Do you have a cloud hanging over your brain, feel overwhelmed with tasks you need to start or complete?
Do you feel stressed at the idea of all those tasks you know you need to do but won’t have time to do it all?
I’m here to let you know that Planning your week gives you time and space to figure out how you’re going to fit everything in. It doesn’t have to be daunting.
Planning helps to keep you focussed and gives you a sense of achievement.
In this post, I’m sharing some steps that will help you plan your week in a more productive and efficient way!
Why Do You Need a Plan
Have You heard that saying ‘If you fail to plan, then you Plan to fail…’
If we don’t put a plan in place, how are you know that you’ve achieved your plan, or arrived at your destination?
Planning is important, because it helps to keep you focused and on track. It also gives a sense of accomplishment when you get tasks done.
You can never fail in planning. So take time on a Sunday to plan your weekly schedule.
If you don’t have a plan you may find yourself just going through the week blindly not achieving much and still having things to do.
When something is written down, your brain also tends to remember it better, and throughout the day you may receive prompts mentally and task need to be done.
Now choose the method how you wish to record your week, this could be online using your phones diary, or it could be off-line using a paper diary. Totally down to you which ever way you work best.
There are so manhy planners and diaries out there at the moment so I would suggest you try to use the best one to suit you. It took me a number of years to find the planner to suite me.
You have to look at what you are using your planner for, then when you have found one, does it meet your needs. Can you see yourself using it religiously? Is it easy to use, quick to use? WIll it get you to where you want to be at the end of the day, week, month, year?
Have a regular daily planning session. – I find the best time to do this is the night before, to plan the following day
Have a regular weekly planning session, you can do this on a weekend to look at the week ahead.
Use the monthly section. This is great for goal setting and looking back at whether you achieved your goals for the month
Use a single planner for everything. I tried using more than one planner at a time, it doesn’t work. Not only can it get complicated but you can miss things
Make your steps concrete.
Check your planner a lot.
Choose a small passport or regular sized planner.
Don’t stress about filling it up.
Here’s a discount link to the Freedom Planner that I Found really useful for planning and achieving my goals.
Discount to Freedom Planner
Time Management Techniques to Planning
- Establish a clear goal each day to ensure you keep focus on your tasks
- Break down your goals into bite sized chunks.
- Do the hardest thing, the thing you most hate to do first. In Brian Traceys Book, Eat That Frog, he recommends doing this, as you will feel a great sense of accomplishment
- Say ‘No’ and delegate
- Put together a ‘Get It Done List’
- Pre plan the night before
- Review your Day and put down must to tasks for the next day to be started at the beginning of the day.
- Have a brain dump list, of tasks that are not that important, but will distract you, if you do them first. You can look at your dump list when you have a break, or over a cup of coffee. These are the tasks that are small and can be done quickly.
Tools that can help with Time Management
About the Tool
Action Priority Matrices* (see figure 1, below) show you how to prioritize
activities to make the most of your time, energy, and talents.
This is useful, because we rarely have time to complete all of the tasks and projects on our wish lists. When we use the matrix to choose activities intelligently, we can spend more of our time on the high-value activities that keep us moving forwards.
We can also drop tasks that contribute little.
To use the matrix, you score tasks based firstly on their impact and secondly on the effort needed to complete them.
You then use your scores to plot these activities in one of four quadrants:
Quick Wins (High Impact, Low Effort)
are the most attractive projects, because they give you a good return for relatively little effort. Focus on these as much as you can.
Major Projects (High Impact, High Effort)
Major projects give good returns, but they are time-consuming. This means that one major project can “crowd out” many quick wins.
Fill Ins (Low Impact, Low Effort)
Don’t worry too much about doing these activities – if you have spare time, do them, but drop them or delegate
them if something better comes along.
Thankless Tasks (Low Impact, High Effort)
Try to avoid these activities. Not only do they give little return, they also soak up time that you should be using on quick wins.
Once you understand the principles behind the Action Priority Matrix, you’ll probably find that you apply it quickly and intuitively to new tasks and projects.
How to Use the Tool
To use the Action Priority Matrix, download our worksheet and then follow these steps:
List the major activities that you want to or need to complete.
Score these on impact (from, say, 0 for no impact to 10 for maximum impact), and on effort involved (from, say, 0 for no real effort to 10 for a major effort).
Plot the activities on the Action Priority Matrix, based on your scores.
Prioritize appropriately, and delegate
or eliminate low-impact activities.
Use common sense to interpret the lines that separate the four quadrants. After all, there’s only a small difference between a 4.9-impact activity defined as a “thankless task” and a 5.1-impact task defined as a “major project.” Courtesy: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_95.htm