I run two blogs. I freelance write marketing materials for a few cosmetic companies. I’m writing a novel. And I still find (a little) time for my social life.
You can say I’m a busy bee.
Telling people what I do is a nightmare. Like, where do I even start? But as soon as they learn how many balls I’m juggling, they want to know how I do everything.
Here’s the truth: I don’t do everything. I only do the things that move me closer to my goals.
And even that is a trackload of work. Because the stuff that moves the needle forward is usually the stuff that takes the most time, work and dedication.
The only way I can get everything that matters done is by planning every minute of my day. I always know what I need to do and when so I don’t waste precious time wondering what I should do next or getting sucked up by the Facebook hole (ok, that still happens sometimes).
Here are the tricks and strategies I use to plan my week like a girlboss. I hope they’ll help you slay your goals as well:
Choose Your Planner
First things first. If you’re gonna plan your week, you need a planner. You have so many options here. You can go back to basics and just use pen and paper. You can get a little fancier and buy a cute planner from Paperchase, Kikki.K or any other stationary brand you like. Or you can get all techy and get a digital calendar.
I’ve experimented with several digital calendars and to-do lists apps in the past couple of years. I love them because they make it so easy to schedule recurring events (you do it once and you’re all set) and everything is stored safely on the Cloud. But, in the end, I always go back to pen and paper.
I’m partial to the Productivity Planner by Intelligent Change because it’s designed to integrate the same productivity strategies I use on a daily basis. For example, it forces you to choose only 5 tasks each day and schedule them in order of importance. But I haven’t given up digital apps entirely. I still use iCalendar to schedule all my meetings.
Write Your To-Do List
Pick a day of the week to create your plan of attack. I do it on Sunday evenings but you can choose any other times that work best for you. Now take pen and paper (or your fave to-do app) and jot down everything you need to do the following week.
When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Cleaning the kitchen. Schedule an appointment at the dentist. Working out. Me time. Any tasks you haven’t finished last week. And, of course, all the work stuff.
The goal here is to free up your mind of the all tasks that are bogging it down so you won’t keep thinking about them and getting distracted all the time.
Set Weekly Goals
Forget the to-do list you’ve just written for a second. Instead, ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish next week? What are my goals?”
Try to come up with a goal for all the important areas of your life. Work. Family. Health. Spirituality. Self-care. You get the drill.
For example, my work goals may include writing and scheduling all my blog posts for the upcoming month. My self-care goal may be to read at least a couple of hours every day. My health goal could be to replace my sugary snacks with healthier alternatives.
Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re helping you achieve what YOU truly want, not what someone else expects you to do. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Make your goals SMART, too. SMART goals are:
- Specific: what exactly do you want to achieve?
- Measurable: how will you know when you’ve accomplished the goal?
- Attainable: do you have the resources to reach your goals? If not, can you get them?
- Relevant: do you even WANT to do this? (If not, strike it off your to-do list)
- Time-oriented: what’s the deadline?
Example of a bad goal: I want to be healthy.
Example of a SMART goal: I’m going to replace my afternoon biscuit snacks with a handful of nuts and an apple.
Do you see the difference? The SMART goal tells you exactly what to do and when, and it’s easy to achieve. You’ll know it when you get there.
Schedule Your Tasks
Now you’ve chosen your goals, and the tasks you need to do to achieve them, it’s time to put them in your calendar.
But not randomly! Schedule the frogs first. Think about those tasks you absolutely need to get done to move the needle forward and give them priority status.
I take this method a step further: I schedule my frogs – my most important tasks of the week – in my productive zone.
Your productive zone is the time of the day when you’re the most, well… productive. The time when you have the most energy and get stuff done quickly. Without coffee.
For me, that’s the morning. That’s when I get my creative juices flowing. So that’s when I schedule all my writing. Meetings and calls go in the afternoon, when my energy levels start to decrease. In the evening, when I’m spent, I block out a couple of hours for “me time” so I can recharge my batteries and start the following day on the right foot.
If you’re most productive in the afternoon, schedule your frogs in the afternoon. You’ll get them done before you even know it!
PRO TIP: Don’t schedule more than 5 tasks a day. If you try to cram too much into your day, you either won’t do everything or you’ll rush each task and won’t do your best job. Focus on quality over quantity.
Related: How To Find Your Productive Zone
Review & Adjust
Even the best laid plans go astray. Maybe a new work priority came up and you need to put what you’re currently working on on the backburner. Maybe you underestimated how long a task was gonna take and now you’re behind your schedule. Maybe you had an emergency at home and had to take the day off.
Life happens. That’s why you need to stay flexible. Every evening, take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve accomplished that day and what you still need to do. Then, adjust your calendar as needed. It may take you a little longer, but you’ll get there, gorgeous.
Ready to plan your week like a girlboss? Click the image below to subscribe and download the Weekly Planner to start slaying all your goals. Every. Single. Week.
Over to you, now. How do you plan your week? Share your planning tips in the comments below.