Top tips to plan your week
Updated: Oct 10, 2021
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. You must have heard this quote time and time again, right?
As a Virtual Assistant and business owner, planning is an essential part of my day. Everyday!
Luckily for me though (and my clients), I like to keep organised! And for me, by getting pen to paper, my head is cleared and I’m set on the right tracks for a productive and non-chaotic week ahead!
So, to help you get the most out of your planning (or to help you get started), here are 5 top tips to help with weekly planning.
Plan consistently. The main thing to make planning work for you is to have a consistent approach. Forming the habit is probably the hardest part. A regular consistent routine is therefore essential. So for example, set a chosen hour aside every Sunday afternoon to sit down and map out your upcoming week. Find a comfortable space away from distractions, where you are calm, relaxed, and can clearly think through your week. Try to keep to the same time each week if you can, and make sure to start off by choosing the planner that works best for you – whether that be paper or digital.
Think ‘top-down’. What I mean by this is to avoid a random scattergun approach, and begin by noting all the fixed appointments and non-negotiables of your upcoming week. For example, a medical appointment, a birthday dinner, a client presentation, an expected delivery, a swim session, etc! All the things that have no room to be skipped or re-scheduled – all the things that are of ultra-high importance to you! So from the top, you can begin to move down. With timescales and deadlines in mind, work across the available space left in your week to fill the slots and note down those tasks and goals!
Keep it agile. Remember that life happens. Things change. This will be the case for your boss, your clients, and for yourself. Resist the temptation to fill every minute of every hour. Leave small contingency gaps for tasks that might overrun. Block the first 30 mins of your day to review and react to any task changes that might come in from your boss, or from your clients. Don’t leave yourself open to stress when changes occur, just because there is ‘no time’ to react. There is always the time, you just have to plan wisely for it!
Track status. Be sure to go back to your planner throughout the day. If you have a paper planner, keep it open on your desk. If you plan digitally, use the desktop app and keep it open on your computer. Return to it regularly and when something is completed, mark the task as complete. Not only will you see your progress, but it will also give you a positive mental boost as you work through the day!
Review & improve. At least every month, take time to reflect on how effective your planning is. Do you make the best use of your time? Do you complete everything as per the plan, or do you leave yourself over-stretched? Do you plan in enough time for personal goals...exercise, leisure, voluntary work? Keep these thoughts in mind so that every week you optimise your planning to get the very best out of your week!
Why not bookmark these tips and come back to them the next time you are planning your week?! I’d love to know how much of a planner are you? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.