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Your Most Productive Week Ever!


Your Most Productive Week Ever!

Do you long for the elusive “productive week?” I do. And what I have found is that it can be achieved with some very simple steps. Follow these and you’ll see your productivity soar. to-do

1. Get a Jumpstart. Plan your week early, either on Sunday or early Monday morning before you can be interrupted. To successfully get up early Monday morning, set a target bed time for Sunday. If you don’t plan, you might end up staying up late. If you’re reading this at work on Monday morning, instead of diving into your tasks, take the next 30-60 minutes to plan.

2. Weekly Review. The first thing to do is to review your inbox (physical and email), all your projects, goals, and all your to-do lists. Scan for items you need to get done this week. See “Resources” at the end of this article for guides on weekly review.

3. Choose Next Actions for Upcoming Week. Write down, type, or highlight the tasks you want to accomplish this week. Don’t worry about dates or priorities yet. Just choose the ones you think you need to get done this coming week and which you’ll have time to complete.

4. Assign Dates and Priorities. Schedule each of these tasks to a date and prioritize tasks for each day. You can use your calendar, to-do list, or whatever works for you. For this exercize I use a sheet of paper with M T W T F Sa Su written on it. I can either work off this list directly or enter them into electronic calendar or to-do list, whatever seems most appropriate. Success Tip: Only schedule 60% of your day. If you work 8 hours per day then only schedule approximately 5 hours worth of work. The rest of the time will be naturally taken up by interruptions, breaks, and unplanned tasks. The idea is to set yourself up for success. Experiment with scheduling the percentage of your day that works best for you. Be sure to take into account times estimates for each task. Be as realistic as possible.

5.Tasks that Don’t Fit into This Week Stay on the Shelf. Cross them off your weekly list and leave them on the list they came from. You’ll get to review them again next week.

6. Do. Work on your tasks. Remove distractions. Try not to multi task so you can be most effective. Identify and avoid time wasters such as checking email frequently. Check it only twice a day for efficiency. Each day conduct:

  • Mid-Day Check-in on progress
  • End of Day Review
  • Plan Your Next Day – make any adjustments necessary to what you set out in your weekly planning.

7. Dealing with Setbacks. Analyze how they happen. If they come from procrastination then find a way to mentally align your tasks with the pleasure of accomplishment, and consider getting a “goal buddy.” If setbacks stem from interruptions and unplanned events, analyze whether there is some way to avoid these. If not, then you may simply need to set more realistic time expectations to avoid frustration. It’s helpful to realize that you’ll never cross off everything from your to-do list. That’s ok. Just make sure you take care of your highest priority tasks  first!

8. Celebrate a Little Each Day. At the end of a full day, do something that you enjoy and that rejuvenates you!

9. Dealing with Failure. If you feel like you’re failing, most likely the best thing you should do is get some rest if you are feeling down or tired. This could be a break, a nap, or a good night’s sleep. After resting, get your body moving with some exercise. This will get the blood pumping and give you the momentum needed to start anew. Approach failure rationally. Failure is an opportunity to learn. What can you change going forward? The past is gone. Learn from it and let it go. The future is yours to mine for gold!

10. The Mid-Week Start Over. If you’re having a bad or mediocre week, don’t wait until next week to start over. Start Today. Go to Step #1. Start Now!

Wishing you a super productive week!

Resources:

Please Share!

What do you hope to accomplish Today and This Week? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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32 Responses to Your Most Productive Week Ever!

  1. KLW July 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    I randomly came across your blog today and I think I have read every post now. I’m new to blogging and am focusing on a lot of the same topics as you. So thanks for being an inspiration to a new blogger!

  2. Urbanist July 23, 2007 at 9:29 pm #

    Definitely great advice. I’ve been working much more independently these last few months, and have been struck by how difficult it is (for me at least) to organize my time well without the built-in boundaries of a prescribed work day.

  3. Andrew Pass July 24, 2007 at 11:07 am #

    I agree with your comments. The one comment however that I found most powerful is number ten, the mid-week start over. As an independent consultant I find that I often get distracted. I forget what my business goals are and by the time I realize that I’m spending time on something that is not a true goal I’ve wasted several hours. Perhaps the most important thing that I want to learn how to do is to say, “This is a waste of my time. Move on!!”

