How do you prepare yourself for the week ahead?

Happy Monday, everyone! As we roll into a new week, I’d love to hear how some of you get ready for the week ahead.

Do you dedicate a day to planning out everything you’re going work on for the week? Maybe you meditate and connect with your higher purpose and then let it guide you for the rest of the week? Any special tools you use for staying organized?

I write a list of stuff I need to do on a piece of paper and then panic.


Something I’ve tried recently with some success is making of list just before I go to bed of what I want to accomplish the next day. This helps keep me from feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to do over the course of the entire week, keep me focused on what I wanted myself to accomplish that day, and help me feel good about my progress at the end of the day when I can see the stuff I accomplished. I’ve found that taking things day-by-day is much more useful than thinking about the entire week, at least for me :slight_smile:

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I have a weekly agenda. I take an hour at the beginning of the week to write out my goal for the week and divide up daily what things I can do to get me to that goal, and I spread it out over the week.
I also find that doing hot yoga and meditation has helped clear my head and put me on a more focused path!

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hahaha I totally relate here. Sometimes I’ll find myself breaking down my work into so many small tasks that it becomes almost overwhelming. As someone who prides myself on my organization/planning, I’m actually trying to do a bit of the opposite (get inspiration and run with it, you know). :slight_smile:

I’m still trying to figure out a system that keeps me on track properly. I’m a full time artist, but I don’t make enough to contribute anywhere near as much to the bills as my partner (who is ridiculously supportive and works full time), so I try to do more of the housework to help out, so balancing the 2 can be hard. I’m… not a very organised person, heh.

I have a To Do List but it always turns into a big mess after a while, it can be hard to prioritize sometimes, especially because I’m still trying a lot of new stuff and exploring venues and new projects. Needing to get ready for an art show or having a big commission with a deadline can really throw me off for a while by eating up a huge chunk of my time.

Working at home also makes it hard for me to allow myself free time to relax, read a book, go for a hike, visit a friend, etc. I can’t really take a “Day Off” or I get bored, I still feel like I gotta check my shop, work on art, check my email, etc. It’s nice to just totally turn all of that off every once in a while and be somewhere else mentally, but I have a very hard time doing that.

I’m trying to work on a weekly schedule that will give me some structure, time to really focus on art without distractions, and help me relax a bit on the weekends. Weekends are for fun (unless it can’t be helped), and I’ll have to train myself to accept Monday as my big house cleaning and meal prep day, with minimal to no artwork, so I can have a nice full day of painting/drawing the next day without being pulled away multiple times for dishes/laundry/etc. It’s frustrating to have to stop working when I’m on a roll, because I hear the dryer ding, or suddenly remember that I need to get the dishes washed for dinner later.

Monday should probably be my weekly planning day as well, so I can set out my daily goals for the rest of the week. I try to keep daily goals minimal while acknowledging that I’ll take care of more if I have the time for it, it gets so frustrating and overwhelming to slip up even a little and have things start piling up for later, but it’s a nice feeling when you can cross everything off for the day and feel competent, haha!

Poorly in most cases. :wink:

I’m somewhat at the mercy of the projects I take on. I plan on taking the back off of an old guitar in the morning but end up spending most of the day doing it because of issues I discover along the way. Now the afternoon I had planned for editing is shifted to the next day and by Thursday everything’s a hot mess.

One of my strengths is the ability to admit to myself where I’m weak, so getting organized is high on the list.

Such a great question! I’ve tried so many different ways, thinking I had to use some formal method, but now I just use my own system, which I adapt as my mood takes me. When I started my YouTube Channel Google sent me a really cool notebook, with lines in it. Now that has become my bible when it comes to planning, and writing things to do, means everything is in the same place, and any thoughts before bed can go in it and stop me worrying about them.

At the front of the book I write the dates of the individual month along the top, and on the left side, I write a list of things I want to achieve during that month, like upload a YouTube video, exercise, walk the dog. Then each day I colour in the square under that date if I have achieved that task. The idea being that I end up with a page of colour, by the end of the month, and have a sense of achieving things as well as knowing where my time was spent.

On the next page I draw out a more traditional calendar, boxes with the date, and then I write in any important deadlines, and colour each day at the end of the day. I do this for every month.

In the next section of my note book, I write the date/day at the top of the page, and then create a to do list, which includes daily tasks. If I’m paying off a debt or if I want to get a certain number of Patrons or YouTube subscribers or whatever, I keep a tally to help me stay motivated. Some tasks are small, some more complex, in which case I might break them in to smaller tasks. That way I stop doubting myself all the time, or worrying about what ifs. If it is in my list of things I need to do to be successful, then as long as I do it, I’m headed the right direction and will achieve my goals.

Every Saturday I clean up the house, and do things like ironing, which helps my brain reflect on the week, then I sit down and plan out the to do lists for each day that week. Its a bit tedious, but it really helps me to get a sense of a fresh start, of what I want to accomplish in the week ahead, and to reflect on what went well the previous week, or what things to change. That way I feel like I’m always moving forward and it mentally draws a line under the week before.

