Do you struggle to plan your week ahead of time? When you’re thinking about how to plan for the week, you want to set time aside to make it easier on your workload.
Ever find yourself getting behind or losing track of your priorities? If you’re going to stay on top of your work, planning out your weekly schedule is key to long-term success.
UPDATED: MARCH 13, 2023
- Planning For The Week Ahead
- Set Aside A Half-Hour To Prepare For The New Week
- Check Out The Calendar And Fill In Gaps In Between
- Take Care Of The Small Immediate Tasks
- Set Weekly Goals To Reach Long-Term Goals
- Set Break Times
Planning for the week ahead
Whether you work in an office or at home, it’s great practice to plan for the week ahead. Knowing which times are better to do deep work is good to keep in mind.
For this reason, you know the best times you’re likely to stay focused. On the other hand, you can get an idea of when unexpected things might come up.
So it’s good to have that mental preparation in mind when things don’t always work out. If you’re working at home, distractions of any kind will be inevitable (Suitable for parents raising young children).
More so, that can lead to stress and loss of valuable time when unexpected things come up. It may apply more to working at home, but it can be in an office environment. For this post, I will go over some of the best tips to keep in mind when planning out your workweek.
Set aside a half-hour to prepare for the new week
At the beginning of each week, it’s a good idea to set aside time to plan it out. If your workweek starts on Monday, Sunday night would be a good time to do some planning.
Whether it’s 15 or 30 minutes, that time set aside can be well spent on planning out your week. Ideally, writing out your goals and priorities in less than a half-hour will work out fine.
When planning out your week, some things you can write out include:
- What are the 3-5 priorities I need to get done this week?
- What small tasks do I need to take care of immediately?
- Do I have any free time that I can fill in to do other jobs?
What I do for planning
I’ve gotten in the habit of planning out my week ahead regularly. When I glance at a new week, I’ll write down my top priorities and then set aside time on the days I can get them done.
Setting aside that time will make my week go much smoother. For me, priorities come first so that I can stay focused on my long-term goals.
If I don’t prioritize when planning, I’ll end up getting distracted and getting less done. So I do the best I can to have a clear picture of my week ahead.
Check out the calendar and fill in gaps in between
Though it’s not required, having a calendar on hand can help keep things organized and straightforward. If you hold a schedule, you can always check what you have going on two days from now.
It can be a physical calendar or a digital calendar you pull up on your smartphone. If there are gaps (free time) in your schedule, ask yourself what you can get done during those open time frames.
My best practice: Time-blocking technique
One of the most common practices I follow is the time-blocking technique. You divide up your daily and weekly activities into what I refer to as time chunks. Each block dedicates to a specific task that you plan on completing in an hour or two-hour period. I usually use Gmail/Google calendar to insert my time chunks.
The aim of time blocking is to set aside time to work on your most important tasks. In the last few months, I’ve found this technique extremely helpful when I need to stay focused.
Even people such as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, use time blocking to go about his work schedule. So it’s a common technique to practice and make the most of your time.
Take care of small immediate tasks
There always is an emphasis on placing priorities (and more significant tasks) first. I consider myself a firm believer in prioritizing my studies; however, you want to make sure you take care of the small jobs. As I mentioned earlier, if there are gaps you can fill in on your calendar, utilize that free time to get the little things out of the way.
What I do: How do I complete a task in its purest form?
Whenever I’m pressed on time (or trying to fill in those gap periods), I do my best to keep things as simple as possible.
So if it’s a small task such as creating a quick logo design or responding to an email, I can get that out of the way in a few minutes.
But if it requires a more extended response, I’ll set aside more time in my calendar to make sure I do an excellent job.
But most importantly, I keep the idea of simplicity in mind to make things not so difficult. When it comes to natural, small tasks, it’s always good practice to get them out of the way and keep them simple.
Set weekly goals to reach long-term goals
Achieving your long-term goals can take time and feels intimidating at first. The good thing is that whatever your long-term goals are (personal/professional), they’re achievable if you work on the smaller ones first.
So when planning out your week, set out weekly goals that you can quickly achieve. Not saying they should be easy, but attainable goals can help you reach your long-term goals.
Some examples of these goals may include the following:
These are some examples that can help differentiate between weekly and long-term goals. Once you take action on the weekly goals, it’ll get easier over time to work on your long-term goals. It’s something I keep on doing each week, so that way, it’ll be easier for me to achieve my own long-term goals.
Set break times
Of course, you can’t forget to take breaks when needed. Some people tend to work longer and not take breaks. It’s hard at times when you’re concentrated for so long.
Then all of a sudden, you went a few hours without taking a short break. It’s essential to give your mind a little rest and refresh before going into another work period.
A relevant article from notimekillers.com
Read next on “What Is Time Management In Business? 7 Top Takeaways“, to learn about the best takeaways to managing your time as an entrepreneur.
Planning out your week ahead can help you stay on track at work. The tips mentioned earlier can help a lot.
When it comes to time-blocking, that can help organize and make your day go by smoother. That, by far, is one of my favorite tips that I’ve been using to plan out my weeks.
Your Turn: What are you doing to plan out your weeks?
I would like to hear your thoughts and feedback. Are you effective at planning out your week? Which of the tips would you use to help do your weekly planning? What are you struggling with at the moment?
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’ll respond back promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.