Free up your time: Weekly Checklist Pt 1

11/3/2013 |

Time management can be such a problem for some people, that they often lose their evenings and weekends to “work”

In this post we find out how the weekly checklist can help you organise your week, and reclaim some of that free time!


The density and complexity of our overloaded world means that whilst we spend most of our days in the trenches, we rarely get enough perspective on our overall position to really “see the timber from the trees”.

I liken the Weekly Checklist and the Daily Checklist processes as the time that you observe your work from above your work. It gives you helicopter-level strategic vision, and believe me, is powerful, cathartic and calming.

Doing a Weekly Checklist on a Friday afternoon means you have the confidence and peace of mind to switch off at the weekend and enjoy whatever you have planned. (Or if you choose to do your Weekly Checklist on a Monday, even just knowing that you’ve got your Weekly Checklist diarised to kick-start your Monday is enough to aid the weekend switch off on Friday evening!)


Set Up Your Weekly Checklist


(Download the Weekly Checklist template here or use the list below.)

You don’t need to fill every section here, or even use every section. So make this about what you need and don’t overdo it!

We’ll cover Stage 1 here, and the next 4 stages in future blog posts)




> Post, internal paperwork (check my desk, drawers, bag and anywhere else at this point).

> Notes from meetings.

> Any expense receipts in my wallet/purse/bag? Get them in to my in-tray.

> Any other items? Add them to my in-tray.


Capture ideas, thoughts, nags, worries and anything else. Think about…

> What’s been happening over the last week

> What have I been working on?

> What projects are on my mind? Why?

> Conversations with my boss.

> Conversations with my colleagues.

> Conversations with my clients/customers/stakeholders.

> Any family events or personal issues I need to manage.


Organise. Get back to zero, and go through the Ninja decision-making process to get new actions recorded on my Master Actions List. Make sure I’m at zero on…

> Email

> My paper notebook

> Voicemails

> My in-tray

> Social media direct messages

> Any other inputs?


How do you use the Weekly checklist? Which day of the week do you do it, and why? We’d love to hear your stories!



Like this? Try these

Book one of our How to Get Things Done workshops to sort out your time management 

Download our Weekly Checklist template

The Weekly Checklist: The key to ninja productivity – Think Productive UK 

Time-management tips from extremely busy people – The Guardian 


  1. Chris Lee

    I have a filofax with two sections – week-to-2-pages diary and day-to-a- page diary. Until the Friday before the week concerned, entries only go into the first section (where there’s limited space of course)

    The full page day is divided into calls and e-mails listed in a column down the right of the page, space at the top for ‘pre-working day’ items and space at the bottom for ‘post-working day’ items.

    I got the Filofax after a time-management course around 25 years ago – which also recommended having social and work commitments ‘in the same place’- and I’ve never looked back!

  2. graham

    I find a lot of people struggle with the notion of “in the same place” for work and non-work (very interesting for me personally given this month’s productivity experiment I’m doing is all about work-life balance!).

    Also, this is a brilliant example of “if it’s working, keep doing it” – lots of people spend too long flitting between apps and list-managers and excel files and everything else – the kit is a means to the habit, not the other way around!

  3. Graeme Fraser

    Friday morning is my preferred time. It works for me because A) I’m still alert on a Friday morning, whereas on a Friday afternoon, I’m (despite my best efforts) on a weekend wind down. B) It’s good to have a clear head over the weekend, knowing exactly what I’ve got to do for the week ahead, and I can crack on with the monday morning team meeting.


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