The most effective way to start the week off on the right foot is to plan before the week starts. It’s definitely one of the things I do every Sunday night when my phone is quiet and my email has slowed to a trickle, mostly of spam.
I also believe it’s effective to do so on Sunday evening as it’s one of the few times that I can look at my calendar with more than a glance. It affords me the opportunity to plan and shuffle calls and meetings, as necessary.
Also, as I review commitments for the week ahead, including completion of deliverables, it enables me schedule blocks of time to focus on time-consuming projects and especially ones that command undivided attention.
Here Are 6 Ways to Start Your Week Off On the Right Foot (credit to Inc.com)
An article at Inc.com in 2019 focused on starting the week on the right foot. I’ve shared the 6 ways outlined in the article below:
1. Do a mind sweep.
The first thing is to think about the bigger picture and trying to plan a mind sweep to clear thoughts. This process walks through a list of prompts in different categories, looking for things to be remembered and commitments that have been made. The goal is to get them all on paper. This minimizes distractions so focus may be directed on the day and week ahead.
2. Review the week to come.
The next step is to review the coming week’s schedule. It’s recommended to use a Defensible Calendar strategy, which improves productivity by organizing a schedule into large chunks of time with tasks grouped by importance and urgency. This will make it easier to organize and manage work.
If the plan is not well organized, request changes to free up continuous time in the calendar to create focused time and to optimize travel and logistics. This is also the time to identify any prep work or reviews required for the week.
3. Look forward to three to five weeks out.
Once the week is under control, look ahead three to five more weeks for anything that requires any kind of action in the next seven days. Look for things like travel arrangements, larger project work, and creative development. Doing this prevents surprises that create fire drills for you and/or your team.
4. Reflect on the last week.
Once there’s a good grasp on the future, look back at the last week or two and see if there are any open items or actions from previous events that may have been missed. Look for opportunities to write quick thank-you notes and to confirm any actions or plans coming out of previous meetings. Also take this time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and how to improve your schedule and planning going forward.
5. Check your longer-term goals.
Next, check quarterly objectives and key results. Based on where you may want to be at the end of the quarter, check to see areas where progress needs to be made and set tasks for the coming week. Also reach out to people with whom you’ll need to coordinate or collaborate to schedule time or set up meetings.
6. Sort by urgency and impact.
Once tasks and reminders are written down, begin to sort and organize. Make notes on complexity and size and then sort them by two major criteria. First is urgency, which is how critical the task is to this week. Basically, pushing it off to next week will it cause problems for you and/or for others. The second criteria is impact, which is how much value this task creates in the short and long term.
If things are correctly, your schedule will be well-structured and you will have a plan for how the week will unfold. You will have several time blocks for focused work, grouping similar tasks so that you can stay in the same mindset and minimize task-switching.
Of course, life happens, and on Monday morning something unexpected could come up and you’ll need to replan everything. And that’s fine. Just don’t procrastinate making the necessary changes.
Have a great week. Make it happen. Make it count!