How to Have a Productive Week

How many times have you wished to be more productive? It is time to stop talking about how much you have to do and start getting things done. Don’t look back at this week and be frustrated at all you failed to accomplish.

Photo credit: Flickr Dennis Jarvis

This is the week to come up with a strategy and think about how to have a productive week. Below are five steps to come up with a plan to get your goals for the week done.

1. Make a plan. Take an hour to come up with your plan for the week. I know you may be saying that you don’t have the time to do this. You don’t have the time not to do this! With a plan, you will be able to confidently tackle everything you have to do this week. And you will do this before the chaos of the week sends you scrambling into reaction mode. I like taking the first hour of the day on Monday to come up with my plan.

2. Schedule your most important meetings and tasks. If you’re like me, what gets scheduled gets done. Hopefully you are using a good calendar system so you already know when your meetings are scheduled for this week. Next, schedule your important tasks. For me, this is time to write and work on research. Depending on your responsibilities, this may look different for you. By scheduling your most important meetings and tasks first, you make certain that if nothing else you will work on your most significant items.

3. Come up with at least three (and no more than six) goals for the week. What do you want to look back at the end of the week and say you accomplished? Have you scheduled the necessary time to accomplish these? You will be amazed at the progress you will make if you successfully complete three goals each week.

4. Schedule when each day will start and stop. We all know that work will expand to fill the time available to it. I was out of the office all last week doing research interviews. I got more accomplished right before I left because I knew it had to get done. Think about your time right before your last vacation or time away from the office. I bet you were more productive too. When we have a definite ending to the day and week, we force ourselves to get the work accomplished.

5. Reward yourself. Decide at the beginning of the week how you will reward yourself for a productive week. Do you want to go out to a nice dinner Friday evening? Spend time with friends and family? Watch a movie you have a been wanting to see? By setting a reward at the beginning, you give yourself a tangible reward for being productive which will encourage you throughout the week.

Take the time this week to follow these steps. I always find them helpful and they lead me to be more productive. I hope you find the same!