I have talked a lot about ways to be productive. Recently, I started working from home and I think that is why my focus has shifted towards learning different ways to be productive. I am all for whatever I can do to make my day, week, month, etc…more productive. Here are 12 keys to a productive week.
12 Keys to A Productive Week
All In The Planning
A productive week starts with planning. I recommend creating a weekly schedule. Make sure you include daily routines and any appointments you might have for the week. Set daily priorities and goals. Be sure to include due dates if some tasks need to be completed by a certain time. For example, bills or doctor appointments.
Remember, you will have situations arise that aren’t planned. However, having a planner for the week will help to alleviate any stress from unplanned events.
Utilize Your Sunday
It is very important to utilize your Sundays. I use Sunday afternoon/evenings to start preparing for the coming week. I use Sunday to get a few chores done that I might have skipped over on Saturday. Sunday is when I create my weekly schedule for the upcoming week. Sometimes, I even get started on a few things that I think might help me to ease the burden for the coming week.
Focus On A Single Task
The concept of focusing on a single task was hard for me to grasp. I am a mom. Multi-tasking is my middle name! Moms are pros when it comes to multi-tasking and it is key to being productive when working from home. However, the key is to multi-task correctly. You have to be very careful because you don’t want to look back over your day and see a whole bunch of unfinished tasks. However, by focusing on one task at a time, you might be able to complete the task sooner and the precision of the work will be spot on because you gave it your full attention.
Learn To Say No
Honestly, this is something I still struggle with. You need to learn to say no. James Altucher says in his book, The Power of No, “a well-placed ‘No’ can not only save you time and trouble, it can save your life.” Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I can’t do everything that I want to do and I am not always able to help everyone.
Do your best to not procrastinate. I try to get my least favorite tasks out of the way as early during the week as I can. This keeps me from wasting mental energy on resenting what is coming. Some tasks almost feel like a dark cloud looming over my head. Once I get them out of the way, the rest of my day and sometimes the rest of the week seems like a breeze.
Ask For Help
Keep in mind that you are only human. Sometimes you will have to ask for help. It is ok to admit that you aren’t always able to do it alone. For example, I might have to have surgery soon. This is going to be a time that I will have to ask for help. I will not be able to drive or walk my son to school. Situations will arise where you will have to admit to not being about to do everything alone.
It is important to remember not to overextend yourself. I remember when I first started working from home and I thought I could do it all. I mean, that was the reason I made the decision to work from home so that I could be mom, wife, and make money for the family. However, I soon realized that was not going to be the case. You have to be realistic or you will only be disappointed.
Take time at the end of each week to evaluate what you were able to accomplish. Ask yourself a few questions:
- What worked for you this week?
- What didn’t work for you this week?
- Did you have any downtime?
- Did you feel overwhelmed this week?
- Do you feel like you need more downtime?
Use the answers to these questions and your self-evaluation to make improvements for the next week.
Do Specific Tasks On Specific Days
I find it helpful to set up my days by work themes. For example, I might focus on social media scheduling on Mondays/Wednesdays. Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, I tend to focus on more of the work I need to accomplish for my clients. This makes my days feel less overwhelming, but I still feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Start Early And Schedule Downtime
I try to start working as early as I can. I get my boys up, we do breakfast, and I get my oldest to school. Once I get back, I get my toddler started on an activity and start to work on my to-do list. Honestly, I tend to be more productive in the mornings than in the afternoons, if I can get myself started, which isn’t always easy.
Make sure to schedule downtime. You deserve a break and you don’t want to push yourself into burnout. Each week I try to schedule some “do not disturb” time, which is when I like to try to do my writing for the upcoming week. This is usually scheduled on the weekends when my husband is home to help me watch the kiddos.
When it comes to blogging, I have learned that automating at much as I can is a HUGE time saver. For example, I try to schedule my social media for the entire month at the beginning of each month. It takes a lot off my plate when I don’t have to worry about what I am going to put on Facebook for the week. Automate where you can! I promise you that it is worth it!
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
Remember to not be hard on yourself. It takes time and practice to master new skills, and productivity is no different. Keep trying new things and eventually, you will find what works best for you.
My Personal (Extra) Tips
A few personal tips that work for me are:
- Starting the week off with a clean house
- Meal planning
- Setting goals
- Making sure I get a good nights sleep, especially on Sunday nights
In closing, I hope you found some helpful tips to help you have a more productive week. Do you have any tips and tricks? I would love to read about them in the comments.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31