This week in the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge we’re looking at Rule #2: Plan on Fridays. Taking some time on Friday to look through the upcoming week — both professionally and personally — allows for a much more tranquil approach to life. Holistic planning (deciding priorities for career, relationships, and self) also tends to make life more fun!

One of the most common questions I get about Friday planning is how that translates into weekend planning. (I realize some folks might stop reading right there, but yes, I think weekends benefit from planning — not setting stuff every 30 minutes like you would with work, but having some intentions. And just as a practical matter, I have five kids, so weekends tend to have just as much stuff going on as weekdays do. Planning means I get to have some fun alongside the shuttling and errands!)

There are lots of approaches that can work. But with my approach, weekends get planned twice: once more broadly, once on a more granular level.

My basic Friday planning looks primarily at the upcoming Monday to Sunday week. Since I’m thinking of career, relationship, and personal priorities for the upcoming week, many of those will wind up happening over the weekend.

My time logs run Monday-Sunday, so that is the unit I tend to plan in. So I’m creating a rough set of intentions and timing for the weekend that is 8-9 days away.

That said, some details are still fuzzy at that point and stuff will come up (most other parents are not asking for playdates 8-9 days in advance, for instance). And so the weekend plan will be revisited later in the week, when I do my Friday planning again. I take a few minutes to look at the immediately upcoming weekend and finalize logistics.

I realize that might sound inefficient — why plan twice? But having broad intentions, and having anything big scheduled allows me to be more strategic about fitting in other things. If we’ve decided to go on a family bike ride somewhere on Saturday afternoon, I know that if a kid wants a playdate we should choose a different time…rather than offering a Saturday afternoon time and then not being able to do anything other than scheduled kid activities.

How do you plan your weekends?

In other news: If you’re doing the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge, last Friday’s email had a link to my Zoom office hours.

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