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Matthew Cornell July 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm #

    Thanks for the post. I like your focus on planning – always a good idea. I found it interesting that you have readers schedule all actions (“tasks”). Do you think this is better than the GTD approach?

  5. agentsully July 24, 2007 at 11:34 pm #

    @ Andrew – Glad you liked number 10. Without that one some weeks would be complete failures…oops bad word. But with the do-over, you can still finish strong!

    Regarding your “waste of time” comment, I always keep a little postit on my computer that says “Is this the most productive use of my time right now?” It helps keep me on track except for the times I ignore it! 🙂

    @ Matthew – thank you. I certainly modify the GTD approach myself. So for me, it is helpful to have a basic outline of my week and my tasks I want to get done. So is it better? For me, yes because I “capture” from my mind the worry about which one of my million tasks will I work on this week. It’s not perfect, but it helps.

    Life, by default, is messy. These systems and routines keep us on track through the muddy roads of life. Planning gives us hope and having a weekly roadmap gives me focus.

    Thanks for asking! What do you think?

  6. Abel July 25, 2007 at 6:50 am #

    Surprisingly, I only focus on daily activities. But I have a long term goal in mind. I find #8 is important. Make it as a reward for checking your to do list. I go for a tea break as a reward.

  7. Crissy July 25, 2007 at 2:05 pm #

    These are great tips.. thanks!

  8. Isabelle July 25, 2007 at 7:44 pm #

    Things I want to accomplish this week:

    Get away from the computer for at least 6 hours this weekend and out into the summer sun!

  9. agentsully July 29, 2007 at 12:37 pm #

    @Abel – I’m just like you. I love small rewards like that. Making some iced tea. Or I love to make herbal coffee with cocoa and ice that. It’s really good.

    @Crissy – thank you for your support!

    @Isabelle – me too! So far (except for right now) I’m doing that!

    Hope to see you all again soon!

  10. Douglas Woods October 15, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    Some good points here but at times I cannot help but feel that we are living too much in the future instead of living NOW.

  11. agentsully October 16, 2007 at 1:37 pm #

    Douglas – I hear you on that. It’s hard to find just the right balance between living in the moment and planning ahead. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Mr Redwood September 9, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    What an inspiration this site has been. I have spent time reading through all the blog posts and it has made a real difference.

    • AgentSully October 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

      Mr. Redwood – so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know!

  13. Christine February 20, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    The first thing I do in the morning after a bath would be checking my emails.

  14. Donetta Chim September 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I discovered your blog website on the internet as well as examine some of your earlier articles. Continue to keep up the excellent run. I just additional your Feed to my MSN Information Readers. Seeking toward reading more from you afterwards!

  15. Lazaro Quilindrino June 22, 2012 at 2:59 am #

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  1. […] Plan your day everyday for maximum productivity and success. […]

  2. […] Agentsully of Life learning today teaches us how to have the most productive week ever […]

  3. […] Establish a routine of planning your week and your day. This will allow you to have your most productive week all the time. Start your day an extra 15 minutes early to do this planning everyday. Write down the […]

  4. […] do this on Sunday evenings, but you can also do this on Monday mornings. If you choose that route, I suggest going into work 30 minutes early so you can do this with no […]

  5. […] companion habit to make the most of the “50/10 Focus” habit is to plan your day and plan your week. Your daily plan is the blueprint for knowing what you should be doing at any given time during the […]

  6. […] productive days we dream of.  See:  15 Tips to Make Today the Day You Finish Your To-Do List, Your Most Productive Week Ever!, Make Every Day Your Most Productive Day, and Purpose Your Day: Most Important Task (MIT).  As […]

  7. […] get all of these accomplished this week, I think I definetly need to pay close attention to this, Your Most Productive Week Ever and How to Avoid the 10 Worst Energy Zappers, especially that number 10!! I would go further into […]

  8. […] for several months all that free time isn’t something you’re going to get often so make good use of it! This blog would not be where it is now and my home would still be a cluttered, undecorated […]

  9. […] for several months all that free time isn’t something you’re going to get often so make good use of it! This blog would not be where it is now and my home would still be a cluttered, undecorated […]

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  11. […] Get a jumpstart: Plan to get up early Monday morning and get started on your productive week early on. […]

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