Planning your workweek in business can sound like a simple process – but if you have ever been interrupted, fell behind on deadlines or forgotten an appointment, this article is for you. I believe it’s not about managing every minute, it’s a new fresh perspective that includes being prepared, flexible and in-line with your work habits, style and personal preferences.
To plan a successful week I have used my experience with other female entrepreneurs who care about accomplishing a lot within a week and found some universal strategies that can be utilized in almost any business out there.
- Schedule the unexpected:
Business owners are some of the most motivated people I have ever met so I find ‘over-planning’ to be a problem for a lot of us. This happens when we fill every moment of our calendar and fall behind immediately when even one phone call goes over our allotted time. This can cause stress for not only the day, but for the rest of the week as we play ‘catch-up’ to get back on schedule. A way that I have found to combat this issue is to dedicate some time in your week for ‘yet-to-be-determined’ tasks, projects or obligations. Later in the week is usually best. When you aren’t able to finish something in the time you allot or you get an unexpected request, you are able to now be flexible and rely on the safety net you have designed into your week already.
- Identify low energy tasks:
It’s natural to have fluctuations in your energy levels as your day progresses. You may feel sharp, motivated and full of energy in the morning or feel tired and a little stiff in the afternoon. It’s easy to identify these times when you are experiencing them, harder to match your tasks to that energy if you are not prepared. The way to do this is to schedule tasks that require less concentration with those low energy times beforehand. Give yourself some time to answer ‘general email’ questions, tidy up your desk or look on social media when you are feeling less energized and save high-energy times for creative, developing and more intense projects. This will help you balance your day, which will help your overall week.
- Pick a focus:
Within each of our businesses, there is always something that needs attention. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, my recommendation is to pick one focus and stick to it. This produces success because you are not reacting to interruptions, which take you away from that highly productive and focused work. You may be thinking that it is not practical to only do one thing a day – your emails still need to be answered. The way to do it successfully is to keep your focused work (what you really want to complete) in one of the higher energy times of your day (as identified in the previous topic). This gives you quality time that is in-line with your already established habits to really get it done.
- Bundle ‘Away’ tasks:
Luckily we are in charge of our schedules so we can decide when to do our supply shopping, networking events, doctor’s appointments and ‘out-of-office’ tasks. I have always recommended that business owners pick a time in their week – every week that will be dedicated to these tasks. The benefits are far reaching as you are not only creating habits for yourself, but also creating reasonable expectations from others in your life. Which could be customers, family and also make delivery schedules more regular. I often recommend scheduling these days in the middle of the week when you may just need a change of scenery too.
Overall, when you see how much choice you have in planning your week and use these strategies to integrate your personal preferences you are going to be able to get more done in your week and enjoy it along the way.
Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get and stay organized. To support your successful planning, Tamara has just released two all new version’s of the ‘Entrepreneur’s Planner’ which can be found at https://yourprettypages.com/planners/