Making sure you have a productive week all starts with proper planning. And planning a productive week is made all the more enjoyable with beautiful stationary. Let’s be honest though – that stuff adds up! And somehow, we can never only buy one thing. We need the cute planner or binder, the washi tape, the right pen to set the tone, stickers, etc.
Which is why we designed a custom weekly planner just for you (and us) to use! Happy planning! I personally hate having to scroll through an entire post just to download something free, so I tossed in the download link early if you’re as impatient as me!Free Download: Crimson Leather Inspired Weekly Planner Click To Tweet
Planning a successful week starts early in the week, preferably Sunday or Monday. I typically aim to plan my week for one hour (or less) on Sunday. However, sometimes I simply get too busy and spend my early Monday morning planning out the week. It sets the tone for the week and helps me get in a certain frame of mind.
Sure, some things do slip from time to time, but I try my hardest to keep to it. Whether you enjoy bullet journaling, using a planner or even utilizing Gmail Calendar, these tips will help you be more organized and productive!
What is your goal for the month? For the quarter? For the year? It’s not always necessary to have an overall goal that far out, especially if you’re planning personal events only. Nevertheless, if you’re planning for business, setting a yearly, quarterly and monthly goal is imperative. It gives you something to aim for and makes planning the weeks (and days) so much easier. Not only that, it helps you gain mental clarity about what your big picture goal is and gives you a compass to determine if you’re moving closer or further.
What are the top three or four things you want to accomplish for the week – not the day. You’ll have the opportunity to prioritize your day, but focusing on your week gives you more flexibility to accomplish it no matter what day you choose. Some tasks also take more than one day to accomplish. I have many projects for clients that take weeks or even months. Planning a meticulous week is imperative for me to measure how much closer I am to completing the overall goal. Set your intentions by writing down the top three or four things, and don’t be tempted to list more. If you get those three items done first, then anything else is cherry on top! If you list more than three big priorities, it becomes a task list and not a priority list.
Getting a difficult task out of the way early in the week will give you a sense of accomplishment and move it out of the way for you to get other things done. It’s hard, and may require a bit of discipline, but it will be worth it in the long run to acquire this habit. Difficult tasks have a way of feeling less fun or enjoyable, no matter how passionate we are. It’s daunting which makes procrastinating a seemingly good option for other smaller, more manageable tasks. Push yourself. That’s right – you have to challenge yourself to be successful and getting the big stuff done early in the week will set off a motion for the rest of the week.
There are some tasks that happen on a weekly basis. To make things more manageable, set a pre-fixed schedule by day, and even time, to get these tasks done. For example, at Les Naly my goal is always to publish two posts per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays are typically reserved for getting big tasks done and Thursdays and Fridays are typically when I have client check-in calls. Having these set dates and times really helps me feel a sense of normalcy in my schedule and builds a habit for my work day and work week.
Take some time to review last week and a peek at the week ahead. This is where having a larger overall goal plays a key role at measuring the distance to success. Getting a weekly look at things, with the larger monthly, quarterly and yearly goal at hand helps you see the forest above the trees. It’s easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day so creating that long-term vision is crucial. More importantly, it will help you better assess what needs to be done in the current week and what can be put off.
Not very many people will tell you this, but you should schedule in some “me time.” Yes, we are an overworked country with people who find it very tough to relax and take a break. This never occurred to me until I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia for a year. I could never relax and always felt a sense of restlessness. It’s the American way, we’re simply not as good as relaxing as our European and Australian counterparts. After burning out a couple times in my life, I truly believe that to be successful, you also have to relish in “me time.” That could mean a walk during your lunch break, working out before or after work, or scheduling a couple hours a week to simply read a book or a couple magazine articles that aren’t online.
Everything is a priority – but you will always be the number one priority. I once worked at a tech company where I would rate tasks on a cold to hot scale. Cold tasks could be put off for the week and potentially even month and hot tasks were stuff that needed to be taken care of that day. Because it was a tech company all tasks were completed in an agile project management style, which meant the rating could be custom added.
When we implemented it, almost everyone put their tasks in as hot. Dum, dum, dum… No surprise. We finally had to go back in and ask everyone to really take a look at the goals, timelines and what was truly hot or cold. The point here is, it may seem and feel like everything needs to be done right here, right now, this week, this month. It’s overwhelming and exhausting to see everything with that lens. The worst part is you’re so overwhelmed that it stifles your ability to think clearly and make real actual progress towards your goals.
So, no matter how busy your week is, no matter how many wonderful projects you have going on, or your team is pushing you to do everything – make time for yourself. Because without you, nothing can be done. Without your effort, your goals won’t achieve themselves. Make yourself a priority in every week and do so in style!