If you’ve ever done this, you know winging your work days is NOT a recipe for productivity or long-term success.
In this article, you will learn a straightforward method to plan your work week ahead so you can get more done, and progress toward your goals. You’ll also get a few tips on how to keep your energy levels high and have a bit of fun along the way!
How to Plan Your Work Week
Each Sunday, I like to think through all of the things that need to be done for the week and plan them on my calendars. It may be people I need to follow up with or maybe it’s a client project that needs special attention. There’s no one size fits all strategy for planning your week ahead. I personally like to use three calendars: digital, paper and a dry-erase board.
Now, on the digital calendar, you can time block your days in 30-minute to 1-hour increments. Color coding your daily business growth activities, sales calls and appointments, and deliverables will help you to easily visualize the tasks for the day.
Next, on the paper calendar, you might add the little to-do’s that only take five or 10 minutes. These are items that might come up during the day, or throughout the week, that you might need to remind yourself to do.
Then, on the whiteboard calendar, you can plan bigger goals and then break them down into small activities. This helps to ensure that the activities you do during the month will lead you closer to your goals. Finally, the tasks on the whiteboard can be added to your digital calendar each week as they need to be accomplished.
You can structure your daily time blocks in any way that you’d like, though it does help to maintain some consistency so you develop habits that help you to stay on target. Here is how I handle my morning, noon, and afternoon time blocks.
Morning Time Block
My mornings are reserved for daily business growth activities. I spend anywhere from 2 to 3 hours on these items to help grow my audience, create content and generate leads. If you want to know more, watch my previous video where I share three daily business growth activities and how to implement them into your schedule.
Noon Time Block
As a business owner, if you’re not healthy, energized, mentally clear and emotionally balanced, progressing in your business is going to be really hard. That’s why, during the work week, I make it a priority to take care of myself as well. In the afternoons, I block time for a workout, to have an uninterrupted lunch, and to take a short walk after my meal. This helps to restore my energy levels and get me ready to focus for the next half of the day.
Afternoon Time Block
I consider the second half of my day to be the time between 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. These hours are devoted to handling client deliverables and having sales calls. I like to break up my projects on a day-to-day basis and devote 1 to 2 hours per day until the project is complete. Sales calls get blocked on the calendar for 45 minutes. I also add a 30-minute “Flex Time” block onto the calendar before and after sales calls in case I need extra time to prepare of finish a conversation. This allows me to be flexible with my day when the unexpected happens.
Time for Fun
As business owners, we always have a lot to juggle. It’s easy to put your head down and just grind away for hours on end. However, I’ve found that if I make time for a bit of fun during the week, I’m more likely to stay on task and keep my energy levels up.
Give yourself a break on occasion. Yes! Even during the workweek. Make time to develop connections with people and to have fun. You might meet up with a friend or a business colleague on a Friday for coffee, lunch or happy hour. It will give you something to look forward to. Even just going to work at a really cool little coffee shop is a nice reprieve. These pockets of fun and refreshment could be just what you need to reset yourself so that when you get back to your daily to-do’s you’re more productive, creative and focused.
What do you think about this weekly planning strategy? Will you use a digital calendar, a paper calendar, or a whiteboard? Maybe you will use all three! And, how will you structure your morning, noon and afternoon time blocks? Make time one day this week to plan your perfect work week and you will see a huge difference in productivity.