7 Steps You Can Start TODAY to plan a more Productive Week
One day I was working on a blog post and suddenly it occurred to me that I had a bill due by 3:00pm. Instead of focusing on the blog post, I kept looking at the clock and reminding myself that I needed to stop at about 2:30 to pay the bill. This is counterproductive because now my attention is split between writing the blog post and worrying. I started planning my weeks to avoid situations like this. If I know I have a bill due, I write it down and make sure it gets paid well before its due date.
How to Plan your Week to be More Productive ?
Having a plan will help you become more productive and reach your goals. Following these 7 steps will make your week more Productive :
- Step 1: Choose a Planner to help keep you organized
- Step2: Schedule the tasks that MUST be accomplished
- Step 3: Make a to do List
- Step 4: Prioritize Your to do list
- Step 5: Break big tasks into smaller tasks when it makes since
- Step 6: Take a few minutes each day to update your plan
- Step 7 : At the end of the Week take time to reflect
Step 1 to plan a more Productive Week: Choose a Planner to help keep you organized
Pick a planner so that everything you need to do is in one place. The planner can be electronic or it can be a paper planner. Using an app on your phone to plan your week has the perk of always having your plan in your pocket. However, I’ve found that I am easily distracted while trying to plan using cell phones apps. Sometimes I wander off to social media apps, text messages pop-up, google suggests an interesting article, or I get an e-mail that I feel compelled to read.
If you decide to use a paper planner, you can choose an undated planner. A huge benefit of an undated planner is that you don’t have to wait for the start of a new year to start planning. You can turn to the 1st page of your planner and start planning TODAY! That is one of the reasons I decided to go with an undated planner. I decided to start using a paper planner in May, and although many of the dated planners were steeply discounted by this point, I did not want to waste half of a planner. I decided to go with an undated planner so that I could use the entire planner.
I am more productive when I use pen and paper (and sometimes stickers ?) to plan my week. I currently use a Clever Fox Pro Planner as my primary planner. The Clever Fox Planner has a ton of features including a monthly calendar view that I use to pencil in appointments, events, or other obligations as they arise. It has a lined weekly section that has space for setting goals and priorities for the days as well as the week. I’ve been using this planner for a few months and it has definitely helped me become more organized and as a result more productive during the week
Step 2 to plan a more Productive Week::Schedule the tasks that MUST be accomplished this week
I schedule must do items, before I tackle my to-do list. I will put in appointments, social events, items requiring follow up, bill due dates and project due dates in to my planner at the beginning of the week. This helps me to see where I have time to schedule more items on my to do list.
Make sure you schedule some recreational tasks during that free time. Scheduling a lazy day and throwing your to-do list out of the window once in a while helps me to keep my sanity. Meditation, Reading , visits to the nail salon, are some of the more enjoyable tasks that I make sure I find time for during the week. I find that scheduling these tasks increases productivity because it keeps me from getting burned out.
Step 3 to plan a more Productive Week: Make a to do list
At the beginning of the week, make a list of everything you want to accomplish. This includes workout, gifts you might need to order for bdays, phone calls you need to make, manicures, Laundry and Grocery Shopping. Anything you can think of write it down. This helps to clear your mind.
Getting everything on paper helps me to stay clearer minded. I used to spend a lot of time worrying that I would forget to do something. Having a list that I am working with helps me to relax because I know I’m tracking everything I need to get done on my to do list. This helps me to be more productive on whatever task I am currently trying to tackle.
For example, one day I was working on a blog post and suddenly it occurred to me that I had a bill due by 3:00pm. Instead of focusing on the blog post, I kept looking at the clock and reminding myself that I needed to stop at about 2:30 to pay the bill. This is counterproductive.
Step 4 to plan a more Productive Week: Prioritize Your to do list
This changes each week, if the Laundry has been piling up, I make washing clothes a priority. If I have a BDAY party to attend on the weekend, I make picking up a gift a priority. Prioritizing your to do list helps to make the best use of your available time during the week.
Step 5 to plan a more Productive Week: Break big tasks into smaller tasks
If you have an essay to write, a blog post to publish, or a household project to tackle that takes a more than 2 hours or so, you should consider breaking it up into smaller time-blocked tasks.
For example, if you have a paper that will take 3 hours to write but you have a hectic week and can’t find a 3-hour block of free time, break it up in to three 1-hour sessions. This small tip has definitely increased my productivity. Sometimes I break a household project into 15-minute intervals because that is all of the free time I can find.
Step 6 to plan a more Productive Week: Take a few minutes each day to update your plan
When I first started planning, I tried creating a plan for the entire week all at once on Sunday. Over the course of the week higher priority tasks popped up and my careful planning went out of the window. I didn’t have space to pivot and add tasks to my day.
I carry around a small notebook and jot down any tasks that pop up during the day. Each night I spend five to ten minutes updating my to-do list and selecting a few tasks for the next day. If a task that I planned did not get accomplished during the day, it goes back on the to do list. I can then decide if I should pencil it in for the next day or if there are higher priority tasks and leave this one until the end of the week.
Step 7 to plan a more Productive Week: Reflect on your week
Celebrate your wins. Did you set out to work out 4 times a week and were successful? Give yourself a high five…seriously! Recognizing progress helps to keep you moving in the direction of success.
Learn from your mistakes. Maybe you tried to cram too many tasks in to one day. Maybe you only got around to planning two or three times a week. That’s okay, it may take a little while to get used to planning. Make a plan to improve next week. Set a goal to plan four times in the coming week.
Do Planners Increase Productivity?
Yes, planners increase productivity. Planners help you stay organized and get focused on your goals and other items that you need to accomplish.