Updated: Jan 3
Do you suffer from the “Sunday Blues”?
Do you start your Monday by planning your week?
Have you realized that some weeks are better than others?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, keep reading!
A whopping 94% of us plan our weeks! That's great, but unfortunately, a large percentage of us have to do it on… you guessed it… MONDAY!
However, your weekly battle has already begun on Monday, and your planning is merely a reaction to the tasks that have cropped up or that you have left pending from the previous week. This invariably leads to a sense of doom, most likely on a Sunday evening, which contributes to the Sunday Blues.
Starting your weekend by planning your week ahead is the best way to win your week, overcome the Sunday and Monday blues, and fully relax during your weekend! Some of you may object because who wants to think about working on a Saturday when you're trying to forget about it?
Well, planning your tasks for the week ahead of time is the best way to avoid the stress, anxiety, and, in some cases, depression that can accompany it!
The Trick Is To Keep It Appealing and Consistent!
Make weekly planning appealing to you! This will help you in overcoming any resistance (a.k.a. self-sabotage) to pre-planning your week. Go to your favorite café, grab your favorite drink (it’s Saturday, so it could be wine), and basically create a conducive and happy environment – so you associate this positive feeling with planning your week – which is key to overcoming the resistance you will feel – and make sure you start by calendaring in some time for this activity ideally – ideally on a Saturday morning – to create consistency until it becomes a habit!
Once you get over the groaning feeling towards having to plan your week ahead – remember not to give in to self-sabotage – then follow the steps below on how to get on with your planning! You ideally should aim to complete your task in 30 minutes – the recommendation is to do this either on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday – definitely NOT on a Monday!
HERE IS HOW IT’S DONE!
1. Last Week's Biggest Mistake:
This is a great starting point because a mistake is repeated until the lesson is learned. It does not have to be all your mistakes; it could be the one that caused you the most anxiety or caused the most loss of time. These are the blind spots that we can avoid in the future. Consider one thing you did last week that you would do differently if you could do it again, and how you would redo it!
2. Set the Week's Priority:
You would have an extensive list of tasks and projects, and remember that while everything on your list may appear to be urgent, nothing is. Be kind to your future self by selecting tasks that will make the upcoming weeks easier for you!
3. Review Your Calendar:
Look at the next two weeks in advance for events, appointments, and events that you may have forgotten about, as well as time blocks set aside for collaboration and review. Examine your schedule to see where you can make more time for work or schedule your calls more efficiently. Optimize your calendar by removing events that you do not need to see or attend.
4. Refresh Your To-Do List:
Refresh your weekly To-Do List, including calls, priority tasks, carry-over tasks, and so on. Remember that you can delegate and that you don't have to do it all! You can delete or schedule non-essential tasks for a more convenient time (do so with caution and sparingly). Sort your list by time sensitivity and urgency, and make a note of how long you think it will take you to complete each task. Now, line them up!
Try and limit your tasks to 10 per day, or 50 per week if possible. Follow the 1-4-5 rule to avoid overloading one day with all of the major tasks. Instead, so you don’t end up stuffing one day with all the big tasks. Instead, aim for:
1 Big Task – Deep Work
4 Medium Tasks – Deep Work
5 Small Tasks – Shallow Work
5. Time Block It:
Now that you've mapped out your goals and to-dos, go ahead and time block them effectively! Budget time for sleep, meals, exercise, chores, cleaning, childcare, commuting, and a buffer in case you haven't completed a task or an unexpected task arises. Finally, consider time blocks for deep and shallow work based on your day's flow!
A4H has a plethora of blogs on how to time block and allocate time effectively and make the most of your time! Here they are listed so you can quickly review them too:
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Written by Tatum De Souza