Essential Ingredients for a Productive Work Week
I’m always fascinated by how much I can get done in the last few days before a trip. I work faster, and I’m able to run triage on what is essential while I delegate the things that usually occupy most of my time. During this hyper phase, I get more done because I have a deadline, and I value not having to worry about my obligations when I’m on holiday. It’s all about completing a highly productive work week.
Imagine if we treated weekends the same way we treat a vacation—we could achieve this high level of workweek productivity every week! Unfortunately, many influential leaders tend to work through the weekend or, at the very least, spend it worrying about the week ahead. This can quickly lead to burnout. To be more productive, we need to plan, not fear.
Tips for a Productive Work Week
The key to having a highly productive workweek is to structure your time in such a way that you can accomplish all your work before the weekend hits. You can hit this goal through strategic planning and strict boundaries. Here are some tips to boost productivity and set yourself up for a productive work week.
- A productive work week starts the week before. Late Sunday afternoon, spend an hour or so writing out a list of the “must-dos” to accomplish by the end of the week. Keep it realistic and actionable. The goal here is to plan so you can jump right into work when you arrive at the office on Monday.
- Schedule your tasks into your calendar. Each task should be granted a realistic block of time, and you must be able to get those tasks done each day. Using project management software like Asana or Wrike or Trello can help you stay organized. A productive workweek is achievable if you plan accordingly.
- Keep another list of the items that didn’t make your weekly list. This helps you start next week’s planning and allows you to park the less critical issues. You will feel much better having a place to start with next week’s preparation, and you won’t lose track of your ideas.
- Set boundaries throughout the week. Limit the time you spend checking email and block off time for uninterrupted work. Be strict and don’t be afraid to say “no” or delegate tasks that will take you too far off track.
- Every Friday afternoon begins a new vacation. Plan to have your work done by Thursday so you can use Friday for additional tasks or to get started on next week’s work. Plan something you love to do on Saturday morning as a reward for getting your job done during the week.
- Enlist an accountability partner. Proclaim to your spouse or a friend what you are committing to getting done and what the prize will be when you accomplish it. (It’s okay if the reward is just a peaceful, stress-free weekend.) Check-in with your partner throughout the week to update them on your progress.
I highly recommend hiring a professional business coach, like me, to help stay organized and stay on task for a productive work week. If you think having a business coach would help keep you accountable, fill out my contact form and let’s talk about how I can best help you.
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