Sitting down to plan your week on Monday morning is a poor strategy. It’s a bad way to plan your day, too. It leaves you vulnerable to starting your week in reactive mode. By Tuesday, you’ve lost a day, and you have have lost the week.
Your hustle starts on Sunday. Here’s how to make sure you own your week.
- Review last week’s calendar and make sure that you have followed up on every commitment that you made or that you have a plan to do so in this coming week. Do you owe someone a phone call? Do you need to send someone a thank you letter? How about a proposal? Reviewing your prior week will keep you from forgetting the commitments you made and failing to follow up.
- Review the coming week’s calendar to make sure that you are prepared for every call, every meeting, and every project that you need to move forward this week. If you have meetings, write the agendas for these meetings. If you have to make phone call, put it on the calendar. Doing this work gives you a running start into the week.
- Make a list of the three to five things that you absolutely must complete this week. Do it in this exact order. What is the one thing that you must complete that, if completed, would make this week a success if you did nothing else? Block the time you need to complete this task on your calendar. Then, move on to number two. Then move on to number three. Most people aren’t fortunate enough to be able to generate more than five major outcomes during the week. That doesn’t mean that you will only have five major outcomes. You are likely to have many minor outcomes throughout the week. But being productive means moving your big projects and big goals forward.
- Download the podcasts or audio books that you are going to listen to while you drive to work, while you drive home from work, while you fly to another city, or while you are working out. You have plenty of time for personal growth and development, you just have to take advantage of that time.
Preparation is part of the formula for success. The few hours you spend planning and preparing your week will buy you back 4 to 5 times those hours and an incalculable increase in your real productivity.
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