We’ve all been there. Introducing: Friday afternoon. You look at your scribbled over planner and see all the things still unchecked on your to-do list. A little piece of your entrepreneurial heart dies inside, but you remind yourself that there’s always next week. Next week will be different, or course. Less social media, less interruptions, and much more productivity.
So what do you do when you feel stuck in that rut? Those times when you feel like no matter how hard you try to get things done, your wheels are spinning and the to-do list grows faster than you can check things off.
How to schedule your week in a way that makes productivity easier
Today I’m sharing a few tips to set up your week for success! Starting with clear goals, a written plan, and manageable tasks are key for keeping yourself on track. We’ll talk about how to start your day with a bang and focus on the things that will make the most impact for your business.
Create your schedule a week at a time
Scheduling for the entire week allows you to spread out difficult tasks in an intentional way. It’s hard to see the big picture if you wait until you’re scrambling in the morning to decide what needs to be done. When you lose the big picture, you’ll find yourself wasting more time on what I call the “busy work.” Busy work are things that you need to do to keep your business running – but aren’t really actually growing your business in intentional ways.
Every Saturday night, I create my schedule for the next week. Instead of facing the Monday Morning Blues, I am able to start my week focused and excited about accomplishing things that will impact our business in big ways!
Write down your weekly goals at the beginning of each week
Choose the most important things to accomplish this week. Be reasonable, of course, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Make a list of all the busy work that needs to be done to keep your business running (writing blog posts, editing pictures, prepping orders, etc). Then write down at least 3-4 things that are going to be growing your business in a bigger way. You know, those things you always know you should do but always push aside because you’re busy keeping up with the busy work. Writing all this down on a list first seems repetitive, but it really helps you schedule your week intentionally when you have this list in front of you.
Please don’t skip this part! Goal setting is an entirely different topic, but you will be absolutely amazed about how many more of your goals you’ll accomplish with a written plan. In a Harvard study, they found that “the 3 percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.” (See more from this elitedaily.com article)
I can personally testify how much of a difference simply writing down your goals will make in your likelihood of accomplishing them. I’ve turned many of my “someday” projects into “I’ve already nailed it” projects more quickly than I ever thought possible.
Start each day with a power task
These little power tasks give you a jumpstart to your day! A power task should be something you can accomplish quickly and easily to get your first “win” for the day. It gives you something easy to start with to get you in the mindset of productivity.
I recommend not starting your day with answering email because it’s too easy to get bogged down in your inbox. Your power task doesn’t even have to be work related. It can be anything from folding a pile of laundry to prepping gear or writing an easy little piece of content. Just choose something fast and easy that will feel really good to knock off your list.
Choose 3 main tasks a day
Write down 3 tasks for each day that you absolutely want to accomplish. It helps you focus on the things that are most important in the day. You don’t necessarily have to do these things first, but finishing them up as soon as possible to make sure you don’t run out of time by the end (or more importantly – motivation).
For my 3 main tasks each day, I choose the most important things that I must get done that week. I also choose some business-growing tasks that I would normally run out of time to do. This has been one of THE most impactful things I’ve done for my business. Because I’m intentionally creating space for business-growing tasks in a way that ensures I’ll get them done, our business has grown by leaps and bounds. It turns these business building things into “today” instead of “someday”. It’s powerful.
This is where I make sure I spread out certain tasks. For example, I know that I can’t write blog posts, create freebie content for our email list, and write an album customization guide all in the same day. I already know I’ll be creatively burnt out halfway through. I spread my creative work throughout the week so I can give it my best mindset. Mix and match tasks that will complement each other well in your workday.
Add in your to-do list
THIS is where you get to add in all the busy work that usually dominates your to-do list. All the little things like prepping social media, specific emails, scheduling interviews, writing a blog post, scheduling email campaigns, packing products, etc. Whatever all that little stuff is, write it down next.
Spread it out throughout your week and write it down! I guarantee you’ll be more productive if you’re able to focus on the task at hand instead of jumping around to different tasks because you don’t want to forget about it. Every task is assigned a place, which allows you to focus on the work at hand.
As I go through the week, I continually add to my to-do list as I think of things. I can look at my schedule and see which day will accommodate that task the best. This really helps me balance my week. I often start the week with only a few things on my to-do list. I add them in throughout the week as things come up and spread them out to balance my workflow.
Write down your meetings and errands
The last section is for meetings and errands. I intentionally stack as many meetings and errands on the same day as I can. Once you’re dressed and out of the house, it’s much more efficient to do many things at once than it is to have one or two things spread out each day.
I started this system in January this year, and the difference it’s made in my business has been incredible. I’ve been able to accomplish so much more than I ever thought possible because I have a plan in place that helps me stay more productive each day! Gone are the old days of getting stuck in the “busy work” because I didn’t have a plan of how I was going to accomplish things that would actually launch our business forward to success. I was so distracted by all the tedious things that I never got around to things that would really help us grow.
To help you on your own productivity journey, we’ve created a gift just for you! You can use this focus sheet to help you accomplish huge things for your own business!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amber Palmer, Joel and Amber Wedding Photography
We’re a husband and wife wedding photography who love vanilla lattes, Jesus, and traveling the world! We believe that the journey is just as amazing as the destination and that experiences bring richness to life. Our hearts are to serve and educate our clients and other entrepreneurs in a way that uplifts and encourages!