If you want to be more productive, so you can live more, earn more money and do more of the things you actually want in life, you’ve got to learn how to plan a productive week ahead. You can do it within 30 minutes on Sunday afternoon with these easy productivity tips that actually work. You can use a printable weekly planner or create a weekly planner in your bullet journal for this. You don’t need to be an artist for this simple productivity system. These tips helped me achieve more during the last year than the previous 3 years combined, so maybe they can help you as well.
How To Plan A Productive Week In 30 minutes
The most important thing about planning a productive week: Keep it simple. Kinda do a Marie Kondo with your to do list.
Step 1: set goals
Ideally, you already have some big goals for the year planned and have broken them down into smaller quarterly and monthly goals. If you don’t it’s time to do it now.
Why? Because having these milestones is the surest way to actually move forward and get to that goal sooner. Milestones are motivating and they create the urgency we need to stop procrastinating, stop only dreaming, get focused and start doing.
So I personally have quarterly goals and then I set individual goals every week. And this helps me so much with identifying the steps I need to take every single day to make progress toward these smaller and bigger goals over time.
Step 2: Brain dump.
After you have your goals, do a brain dump of all the tasks that are cluttering your mind. Don’t hold back, just write. I would sometimes write down ideas I had for a few days, things I feel like I have to right now and just random things that pop out of nowhere. If I don’t let them out I know, I will get overwhelmed and will be very very busy, but unproductive. So do a brain dump to let it all out.
Step 3: Prioritize
Once you have that brain dump go away and so something else for a little while.
Then come back refreshed and look at that brain dump. It’s time to identify which tasks actually help you move toward your goals.
Experts say we should only focus on 3-5 things/day to actually achieve them. Make these things worth it!
Focus on ROI, the return of investment. If you invest time into doing something, make sure it will yield you results. Remember that being productive isn’t just about doing doing doing, it’s about producing and producing results. Whenever you start doing something always ask yourself: what is the outcome I want? Will this bring me the result I want and closer to my goal?
I also like to go with the things that I find fun to do. That’s the ideal combination to me: tasks I feel like I want to do and would also bring me forward.
Do The Math
If you work five days a week, that would mean you have 15-25 important things that you can do a week. Regarding blogging these tasks could include write blog posts, create graphics for social media and do SEO research.
Step 4: Create Categories
Now that you know which tasks you need to prioritize right now and which ones you can do later, it’s time to put them in categories. I actually try to create goals that are in different categories as well. This helps me to basically not get obsessed with working and to also make time for myself and the people I love. This is a great way to make progress in different categories in life too, not just in your career.
So for example, for the month I might have the goals to start earning $100 from affiliate marketing, to get into a consistent workout routine with 4 workouts a week and to go on a 5-day trip with my family. These are all different categories and I can work on all of them and make progress simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.
Don’t forget to put a category for the things you “have to do”. To me these are things like paying bills or going to a dentist…Things I don’t feel like doing and aren’t really moving me forward, but need to get done, so I don’t get in trouble.
Step 5: Schedule it or Don’t
I personally don’t schedule anything and like to keep my days flexible, but my work also doesn’t require it. However, if I do have a deadline for a project I would put a reminder on my phone and will also put it in the planner with a date next to it.
If you do like to plan ahead and many people swear by this – schedule your tasks in the calendar, but be generous with the time you plan in, because often things do take much longer than you expect them to.
You can do all of this planning in 30 minutes on Friday or Sunday afternoon and the next week you’ll be able to work and live more intentionally. Try it for a few weeks and see whether this method will work for you or not. I really hope it does!