The Secret to a Productive, Planned and Successful Working Week
Being a mumpreneur, my working week shoots like a rocket. Buried under project deadlines, emails, and business management tasks, I am hardly able to take time out for organization, personal development, and strategy.
This is the reason why my Sunday routine is an essential contributor to help me set my weekly direction for success. Sunday is the day to reflect on past achievements and losses, hit the restart button, set a new direction for the upcoming week. While I practice this routine on Sundays, you can apply this on any day that works best for you and complete the steps in an order that suits your personal schedule! Identify deadlines and what needs to be done!
Create your Weekly To-Do List
I start by categorizing my work and creating a list of projects that I have to work on in the upcoming week. Then I visualise and list all the tasks that I need to accomplish relating to each project. If there are any meetings and appointments, I add them to this list. Knowing the deadlines for the upcoming week and what projects I need to work on helps me get in the right mindset and create a viable weekly work plan.
No matter if you are a business owner or a professional working for an employer, create a list of everything you need to do in the upcoming week. Even if it is laundry, shopping, or office cleaning, add them to the list.
List all these tasks in your daily planner, or if you use a planning tool, enter them in so that you can remember them.
I use Asana to organize myself.
I create a new section of every project that I am managing and then add tasks to each project.
My work list comprises of all the projects that I am managing and a break up comprising of all the tasks that I need to do to complete the project.
I add notes to each task, for example, notes about any communication with the client regarding that task. I also attach files and documents that I need to look at to the task-card. This saves a lot of my time as I do not have to search for files, emails, and documents each time I need to do something. All the relevant information, checklists, instructions, files and documents are in one place and helps me accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively.
To get organized using Asana, go to the homepage and select ‘New Project.’
Select ‘Meeting Agenda – List Layout’ template.
Select ‘Use template.’
Rename this project, for example, ‘My weekly schedule.’
Categorize your work, give each project a name, and assign it to each section. Add all the tasks under each project name to complete your to-do list and customize the template.
Voilaa!! You are done. You just created your initial work to-do list!!! Now head on to the next step.
Reflect back to identify what worked and what didn't
Before you set goals for the upcoming week, I advise you to reflect back and see what worked and what didn't in the past working week. What you did well and where you can improve.
I always make a note of lessons, tips, and tricks that I learned.
I believe this step is crucial as it makes sure you are not repeating the same mistakes and are applying the lessons you learned and improvising every week.
Ask the following questions when reflecting:
Did I successfully achieve my weekly goals?
Is there any goal that I couldn’t achieve? What are the possible reasons?
What went right?
What went wrong?
What could be done in a better way?
What more could be done?
How can I improve?
What did I learn?
Now you know what needs to be done in the upcoming week. You have reflected on your past week and identified what worked and what didn't in the past week.
The next step is to find out what you WANT to achieve in the upcoming week.
It is the time to set your weekly goals.
There is a difference between something that needs to be done and something that you want to do. Your to-do list in step 1 made you aware of what needs to be done. Your weekly goals will make you aware of what you want to achieve. Setting weekly goals helps you to deviate from the monotonous working week and have a more successful, productive, and accomplishing week. I believe without goals, it is like steering a ship without a compass. You are more likely to only focus on the tasks that needs to be done, get your satisfaction by ticking tasks off your to-do list and are not able to take the time out for the things you want to achieve for yourself and your business. My advice is to set your weekly goals in line with your monthly or yearly goals. For example, if your monthly goal is to create a new sales plan for your business then you have got to break this goal down into a weekly action plan:
Week 1: Research industry and conduct a competitor analysis Week 2: Design an irresistible service plan Week 3: Finalise pricing and payment plans Week 4: Update the website and publish new plans on social media
Once you have determined your goals, outline different steps that you need to take to accomplish the weekly goals and add them to your planner and to-do list that you created in step 1. Now your to-do list includes not only the tasks that needs to be done and but also some steps and actions that you want to take to develop your business and achieve your yearly and monthly goals. I always set a recurring reminder to ensure that I move a step closer to my monthly goal as each week passes by. For example, one of my quarterly goals is to revise my marketing strategy. I have set a recurring reminder for every Sunday morning to spend 2 hours each week researching the industry and working on my marketing strategy.
Set your weekly planner and schedule
Now you have all the tasks and actions for the upcoming week. It is time to schedule and prepare your weekly planner. Plan how much time you will be spending on each task, what days you will be working on those tasks, and set deadlines for yourself.
Use planning tools such as Trello, Asana, or Google Calendar to create your weekly schedules. Utilise these tools to set reminders and recurring events to automate your planning process.
For example, 99% projects that I am working on are on-going. Many tasks need to be done every week. I have set recurring events for such tasks. This means I have automated my schedule planning and do not need to add these tasks to my to-do list and planner every week. This saves my good time as I only add new tasks and projects to my working planner. The rest is already planned and scheduled for me. Amazing! Isn’t it?
Save time. As that is the number one and the most valuable resource!!!
To set your schedule using Asana, select the task that you want to schedule and then assign a due date to set deadlines for yourself.
Use the option ‘set to repeat’ if this is something recurring on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. This will make your life easy. Trust me!
Do not forget to make time for yourself and celebrate your wins every Sunday. Practice self-care, give yourself much needed care and attention, if you want to be productive throughout the week.
For more tips on how you can practice self-care at home, read my blog: https://www.winowinconsulting.com/post/self-care-at-home