by Neena Nandagopal | Featured Contributor
Life is busy.
We are constantly running in a million different directions. So, it is no surprise that we might end the week in the same place that we were when the week started.
Lots of busy-ness, but no business.
Maintaining focus is so important – but without a clear plan in place it is easy to get distracted.
Follow these 7 steps to stay on track and have a more productive week:
1. Set Goals for the Week
You’ve heard it before:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Often we save this advice for big projects or deadlines.
But, it is just as useful for an ordinary, mundane week.
Every Sunday, carve in a little planning time. But before you put pen to paper, take some time to visualize your goals for the week.
What do want or need to accomplish? What events are right around the corner that you can get started on? What personal goals do you want to tackle?
Write each one of these down on a separate blank sheet of paper.
2. Write Out The Steps
Now underneath each goal, write down the steps that you must take action on in order to make the goal happen.
Want to drop 2 pounds this week? – What do you need to do to make it so?
Maybe a few trips to the gym? Or a trip to the farmers market so you can prepare healthy meals?
Note that there are a few steps hidden in this one:
- Meal planning,
- food shopping, and
- food preparation.
3. Plan Your Week
In the third step for a more productive week, you need to put the goal sheets and action items aside, and pull out your calendar.
I use the calendar on my smartphone to keep track of all appointments. But in my Sunday planning session, I write these onto a one page per day calendar.
4. Plan Your Days
Now I go through each day as if I were living it. I look at my appointments and decide if I need to block out some cushion time for travel or possible delays.
I consider what activities my children have and what my husbands schedule looks like on a daily basis.
I can then figure out whether I will be cooking dinner each evening, if we will have leftovers, or if we will order out.
This way I can block in time for cooking, driving kids around, and bedtime stories. (ok – my kids are teenagers, but I do miss those days 😉 ).
5. Fill In the Blanks With Your Action Items
Now it is time to pull out those goal sheets and action items.
You now know what set in stone appointments you have for the week and what open or free time you happen to have.
Match up your action items with your available time slots – and make “appointments” with yourself to work towards your goals.
6. Measure Your Results
After you go through your week, start your next Sunday planning sessions by measuring your results.
Did you accomplish all of your goals for the week?
If not – examine the reasons why.
7. Re-evaluate, Rinse, and Repeat
Before setting your goals for the new week, figure out what you need to do differently from the previous week.
Then rinse and repeat the process.
It is amazing how much more we can accomplish on a daily basis with a little focus and clarity.
Set goals, write out the steps, plan your week and your days, make sure to book time for your actions steps, measure your results, re-evaluate and repeat.
It sounds easier than it is, but the process is so worth the effort!
She is passionate about giving creative and talented women concrete guidance on how to establish an online business that is in line with their lives.
Her services include everything from blog coaching packages to creating individualized policy and procedure manuals and business processes.
Neena believes that working more efficiently is the key to business success. However, her philosophy is that time management is outdated. Instead, she works with her clients to manage their focus and attention, because that is what brings maximum results – both online and offline.
When she is not working, Neena enjoys spending time with her husband, four teenage children, and her little shih-tzu.