How many times have you filled out your planner, and never looked at it again? Or what about the multiple pretty planners you buy but rarely use? We’re all guilty of that one, but guess what? I’ve created a sure method to improve your productivity without using a planner at all. Sounds crazy? Keep reading.
So, I was always the girl who bought a new planner every single year to start the new year. Sometimes I would buy TWO planners, or maybe 3 if I came across a prettier one within the year, but guess what? I NEVER completed them. Two years ago, I randomly decided not to buy a planner. I was tired of searching for the perfect one, and I was tired of not using them efficiently. I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity, so this particular year I came up with my own method to plan my weeks. It has worked so well, I just have to share!
So let’s get into it!
The 4 Steps to Planning a Productive Week:
Step 1: Ditch your planner.
If you have a planner you love, I guess you can use it, but if you’re currently winging it and rarely using your planner, ditch it.
Step 2: Write down 3 personal goals & 3 work goals that you want to complete this week.
The problem with most of our to do lists is we have way too many things on them. I’ve found writing 3 important things for work & myself keeps me more focused and pushes me closer to my goals than worrying about a lot of small insignificant tasks that just take up time.
Step 3: On a blank sheet of paper, draw a chart for the week & write Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday in each column. (You can go through the weekend if you want)
In this chart, schedule tasks throughout the week that will help you reach your goal by the end of the week. Go through each goal that you wrote down, and make sure that each task you scheduled leads you to a completed goal.
This is also where I schedule what we will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner each week. I’ve learned that planning this out ahead of time cuts down on a lot of unnecessary “what are we going to eat” thoughts, which if you’re anything like me, this is A LOT of time.
Step 4: Add EVERYTHING to your calendar app. I use Google Calendar, but you can use whatever calendar app you’re most comfortable with.
The key here is to make sure you are scheduling time to complete every single task. For example, I schedule prayer & journal time from 8:00-9:00am. I read my daily newsletter and check emails from 9:00-9:30. I schedule time to study from 9:30-11:00. I work from 11:00-2:00. Workout at 2:00. I usually schedule an activity with the kids in the afternoon & then I make sure I schedule time to recap the day & prep for the next day around 9:00pm. (This is my quarantine schedule) I also schedule my kids’ zoom meetings and anything else that I need to do throughout the week too.
And that’s it! I promise you if you can get in the swing of doing this weekly, you will see your productivity increase. You may not stick to your schedule the first week or so, but keep trying. Put the effort in each week. It won’t be easy and it will take time. Planning the week will seem like such a task, but the more you do it, the easier it will become and you’ll be knocking goals out in no time!
If you give it a try, please let me know!