PP4: Ideal weekly schedule – A place for everything, and everything in its place

(Part of the series: 12 Favorite Productivity Principles)

4. Ideal weekly schedule – A place for everything, and everything in its place

Take some time to think of all the things you need or want to do on a weekly basis. What would the ideal week look like for you? Now, using what you learned from the first three principles (1-first things first; 2-the morning, afternoon, evening rule; and 3-habit stacking), design your ideal weekly schedule. Put everything on it, including time for family, leisure, rest and sleep. Some people like to map out 30-minute blocks, but I just use broader one-hour blocks.

Designing an ideal weekly schedule gives you several immediate benefits.

  1. It helps you face reality. If it doesn’t all fit in the calendar, you are trying to do too much.
  2. It helps you prioritize. Once you see what you can realistically do, you can choose the most important things.
  3. It helps you know what to do next. Once you have determined the best times to do your various tasks, you will know what you should be doing at any given time.
  4. It helps you set aside large blocks of time. This is essential for regular, deep, focused, uninterrupted work.
  5. It helps you be flexible. The ideal weekly schedule is simply that – an ideal. It doesn’t mean that it will work out that way every week. Life happens. We face all sorts of interruptions and unforeseen circumstances. The ideal weekly schedule allows you to be flexible, because you use it more as a guide rather than as a strict rule.
  6. It helps you get back on track. When you do get interrupted, you know what you missed, so you can reschedule or get back on track.

I have a basic, ideal weekly schedule that I tweak or redesign from time to time depending on new goals or life circumstances. Here is an example of my current ideal weekly schedule. Once again, I use this more as a guide rather than a strict rule.


(Note: Click to enlarge)

That’s it for this week. I hope you are enjoying the series. I will be back with the next four tips Monday-Thursday next week. In the meantime, please feel free to share the links with family and friends! (You can click on any of the Share buttons below.)

Next in series: PP5: Appointments, tasks and information – Using the right tool for the job


  1. Jody Michael says:

    No Sabbath on Saturday?

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Jody – Thank you for asking! I take my Sabbath day on Friday. I preach Sundays, so I can’t make that my day of rest. But I try to keep Fridays clear of all church-related work and activities. Sometimes I can’t if there’s a funeral or something on the church calendar, but that’s the day I usually take.

  3. Thaddeus says:

    What is ‘digital’?

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Thaddeus – I run an ebook conversion business on the side called Fowler Digital Services. On my ideal weekly schedule, “Digital” means I am working on projects for my business. “Digital/relax” means if I am ahead on my Fowler Digital projects, I get to relax instead!

Leave a Reply