Experiment Log – 005 | Weekly Planning Results
I started this experiment with the intention of better planning my leisure activities, through the process of weekly planning. Here is what I've discovered after a month of weekly planning.
Before that though, just a short description of how I did the weekly planning.
- I added Weekly Log pages to my Bullet Journal. I added the weekly log pages after the Monthly Log page. So, after I created the January 2020 monthly log pages, I used the 4 pages after that to create the weekly log pages. For an idea of what my weekly log/spread looks like, check here.
- I planned for the next week on Sundays, typically in the afternoon. I just plan the next week and wait until the next Sunday to plan the next week after that.
- Typically I included at least two leisure activities, playing video games and reading a book. If I think I will have more time at night on a specific day, I also threw in watching a TV show or documentary or even a movie.
- I included non-leisure related tasks in my weekly logs. Most of these tasks came from my Monthly Log page. So, it wasn't all just leisure activities in there.
- If I didn't finish a leisure activity task before the day ends, I typically just cross it out. I don't carry over leisure activity tasks to the next day. For example, if I didn't get to play a video game today, I won't migrate it to the next day, because I already have a task to play another video game for the next day. The non-leisure related tasks though get carried over depending on their importance.
Now on to the results
As far as planning my leisure activities goes, it has been a huge success! No longer do I have to wonder what game to play, or what book to read, or what TV show to watch. I just look at the current day's daily log entry on my bullet journal to find the next activity to engage in.
Unexpected Benefit #1
One unexpected benefit of planning my leisure activities this way, is the elimination of the guilt I often have for neglecting other video games, books, TV shows, etc...
For example, I bought Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order last year. I bought it at full price because I've been waiting for a single-player Star Wars video game for a very long time now. However, during Christmas last year, my wife surprised me with a gift of Civilization 6 for the Xbox One. Obviously Civ 6, is another game that I really wanted to play, however I can't help but feel guilty when choosing to play one video game over the other. Not to mention, I've never even finished another fave game of mine, Division 2.
Being able to plan which game to play on a certain day of a week eliminates this problem for me. Now I no longer feel guilty for not playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, because I know I will get around to playing it sometime later in the week.
Prior to this experiment, I would read a book depending on what I fancy reading at that time. That almost always came with a pang of guilt for neglecting the other books that I have not finished reading. With weekly planning, I am able to pick which book to read on a certain night. I make sure I don't read the same book twice in a row, just to spread the love.
To my surprise, I've made steady progress on my books with this approach. I'm almost done with the Simple Plan to Wealth, while I'm halfway through A Little Book of Japanese Contentments and I've made good progress on An Echo of Things to Come (which is a 700+ page fantasy novel).
Unexpected Benefit #2
During the first few days of this experiment, I did not migrate the tasks from the weekly log into my daily log. To those not familiar with Bullet Journals, what I mean by this is that I didn't copy over the tasks into my daily log. The reason being is that I thought it would be redundant to do so. I already had the tasks written down in my weekly log, why would I need to copy them over into my daily log? So, during the first few days, I had to look at my daily log and weekly log pages to figure out what task or activity to work on.
I soon got tired of doing that. It is just so much easier to have just one page to look at. So, even if I felt it was a bit redundant, I migrated/copied over the tasks from my weekly log into my daily log. Doing so revealed an unexpected benefit; another chance to re-evaluate how important a task is to me. If I think the task was worth doing, I would copy it over, otherwise it gets left out.
I did run into some setbacks along the way. Namely, the past 2 weekends have been so busy for me, that it was a struggle to religiously follow all the tasks I've listed on my weekly plan.
- One weekend was spent assembling furniture the wife needed for the coming of our second child. On that one Saturday, I didn't get to play or do any reading, unless you consider going though IKEA Assembly Instructions, reading. I didn't even get to write on my journal until the next day.
- This last weekend was a slightly less busy one, however I was also sick and so I didn't follow every task listed on the weekly plan.
- Overall it was still a success though, because the weekly plan allowed me to see what the most important task was for that day. So even if I couldn't complete all of them, I at least knew the most important ones that needed to be done.
So what now?
I've decided to continue doing weekly plans for the foreseeable future. I don't think there's any drawback to doing them, other than losing maybe 1-2 hours on a Sunday coming up with a plan for the next week. However, I think you eventually gain back that time considering how you have a well planned week ahead of you.
One thing I'm going to start doing more, is fleshing out my exercise/workout tasks in my weekly plans. I do include them in my weekly plan, but only as a generic “Exercise” task. I don't specifically list what kind of exercise or workout to do. Obviously this is something that fitness enthusiasts have been doing for awhile now, but one that I've only thought of doing the past few days. Still, better late than never.