To get where you want to go, you have to plan the journey. Many business people engage in yearly or even monthly planning, but what about weekly planning? If you want to work more effectively, get more done and spend more time with the family then you need to plan each day of your week. Monday's are tricky days; they tend to set the tone for the rest of the week, so start them well and the rest of the week generally seems to continue in the same vein. Start them badly and the doom and gloom can often hang around until Friday. So a positive start is what we all need. If you want the week to get off to a flying start, you need to work smarter and you need to have a plan.
One day at a time
By the time Monday morning arrives you want to hit the ground running. Before you leave the office on Friday plan what you want to achieve in the next week. How you do it doesn’t matter, just make a list in order of priority and have it ready and waiting for you on Monday morning.
Before you leave the office on Monday, consult and update your activity list. Now you have your task list for Tuesday morning. Repeat this every day and your week will be more focused and productive. By Friday you will be able to look back at what you planned to do, see what you achieved and will have a clear picture of what you need to do the next week.
Check your calendar and plan around meetings
When considering what your weekly plan will look like, open your outlook calendar, diary or wherever you book your appointments. Add these appointments to your list of tasks for the next week. Also make sure to add in regular weekly or monthly team meetings, sales meetings, etc. You should aim to fill the gaps between the meetings with your other tasks. Make sure to leave some gaps for ad hoc meetings, phone calls and admin time.
You will struggle to be productive if you don’t give yourself breaks during your working day. Make time for lunch, even if it is only 20 minutes. Get away from your desk and if possible get some fresh air. Also make sure you have a few minutes in the morning and afternoon for a refreshment break. Building your breaks into your daily and weekly plan will ensure that they actually happen. There is always time for lunch – even if it means combining it with a meeting!