When it comes to staying productive and tackling goals, it’s all about planning. In order to keep improving, learning how to plan a productive week is super important! This post is filled with tips for planning a productive week and helping you to tackle any goal you set.
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Set Aside Time for Planning
An important part of planning a productive week is setting aside time to do the actual planning. Typically Sunday afternoons and evenings for me are reserved for getting ready for the week ahead, so this is when I sit down and plan my week. I’m able to visualize any plans I have, any projects I want to tackle, and everything I need to get done both for my business as well as for my home.
For me, this is an important part of the process. If I don’t plan ahead I tend to get overwhelmed and burnt out, so setting aside some time each and every week just for planning always makes the week go more smoothly.
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Review the Previous Week
The first step to planning the week ahead is looking back at the previous week. I take a look at the tasks I had scheduled for myself that didn’t get done and reevaluate. Sometimes I realize it didn’t get done because it genuinely just wasn’t important to me. If that’s the case, I may just drop it. Otherwise, I reschedule it for the week ahead. Looking back at the previous week also helps me to see if I overscheduled myself, and I will try not to make the same mistake with the week ahead.
Have Weekly Routines
In addition to the time I set aside for planning on Sundays, there are other weekly routines I have each week to make my life easier. Because I work full-time and do a lot of blogging in the evenings, weekends are my ideal time to get other tasks done. This is when I’ll typically sit down and write a meal plan for myself, followed by grocery shopping. This is also when I do laundry and any deep cleaning that needs to get done.
I also have a weekly workout routine. I typically run about three days per week, almost always the same days. Having these routines and things I do the same way each week means that those small tasks take a lot less mental energy because they’re just second nature to me at this point.
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Identify Your Goals
When it comes to making a plan for your productive week, it’s important to set goals for yourself. What projects do you want to tackle? What improvements do you want to make? Work on regularly setting goals for yourself, identifying those goals, and making time for them on your calendar.
It would be easy to keep my blog at status quo. I could write my twice-weekly blog posts and share them on social media, but I wouldn’t see much growth. Goal-setting is what allows me to take on more projects that will allow me to keep growing.
Look at the Big Picture
When you start getting entrenched in the day to day tasks of whatever it is you’re working on, whether it be your full-time job, growing a side-hustle, or putting together a home. But when it comes to progress, long-term goals are important. The difficult thing with long-term goals is that it’s easy to set them and forget about them.
When I set a long-term goal, like launching my eBook or opening my Etsy shop, I like to immediately break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. And as I’m planning for my productive week ahead, I make sure to make time for those baby steps toward my big goals.
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Prep What You Can Ahead of Time
The more I can prep ahead of time for my week the better. This includes picking out my outfits for the week ahead of time. I take a look at the weather as well as my calendar for the week and figure out what I’m wearing each day, that way I can just throw it on in the morning.
I also prep lunches ahead of time. Some weeks this means buying ingredients and making 5 days worth of work lunches on the weekend. Other weeks it means buying something I can quickly grab on my way out the door. Some of my favorites are Healthy Choice® Power Bowls. They’re an easy on-the-go meal but still taste just as good as a homecooked meal.
I also stock up on coffee and smartwater at home and in my office so I’m not running out for a beverage when I should be working. Having my food and drinks planned for the week makes it so much easier to save time running out to grab lunch, and saves money because I’m not hitting restaurants and coffee shops all week.
Schedule Your Tasks
I find that I’m far more likely to complete a task if I’ve actually scheduled it for a specific day or time. Just making a list of tasks for the entire week can be overwhelming because you don’t know where to start. For my blogging work that needs to get done, I make a to-do list for each evening instead of one for the entire week so that when I sit down to work, it’s a lot easier to dive in because I know exactly where to start.
I used to keep just one long running to-do list that I would work on for blogging tasks. I almost never made any progress on the list because holy smokes was that overwhelming to look at. It was pages long and not remotely prioritized, so half the time the tasks I was getting done weren’t all that important at all.
Leave Buffer Time
If you fill your entire schedule with tasks and projects, I can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going to get everything done. New things pop up during the week, forcing us to push back other things on our calendar. Some tasks will end up taking longer than you anticipated, pushing other things back even further. And eventually, you’ll just get tired and will need to set aside some time for self-care and relaxation. If you haven’t planned buffer time and relaxation time into your weekly schedule, it’s time to revisit.
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