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6 Steps to Planning Your Week

Okay, I admit it, I am guilty of not being the best or most consistent planner.  Boy it feels good to admit it.  Anyone else out there feel the same way?  Raise your hand if that describes you!!

Do you, like most people plan your week one day at a time?  Or even one hour at a time?  Or not at all?

Many people get to the office on Monday, track down a cup of coffee, and then try to figure out what all is going on.

Consider how things could work out better for you if you have a weekly plan for your life before you wake up on Monday morning. Hmmm.  That sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  And don’t just plan your work-related items, plan everything else too. Figure out what needs to be done and prioritize those items.

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I have a lot of huge learning curves in my career right now and must remain laser focused.  The only way I can assure that I am going to accomplish my goals is by calendaring everything.  I really resist living my life by a calendar, but I have to admit that I am much more productive when I do.  So, I have recorded time in my week for all of my training sessions, all of my personal coaching sessions (where I meet with a coach to improve my life and my results), my coaching sessions for clients (where they meet with me to improve their life and results), time to write this blog, my volunteer work, scripture study, exercise (still having trouble executing consistently on that one), and on particularly busy days, I have also scheduled time for meals (because I will honestly forget as I get focused on work).

Wow, that is a lot of scheduling isn’t it?  But, guess what.  It works.  When I know exactly what I have to do and where I can fit it all into my busy schedule, I accomplish much more of it.  Do I get everything done that is on my calendar every day?  No, not a chance.  But, I accomplish much more than I do when I am not calendaring.

I have found that for best results, it is important to avoid living life as it unfolds.  I believe you will find value in this as well.  By taking control, you’ll increase your confidence, stay ahead of your work, and actually find more free time to do whatever you like. Give it a try for a month and see if you enjoy the benefits.

Here are 6 steps to create a plan for the week:

  1. Have a weekly planning session. Sunday is the logical choice. You’ve decompressed from the previous week, but it’s still fresh in your mind. The workweek starts in just one day.  Another option is to do it on Friday at the end of the day.  Then your weekend is relaxed, work is not on your mind, and you have a plan on Monday morning.
  • Make a list of tasks for each area of your life. The areas might include work, personal items, and family. Your items will vary with your unique life.
  • An example: WORK
  • – complete marketing project with Fred
  • – interview applicants for advertising position
  • – contact packaging vendor to discuss shipping issues
  • – find contractor to repair windows in production area
  1. Assign priorities to all of the tasks. Assume that you can’t get it all done. Which items must be done and which can slide until the following week?
  • Assign one of three levels of priority to each task. You might use 1, 2, 3, or A, B, C, or Red, Yellow, Green.
  • Start with your number 1 priorities and complete all of them before moving on to the number 2 and 3 priorities.
  1. Schedule these tasks into your calendar. Begin this process no later than Sunday evening. You should know how you’re going to spend your Monday morning. Don’t wait until your alarm clock wakes you up.  If possible, schedule them Friday at the end of the day.
  • Avoid over-scheduling. Once you fall behind, it becomes impossible to catch up. Leave room for the inevitable emergencies and requests from the boss. Schedule 50% of your time and leave the rest available.
  • Using a planner will allow you to move all these obligations out of your head. Put them down on paper as soon as possible.  Once you get them on paper, your brain will stop working overtime to process them.  It frees you up to focus on other things.
  1. Get busy as soon as you can on Monday morning. If you can work ahead, great! Keep your plans fluid. What you’ve put in your planner is your best guess, but you have to start somewhere. Things will change as the week progresses.
  2. Review each evening. Spend just a few minutes at the end of each day making necessary adjustments. As tasks are completed, you’ll have the flexibility to move things around. Perfect your new plan of attack at the end of each workday. Make this a habit. You can do it before leaving the office or do it in the comfort of your living room. Just ensure it gets done.
  3. Have a weekly review. What did you do well, what were your ‘wins’ for the week?  What could have been better? How well did your weekly plan work? What improvements can you make to the process?  What are your challenges for the next week.
  • Reviewing your week and making adjustments is one of the most powerful ways to improve. Address your mistakes and recognize your successes.
  • Be accountable to someone for the success of your plan.  This could be a co-worker, a supervisor, a spouse, or a friend.  But find someone that will be supportive and encouraging while still ‘holding your feet to the fire’.  A coach can also serve this function and help you adjust your plans as you go.

If you are a business owner, may I suggest one more?  Create a poster or chart to put in front of you.  List all of your activities for the week on it.  Now, cross out all of the activities that are NOT income producing.  Is that an eye opener for you?  It probably is unless you have learned how to work ON your business and not IN your business.  If you would like to learn more about that you can sign up to get on our waiting list for our next workshop on this subject.

By planning and prioritizing, you can hit the ground running. You’re also assured of getting the most important things accomplished. Start next week by making a plan and following it religiously. Your life will change for the better.

Can you begin with at least one of these items this week?  Be sure to let me know how it goes.  Which area did you start with?  How did it go?  With what do you need more assistance?  Recognize that if you are having issues in an area, there may be others also struggling with it.  Asking your questions and starting a discussion about it can help bring greater clarity to not only yourself but others.  So, what are your questions????

It has been great visiting with you again.  I know your time is precious so I appreciate every moment you spend with me.  I am here to serve you.

Have an awesome day!

Regina Bergman

Comments

  1. Regina, this is so good! It might have been your last point but the weekly review may be the most important one for me. Those reviews help me figure out if I didn’t do a great job of prioritizing or if I got distracted by things that felt urgent but weren’t really important. If I try to plan each day, it never gets done. I’m still trying to plan when it’s bed time! LOL
    Have a great week!

    • Hi Allegra. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Planning and organizing are my 2 weakest points. I am blessed to have others in my life that are better at it, as well as to have tools to assist.

      Thanks again
      Regina
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