I try to do the jobs I enjoy the least, first thing each day, then it means I can relax and not feel guilty whilst doing the tasks I enjoy the most, I work better at night and get less distracted anyway, so it works well for me to do the tedious and admin type things first, then creative things in the evening.

I’ve also just started to try and put a small portion of the money I get from my patrons aside each week, so that I can then hire a virtual assistant, or have folks on Fiverr undertake some of the tasks I have to do, but hate doing each week. This has freed up loads of time, and kept my energy levels higher, so I can then focus on the thing I love to do most - create, so I feel like it is a better investment for my patrons too, especially in the long run.

I love having structure, but there also needs to be flexibility too. If I’m tired or not in the mood to do something, I’ll miss it off my list, and do that task the next day or whatever. As long as everything is ticked off at the end of the week, it all works out. I’ve learnt the hard way that there is no point doing a task if I’m just not in the mood, since this comes across, and it always ends up as half a job, but takes twice as long because I have to go back and re do things:)

I’m hoping that by sticking to things this way, I’ll eventually be able to bring enough to support myself, so I can stop working on the other stuff that is just to pay the bills.


Haha, I think everyone gets that feeling:)

My weekly plan has a different task for each day: sketching, inking, coloring, writing, housework/yardwork, and a catch-up day.

I do more monthly planning. I have a three column list of what I want to accomplish in the following categories: art, writing, promotional/etc. I color code by priority in each list so I don’t spend all month in one category, though I try to remain heavily in the art column. So if it’s sketch day I just look in the art column and weight the highest priority sketch vs. the highest priority artwork to finish and have an option of what to work on that day.

@Kyde_and_Eric hit it on the head.

The one thing I do do that is slightly organized is I have a personal Trello with a scrum board. That way I can keep up with personal projects and also jobs for clients. Sadly, it gets neglected and needs more love; I hope I can clear off my plate so I can break down projects and put more things on it that can get completed soon.

I love to plan stuff… but for some reason I am really bad at planning (or perhaps just following my plans) when it comes to my general-work-day-to-day-stuff! Which leaves me in a constant stress mode I think. :confused: Will have to read through this thread and see if you have some tips I can implement, thank you all for sharing!

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Gosh I recognise myself so much in a lot of what you wrote, I have a very similar situation!
I work from home with my little art business and am really struggling to make it all work out financially. My partner also works full time, not from home, and has a much much more stable financial situation.
And I have such a hard time nowadays to turn off my work-mode (because it’s also my hobby, etc) and relax, although I would love to, but at the same time I get bored when I do. Hmm.

I just enter everything I have to do into my Google calendar, but after a while it also just turns into a big mess! I just put everything I think of and have to remember to do into there and after a while it’s just a big pile of stress in there, that I keep moving forward, creating bigger and bigger piles. xD
I think I really need to have goals to be more productive, but at the same time if I plan too much that I fail to complete it, it just makes me so stressed. Have to figure out how to get a balance here.

Your weekly schedule sounds goods, I will have to think of something similar for myself I think…

Wow, this is amazing, @Sarah . Thank you for sharing this system. I particularily like the coloring in the squares, and how that ends up with a page of color. In my experience I have realised how important is this review of things you’ve done in the day/week/month. We are so mindlessly absorbed in tasks and mostly under stress and pressure to finish things that you don’t really follow what you’ve really done. Different ways how to look at past day/week and the achievements are, personally, so important. If I started with huge list of tasks and I’ve done 20% of it, while that amounts to a lot of tasks, they seem to be drowned by everything that is still not done.


I’m so glad it helped. I’m always looking for new things to try that make life easier.

Yesss. I’ve been thinking about this lately, that I need to celebrate more when I finish projects, and like you say, look at the past achievements instead of just looking for the next thing to do!

I love the idea (and using) digital tools for planing. I have a lot of stuff in Asana (, where I can have multiple separate projects and their tasks and calendars and they all come together on your general task list (oh it can be terribly overwhelming!).

But nothing beats the feeling when you write down 3 main things on your list on paper to do for the day and at the end of they day they are CROSSED!

I kind of…well…don’t.

My YouTube videos are at least 99% of the time critiques of what other people have said in their videos; this means my prep work is scouring the 'Tubes for content that’s desperately wrong, and then getting my devastating-response on. So I never have much more of a weekly plan than go-looking-for-pwnage-targets.

I always feel that I set goals for myself which at first I think I can accomplish them but, by the end of the week, they don’t get accomplished and it just demotivates me further. Can you share some examples for good weekly goals?

Thanks so much for sharing you method!
So at the end, you have 3 or so pages per month? (1: monthly checkered page of tasks you did, 2: monthly calendar of deadlines, 3: to-do list which you add to every week)

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