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How Do You Plan Your Week?

If you are struggling with your time management and feel you could be more efficient, effective and productive at work or in your business it may because you are not doing enough planning. One area to think about that can make a big difference is weekly planning.

How do you plan your week? Maybe you don't plan at all or maybe you just have a quick look at your diary appointments on a Monday morning. If you stumble through the week unfocused, flitting from one thing to another, not completing the important things, missing meetings and getting frustrated about what you have not achieved, you probably are not planning your week well or there is room for improvement.

Here are some things to consider when planning your week:

Make time to plan. Set aside some time each week to prepare your weekly plan. Your plan will only be as good as the time you spend in preparing it.

Prepare your plan for next week at the end of this week. The best time to prepare your weekly plan for next week is at the end of this week. You will then be all ready for next week and be able to relax over the weekend knowing what next week looks like. You will be surprised at how much better you feel being ready for the week ahead.

Review the week that has just finished and incorporate any learning. A great starting point for next week's weekly plan is a review of this week. How has the week gone? What has gone well? What has not gone so well? What are the learnings that you can take into next week? Doing this on a regular basis will lead to continual improvements in your time management and how you work.

Align your weekly plan with your longer term goals and objectives. What are your overall longer term goals and objectives in your role and for your business? Use these to decide the key areas you should be working on next week. A great question to ask is: What do I need to do next week to achieve my longer term goals and objectives? This will ensure that you keep focused on achieving your longer term goals and objectives.

Include everything you plan to do in your weekly plan. Your weekly plan needs to include your diary appointments, your daily and weekly meetings, your actions and tasks, an allowance of time for interruptions, coffee and lunch breaks and anything else that you do in the week. A good plan includes all of these, including your key priorities for the week.

Consider whether you can delegate, outsource or automate anything. Think about everything you plan to do. Do you need to do it all yourself or could you delegate or outsource more to your team, colleagues or outside suppliers? Could you automate more of your work to save time? Think about this carefully as we often waste time doing things we don't need to do or that could be automated.

Review your plan to make sure it is achievable. Once you have prepared your plan, review it to make sure it is achievable. You may have a meeting planned in for one hour with your team but know that the meetings normally take two hours. You may have allowed an afternoon to prepare a new product plan but the last one you did took a whole day. It is much more motivational to include less in your weekly plan and achieve it all than more in your plan and not achieve it all.

Prioritise everything in your plan. Now you have decided on your weekly plan, set priorities for all the items in your plan. This will help you decide what to work on first and also if things change it will help you decide what you can reschedule.

Breakdown your weekly plan into daily plans. From your weekly plan create plans for each day in the same way as your weekly plan. Don't forget to schedule everything in like we discussed above. You will become so much more focused an d productive if you work with effective weekly and daily plans.

Use your plan as a working document. You now have a plan that you can use as you go through the week. Use it as a working document, including updating it as you complete meetings and tasks, reviewing it regularly and revisiting and amending it as things change.

Hopefully this article has got you thinking about how you can improve your time management through effective weekly planning.

Author: Liz Makin
Published: June 2019

Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.


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