This post is all about how to plan your week to be productive that won’t take 3 hrs.
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Creating a weekly plan is important if you don’t want to end up putting out fires all week. And sometimes making daily to-do lists isn’t enough.
Because when you sit down to plan your day every morning with your daily to-dos, your brain always wants to do the easy, unimportant tasks first. Because our brains are inherently lazy! (Yep, it’s not you. lol) This way, you always end up procrastinating the important stuff until the last minute.
That’s why I prefer weekly planning. You create a simple plan on a Sunday, and then you don’t need to spend any mental energy during the week. All you gotta do is stick to the calendar.
Here’s the exact weekly planning method I use on how to plan your week to stay productive. If you’re a procrastinator like me, this method is IT for you! Download the free weekly planning checklist here.
I go in depth about this weekly planning method inside Take Your Weekends Back.
10 Steps On How To Plan Your Week to Be Productive
Here’s exactly how to plan your week to be productive. Remember, there’s no one size fit all. I love scheduling my days and it works for me. But feel free to try this method and improvise as you go.
Step 1. brain dump everything
Having a mental note of all the tasks is not enough! It feels way too overwhelming, and you always end up forgetting the important stuff.
Pick up a journal or a notepad, and write down everything that’s on your mind. EVERYTHING. Even the little things like booking an appointment, or ordering toothpaste.
And be specific about each task. Write down “Check 20 emails” instead of “Clear your inbox”.
Step 2. priorities & would-be-nice
Not everything on your to-do list needs to get done! I know, contrary for a productivity post, but you don’t often realize the power of priorities. Divide all the tasks into 2 categories.
Must get done – Your deadlines and things that are getting you closer to your end goal.
Would be nice – Things that won’t really make a huge impact, but it would be nice if you get it done.
Only focus on your “must get done” tasks for now, and after completing that, everything else you get done is a cherry on top.
Step 3. time block everything
This is the simplest method I’ve found to plan my days and make sure everything gets done. Pick a time block planner and start scheduling your tasks.
We’re not the best at estimating time, so give yourself some grace. Make sure you’re being practical. Planning to finish a 3 hour lecture in 1 hour will only set you up for failure.
I love to schedule my days to the minute; it gives me a very clear idea of what I need to be doing at any give point throughout the week. But this might feel restrictive to some people, so you do you!
Step 4. move to google calendars
I really believe in the saying – if it’s not on the calendar, it’ll never get done!
Ofc, there are a lot of scheduling apps out there, but I lovee google calendars – it’s simple, free, and keeps things organized. You can also add meeting links and reminders to your tasks.
You can also categorize your tasks by color coding or add multiple calendars! So, if you’re working on multiple projects at a time, you can easily switch things up.
Step 5. eat the frog before wed
Schedule the “must get done” tasks at the start of the week. Because your energy levels drop as the week progresses. I mean, I literally can’t function properly after Wednesday.
Determine when you are most productive during the day/week and then plan your tasks accordingly. If your productivity spikes in the morning, schedule your priorities at that time.
Step 6. keep it flexible
The most common mistake that people make when scheduling their weeks is, that they don’t keep it flexible. Here’s the thing, no matter how much you plan, life’s gonna happen.
Something urgent might come up on Wednesday morning, or you might not finish your Monday tasks on time. And that’s OKAY.
I usually schedule 2 hour buffer time on Friday, to finish my extra tasks. So, just find a way to keep your plans flexible.
Also, be more intentional about your down time while planning your weeks. Create a list of things that help you relax and motivate you to be productive. I call it my good vibes list!
And schedule some time in your day – even if it’s just 30 minutes – to have your “guilt free” me-time.
Related Post : 11 Ways To Practice Self Care For Busy Women
Step 7. Tell Yourself why this is a great plan
Here’s the thing – there’s going to be a time during the week, when all you’d want to do is ditch the plan, sit on the couch, and binge watch “Modern Family“.
But we all know how productive this is! So, have a backup plan for those low moments, cuz they’re gonna come.
I learned this from my coach, Faith Mariah – make a list of all the reason why you think your weekly plan is freaking awesome. Maybe it allows you to finish everything on the list without having to cancel your weekend plans. Or maybe it makes you feel less anxious.
Productivity is more about mindset than it is about your to-do lists. So, the next time you feel bummed or lazy, just pick out that list of reasons why you need to keep going.
Step 8. Follow the plan
This is the most important step in weekly planning checklist – that most people miss. TAKING ACTION. Now that you’ve created a weekly plan, and established that it is awesome, all you need to do is FOLLOW the plan.
Don’t wake up every day negotiating tasks or putting them off for later. Everything that’s on the calendar needs to get done at the exact same time, until something urgent comes.
Your brain loves to indulge in drama (at least, mine does!), and that’s what this plan is going to help you avoid.
Side note – this plan is supposed to help you avoid the drama. Don’t use it against yourself to feel guilty about not finishing a task on time.
step 9. Don’t work outside of these hours
When you don’t have deadlines, your tasks often end up taking twice as long to complete. This only makes you slow and inefficient.
A better way to get things done faster is by having strict deadlines in your daily life. For eg: If you have an email scheduled from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. You need to hit send at 6, come what may!
This way, you may not end up writing the best email, but you’ll learn to focus a 100% while working and complete tasks in less time.
In fact, give yourself only 1 hr for this weekly planning checklist too. Spending an entire Sunday evening to plan your week won’t make you any more productive.
step 10. Debrief
This is how you find a plan that works FOR YOU, not just for some one on the internet. Every week, sit down to evaluate your last week – what helped you stay productive & how can you improve next week.
If you keep on following the same plan every week without evaluating the past, you’re not allowing any room for improvement.
But this only works if you actually follow through with the plan, don’t leave it in the middle. You can use the simple debrief sheets inside the 2023 planner.
I talk about this weekly planning checklist method in depth inside take your weekends back. It has everything from planning, to managing your mindset, and of course, taking your weekends off.
This post is all about how to plan your week to be productive.