Most people schedule their way to success and it’s easier than you think. These tips will help you plan your week like a pro and create a workflow routine that will streamline each day without overwhelming your calendar.
Sunday night comes. You’ve had a long and worry-free weekend, but you have no idea how to handle the next week’s responsibilities. You start to panic because you are without a plan. It’s time to FINALLY sit down and figure out how to schedule your week because winging it never works.
Whenever you wing it, nothing ever gets accomplished. Social media sucks you dry and accounts for multiple hours of each day. You end every night wishing you made better choices.
Does this sound familiar to you? Then you’ve come to the right place because weekly planning will make all the difference.
Schedule For Success: 10 Steps To Plan Your Week Like A Pro
Taking time to plan your week is critical because it sets you up with a clear direction and frame of mind. If you’re trying to make progress in your personal or work-life, having a plan will help you get closer to your goals.
Here are 10 actionable tips to make the most out of your week and put you a track towards success.
Consider The Big Picture
Plan with purpose. Before moving to the day-to-day tasks that you need to accomplish, allow yourself some time to think about your monthly goals and yearly goals. We get stuck on autopilot so easily that sometimes we lose our sense of direction. Remember, it’s all about how to plan your week to be productive and with an end goal in mind.
In order to hold myself accountable, I like to write blog posts talking about what I hope to accomplish every week. Here is a look at the last few months in case you’d like to get an idea of some of the goals I set for myself:
- 15 June Goals I’m Setting For Myself This Year
- July Goals – How I Hold Myself Accountable During The Summer
- My Personal August Goals – New Month New Goals
- My Top September Goals – Setting Up Smart Wins For The Fall
Make A Detailed To-Do List
List every little thing you need or want to get done over the next few days. What goes on this list is entirely up to you! It can range from large-scale work projects all the way down to more menial tasks – like hitting the grocery shop.
Personally, I like to really break down my to-do list to almost every single thing I have to do. Here are some examples of what I include during this week’s write up:
- Follow up with photographer
- Submit brand X’s draft
- Go grocery shopping
- Make returns at Target
- Sports day for Caleb – school
- Figure out IG content for first two weeks of October
- Publish post X on LATB
- Pin 10 pins
- Create a story pin
- Delete 50 posts from 2011 on LATB
- Call for dentist appointment
When figuring out how to organize your week, you need to figure out how much time you have to allocate to each task, what priority level you’d like to give to each item, and whether or not you can fit these list items into your schedule. This is the trifecta of understanding when it comes to learning how to plan.
Define Your Priorities
You can’t do it all. This is something you have to admit to yourself. It might feel like a grand plan to FILL UP your Monday with 75 tasks and cram them all on one sheet, but tactics like that will just lead to burnout and disappointment.
Shift any tasks that are not urgent and reassign them to different days further out in the week. I like to use a daily planner because it allows me to set daily tasks and spread them out. ONE LONG to-do list can feel too overwhelming for me during high-stressed seasons.
This way, I can always just assign myself 7-8 things a day and leave it at that! It is much more manageable when your days are bite-sized. And by the way, maybe 7 or 8 things are WAY TOO much for you! Start by giving yourself 4 things. You do you, boo!
Carve In Personal Time And Downtime
The time you spend away from work can be just as important as the work itself. Look at your calendar and assign specific slots where you can wind down.
What do you want to do during your personal time? Is it a nap? Catching up on your favorite show? A lunch date with a friend? That is up to you. Define your hobbies and focus on doing what you love with the people you care about.
Make A Realistic Schedule
After deciding which tasks you will accomplish during the week, create a schedule that you know you can follow on a daily basis. For each day, choose the “one big thing” that you must get done.
Grouping similar tasks together can also help your brain focus more instead of constantly having to switch between different types of activities. This is called batch processing.
For example, I like to shoot all videos on one day. So, on Mondays I know that I will have my cameras charged, hair and makeup done, and my kitchen cleaned! It’s easier this way because I don’t have to worry about getting dressed up every single day of the week.
This idea could also go for video editing. The next day, I sit down and just edit. Robe on, headphones on, concentration honed in. All I do for hours is just edit content. I’m not getting up and hopping around breaking my stride. I’m just editing. You can get a lot more done if you stay on one type of task.
Related: Organization Tips For The Office
Focus On One Task At A Time
As appealing as it may sound, multitasking is very time-consuming and usually leads to mistakes. Do your best to resist the temptation of hopping from one task to the next and … focus. Give everything you’ve got to just one task at a time and you will ZIP through your to-do list in no time.
This will allow you to think more creatively about solutions and boost your productivity. Weekly planning takes time. Make sure you really set aside the right amount of time to create pockets of space every day to get what you need completed. That way, next week, all you have to do is open up your planner and… go!
Don’t Be Afraid To Rearrange Tasks
Our priorities tend to change as days go by and that’s ok! If you find that things need to shift around on your schedule, make the adjustments. It’s ok to make a plan, and it’s also more than ok to adjust it. We have to be flexible.
Planning your week takes an incredible amount of time. But don’t worry! Adjusting it won’t! A few swaps here and there and you will be good to go. You just need to get used to allocating some time every Sunday to set yourself up for success and then it won’t feel like work at all. It will become a natural habit.
Once your habit is in place, every Monday morning will feel like a breath of fresh air. You will wake up knowing exactly what to do. That’s the beauty of having a weekly schedule filled with important tasks in place. So, set aside some time this weekend to get everything you need onto a piece of paper and start getting organized.
Learn How To Say “No”
In business, money is where the YES is. Believe me, I understand this as an entrepreneur. I don’t have a steady paycheck. I never know where or how I. am going to pay my mortgage. It is a very scary feeling and I’ve lived with that same feeling for 18 years.
But sometimes, you have to say no. Sometimes, the time it will take you to work on a project isn’t worth the money. Sometimes, your time is literally worth more than the money and you have to get to that place. You really do.
We all have our lines in the sand. I will do anything for a friend, so the lines are not drawn in concrete. But still. Self care matters.
Focus On What You Want To Get Done
We tend to busy ourselves with tasks that aren’t really necessary, wasting time on things that aren’t adding real value to our lives or our jobs. By simplifying and eliminating the unnecessary from your life, you will have more time to focus on what is truly important.
Put your important tasks on your weekly calendar and highlight them or put a star next to them to note that those are the items you need to address first. Then, when looking at the week ahead, it will be easy to see which line items you need to address first. You’re going to love this new way of working once you get a hang of it! You will get everything done and MORE!
Related: 7 Ways to Stop Making Excuses
Develop A Routine
Everything becomes easier the more you get used to doing it. With planning, the most important thing you can do is to develop a routine. Form good habits and stick to them!
By having a schedule and a better understanding of how you spend your time, you will be able to reorganize your life and prioritize the things that make you happier.