We've all been there: it's Sunday evening, and the week ahead is giving you pure anxiety because of everything coming up that you know MUST get done... but how?
Instead of making a plan, you dread the next morning and try not to think about it; tomorrow will come when it comes.
But here's the thing: you can totally flip that script and go into your week with a solid plan and strategy to get ALL the things done (and done well!) so you feel incredible at the end of the week for all you've accomplished. It just takes a little planning and prioritizing to get there.
Below is my four-step plan for having the most productive week ever!
01: What's your motivation?
When you have a LOT ahead of you for the week, it's helpful to have a driving force behind why those things are so important. I've talked a lot about finding your why and using that as a daily motivational tool, but sometimes I've found that it helps to identify a different, more short term "why" to help you power through full weeks.
Are you working hard so you can enjoy the weekend work-free with your family? Are you working towards a BIG launch that requires you to be hyper productive this week? Write it down and keep it posted at your desk or computer as a simple reminder throughout the week.
02: Get a bird's eye view.
Now, let's take a step back (or, up) to get a bird's eye view of the week ahead. Open your calendar or planner, and do a couple things here: (1) review all of the meetings, appointments, and events you have that week; (2) make a master list of ALL the things you need to accomplish that week.
Notice I used the word "need." If you fill your week with the most important things first and want to pad your days with a few "wants" (that Target run, etc), you may have that flexibility to do once the priorities are identified.
03: Create a "best day" routine.
Next, you're going to take all of that information (tasks, to do's, appointments, etc) and fill it into your week, day by day, to create a "best day" routine.
This is where I LOVE using my Refresh Weekly Planner; the weekly layout is designed to house both your appointments and to do's for each day of the week, as well as giving you a space to identify what main things you're focusing on that week. (And let's not forget the helpful little "gratitude" section to help you find peace with your week!)
Want to try out this weekly spread for yourself? Click here to download a printable, undated version, and give it a whirl! I think you'll love just how much this layout packs a punch on a single page.
Whichever planning system you love most, having space to identify both your timely commitments and your tasks for the day is crucial for having your most productive week. When your entire plan for the week is housed in one location, you feel less scattered and more on top of things because you know exactly where to go to get a full picture of your day and week at any given moment.
When creating your "best day" routine, fill in each day with your time commitments first, and then go back to fill in your priority tasks throughout the week; don't put pressure on yourself to accomplish more a couple of big tasks in one day. In fact, three is a great number to shoot for when it comes to priority tasking.
When should you tackle your priority tasks? While everyone feels motivated and energized at different times throughout the day, I want to challenge you to stay making movement on your priorities first thing in the morning. Wake up, make a hot cup of coffee, and dive into your day.
These precious morning hours should be dedicated to YOU and your work, rather than spent answering to others on email or elsewhere. I promise, you can get a LOT more completed before noon than you may realize.
Finally, remember that "want" list? Add a single "love to do" item or two to each day as a reward for getting all of the big things done! These items are there just in case you have the leftover time and energy and want to treat yourself for a seriously productive day.
04: Check yo'self!
Check in with yourself every day, throughout each day. Cross items off your list as you go, and if you didn't get EVERYthing completed that day, don't beat yourself up. Intentional, planned progress is what we're after here.
Don't be afraid to readjust your week as you go; this is not a set-in-stone weekly plan, it's a guideline for helping you create your most productive week and see things through from beginning to end.