long you're actually working on your projects. Lastly, be sure that you are practicing the 5 essential skills to do your best planning. Want more? Check out the Monthly and Daily Momentum Planners.
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