How to prepare for a productive week

Here's a little process I run through every Monday morning to help me plan the week ahead.

How to prepare for a productive week

How to Prepare for a

Productive Week


How to prepare for a productive week

Each Monday morning I go through a set of steps to help me get super organised and ready for a productive week ahead. 

In this article, I'm going to go through the actual steps I take to inspire you to create your own Monday morning productivity routine. Don't worry if you don't work on a Monday or the first day of your working week falls on a different day. That's fine, just go through the process on whichever day works best for you. 

Remember, productivity is personal, and it's important that you decide what you need to do. 


Productivity is Personal
— Sarah Cornforth

Step 1  - Review Your Availability for the Week Ahead

For me, this involves checking my calendar to see what meetings and appointments I have. I also make sure I am fully aware of any time during the week I am unavailable to work. 

To keep track of my availability, I keep all of my appointments and meetings in my Google Calendar. And each Monday morning, I open this up and I log my commitments into my paper planner. 

I'm currently using a Bullet Journal for this, however, before that, I used my Happy Planner, however any paper planner, diary or Filofax style solution of choice will work. 

Why do I duplicate this information if it's already in my Google Calendar? 

It helps me review my commitments, and I find that planning on paper is always more effective for me. As I said, productivity is personal, and this is the system that works for me. Don't be afraid to try different things, and find the perfect solution for you. 


Step 2 - Review Your Deadlines for the Week Ahead

Anything that has a deadline is a priority, which is why I review these tasks before I move onto other tasks in the week. 

For me, my business has 3 parts, and I review my deadlines and commitments for each of these in turn and add each deadline to my planner. 

The 3 parts to my business are:

    1. Service clients
    2. Programme and club membership subscribers
    3. My business admin and growth and development

The thing you need to watch out for here is not to allocate deadlines which aren’t really deadlines. 

What do I mean by this?

Well, a deadline is a date/time when something MUST be completed usually because a commitment has been made by you to complete it by a certain date and time. 

For example, I might have a deadline to complete a piece of client work by a specific date. Or to provide a new module for my productivity club subscribers. I may even have a deadline to my audience to release my newsletters at the same time each week. 

A deadline isn't something which is unrealistic and self-imposed. 

What I mean by this, is that you might decide that you would like to finish your business website by Wednesday of this week for example. Yes, this may be the ideal situation, but in reality it's not possible as you don't have enough hours available between now and then to complete the work that needs to be done. 

What happens in this situation is that the self-imposed deadline passes without the work being completed and you feel behind and unproductive. However, if you had set a realistic deadline of Wednesday the following week, everything would be completed on time and you would feel super productive of your achievement. 


Step 3 - Review Your Regular Daily and Weekly Tasks

This is something I keep separate to my other deadlines because I complete them either daily or weekly and can therefore be part of my daily or weekly routine. 

Knowing what you need to do each day as standard and how long it takes to complete will help you to plan your day with greater efficiency. 

For example, if I know that each day I need to do the following:

    • Post and engage on social media
    • Process my emails
    • Engage with my club members
    • Check on my clients 

I could say that I need an hour each day to cover these tasks. 

If I work a standard 7 hour day, then I know I have 6 hours left to play with to schedule my work. 

I then take off any time for meetings, appointments or when I am unavailable. So for example, let's say on Monday I have a one hour Skype call, I now know I have 5 hours remaining to schedule my work. I would then schedule my tasks by deadline and priority until the 5 hours were full, and anything else would then be scheduled for the next day or later in the week. 

Doing things this way, allows you to be realistic with your time. You're also working from a to-do list which you're more than capable of completing. If you spend each day working through the tasks on your master to-do list you will never get the satisfaction of reaching the end. This is why I always recommend only concentrating on the tasks you need to complete on the day ahead of you. This doesn't mean you can't plan things into the rest of the week. In fact far from it. Planning ahead is great, as it allows you to allocate space and time for that task to be completed. This is a super-efficient and very productive way of working, and a fab habit to get into. 


Step 4 - Get started

Working through these steps means you now know:

    1. Your availability
    2. Your deadlines
    3. And what needs to be regularly each day or each week

This is everything you need to know to get started and have a super productive week. 

So grab a cuppa, remove all distractions and get started on your first task.


Have a super productive day!

Sarah ❤


Question:

How did you get on with planning your week ahead? 

Let me know how you get on today. Pop over to my Facebook page and leave a comment on this post

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Recommended Planning and Task Management Resources

If you don't know where to start with your planning here are some resources for you. 

To Do List and Task Management Apps:

Calendar Apps:

Paper Planners, Diaries and Filofax Resources


How to prepare for a productive week