How to Plan a Productive Week
I just finished planning my week ahead, choosing my Top Ten for the week, blocking out the week accordingly, and getting underway with my top priority of today: this blog post. And, as I sit down to write this post it occurs to me that it may be of interest to you to outline each of those steps that I just went through. So here then is How to Plan a Productive Week:
A Well-structured Productive Week is Balanced
A well-structured productive week is balanced. It includes items in a number of the seven Life Areas (physical, financial, professional, relational, spiritual, personal, and philanthropical). A few tools from my resource page will be helpful. If you haven’t filled these out already, take the time to do so now; you will save a lot of time in the long run:
Personal Strategic Plan – use this to outline your top priority goals for the year ahead. Once this is filled out, you can refer to it on a quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis to plan your time. In this case, refer to it for your weekly planning.
Master Calendar – this gives you the year at-a-glance. Calendar holidays, vacations, family events, business events, recreational activities, and yes, even your monthly and quarterly reviews.
Ideal Week – this time blocking tool allows you to allocate your time on a weekly basis according to Theme of the Day, ie: work, social, recreational, etc. You fill this out ahead of time (once or twice a year) to use as a guidance document throughout the year.
With these three tools in hand it makes for planning a productive week quite easy. Now, transpose your Master Calendar and Ideal Week items to your calendar, pick the Top Ten priorities of the week to accomplish (hopefully moving forward your goals from your Personal Strategic Plan) and…viola! you’re ready to roll into your productive week. Each day should hold at least one “Most Important Task of the Day” with two or three secondary tasks to turn your attention to should you accomplish the most important one.
For my Executive Coaching clients out there, here’s an added tidbit to assist you in planning your workweek:
Of your assumed 40-50 hour workweek plan:
2 hours for Planning and Strategizing your business (time spent ON your business, not IN your business);
25 hours for Core Competency Production of your primary responsibility;
5 hours Skill Building or Personal Development;
2 hours for Colleague Interaction (non-team collaboration, just plain ol’ camaraderie);
5 hours of Visibility to your shareholders, investors, bankers, and other stakeholders (don’t be the proverbial tree falling in the forest making huge impressions but nobody knows); and
6 hours of Margin, everything…EVERYTHING…always takes longer than expected!
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