Looking to achieve maximum productivity! Here are our top 10 tips to organize your week without stress.
If you’re like me and many other people, you have A TON of responsibilities all screaming for your attention at the same time. It gets crazy!!
You have to reply to e-mails… take the kids to their activities… lead your team… review a dozen reports… make it to the gym… fix the faucet at home… then there’s making time to get enough rest … And you’re like, rest, WHEN? Who has time for rest anyways?
This can be a mentally DRAINING and physically demanding situation, to say the least. But these are also responsibilities you can’t just ignore or pretend they don’t exist.
If you do, things will start to pile up faster than anyone wants them to. We all play the procrastination game from time to time, but ignoring them doesn’t make them go away… unfortunately!
That brings us to our topic for today: How can we organize our week for maximum productivity? How can we have a TRULY productive week?
If you feel like your productivity levels are lower than they should be right now … I can totally relate. I was there too a few years ago.
But after researching and exploring different ways to increase my productivity, I gathered enough experience to see what works and what doesn’t. And trust me, I tried A LOT of things!
So, I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you - the perfect tips to organize your week without feeling overwhelmed.
Are you ready for this?! Let’s get into it!!
1. Set your goals for the week
Clear goals will keep you concentrated and composed throughout all your projects for the week. And when life gets a little nutty, it’s easier to sift through what’s REALLY important and remain productive despite the thousands of distracting tasks.
Start every week with a clear PURPOSE and a plan to achieve your goals. You can choose to adopt an attitude (maybe channeling a more confident version of you) to lead your team on a project or complete a particular task before the week ends.
In other words, be SPECIFIC and focus on one thing at a time!
Create a to-do list. For this, I swear by my bullet journal planner - it not only allows me to visualize my goals, but also helps me keep track of my progress by setting (and keeping!) a deadline for each goal.
By the way, if you don’t have a planner, check my tips on choosing the best bullet journal for your goals!
So, I can’t start a list of tips to organize your week without mentioning the biggest ally that you can have for maximum productivity - your trusted, loyal daily planner.
It won’t steer you wrong!
When you have a clear goal and the strategy to go with it, you will cut through every layer of obstacle to achieve that vision. Live each day with a purpose and you will be glad to see that you are advancing step by step, goal by goal …dream by dream.
And I LOVE that for you!
2. Write down your goals
Put your thoughts in your daily planner. If you’ve been here for a while, you will probably have come across my previous article on the benefits of writing down your goals.
And I stand by that! The power of writing your goals down on paper is INCREDIBLE…
- All your thoughts and ideas are in the same place.
- You’re able to cross the T's and dot the I’s.
- It becomes easier to prioritize.
- It empties your mind of distractions.
- It improves memorability.
Need I say more?
3. Make a priority list
Third on my list of tips to organize your week are PRIORITY LISTS.
There's just so much to do every week, and to live a healthy life as an adult, we gotta find a balance between work and personal life. Daunting, right? Can be, but doesn’t have to.
What do we do?
Decide on what’s TRULY important.
Ahead of time, I would typically arrange the tasks I plan to get done during the week in order of importance. This makes me more likely to crush my goals by the weekend deadline. Pretty basic stuff we all know, sure, but a little reminder doesn’t hurt, does it?
Dream. Plan. Do.
4. Take on the harder tasks first
If you are looking for the best tips to organize your week, here’s one more for ya - start with the hardest tasks.
Even amongst your to-do's marked as “priority”, choose those ones that are the hardest, that take up the most amount of your energy and tackle them FIRST. The early hours of the day are the ideal time to focus on these tasks, because that’s when your energy and discipline are at its peak.
Carve out time for your biggest and most important projects in the earliest periods of your working hours, and you will see SIGNIFICANT progress by your deadline.
Save the easier and less complicated tasks for when your productivity begins to go down.
5. One task at a time
“The human brain is not built to multitask.” Remember that line from Will Smith in the movie Focus? Well, I may not have quoted him verbatim (who cares), but his words were to that effect.
And YES, I do totally agree with him. In fact, it’s actually backed by science. According to the Harvard Business Review:
“Based on over a half-century of cognitive science and more recent studies on multitasking, we know that multitaskers do less and miss information. It takes time (an average of 15 minutes) to re-orient to a primary task after a distraction such as an email. Efficiency can drop by as much as 40%. Long-term memory suffers and creativity — a skill associated with keeping in mind multiple, less common, associations — is reduced.”
See that? So, if you want to boost your productivity this week, AVOID MULTITASKING. I know it’s tempting to want to get as much done at one time as possible, technically it feels like it ‘could’ help us to cover more, but in reality, instead of helping us complete all the tasks, our productivity deteriorates & we end up doing a half-effort job rather than giving it our all.
An analogy can be drawn between a computer or machine and our human system’s ability to multitask. When you have a lot of software running at the same time on your computer, what happens?
It begins to lag or slow down, essentially malfunctioning. In the same way, when we try to take on too much at the same time, it puts a strain on our mental and physical capacity, thereby REDUCING our productivity.
So, if you are looking for more tips to organize your week, keep your productivity high by going one task per time.
6. Create smaller goals
Different from the preceding idea of taking things one task at a time, this point specifically suggests cutting down individual goals further into SMALLER, more realistic bits of objectives. Why? Because smaller goals are easier to attain and feel a lot less stressful.
Create a list of tasks you need to complete. Then, go task after task, breaking each into bite-sized, more easily achievable tasks that you can cross off one by one as you complete each.
Chunk down the coming week by days and split the days even further BY THE HOURS. A productive week is a result of productive days, and a productive day can be achieved by being accountable with time, down to the minutes.
7. Enhance your workflow
Even with a hectic and chaotic schedule, it is still possible to have a productive week. The key to maximizing your efficiency in such a context is by revising HOW you work.
Well, automate daily tasks, don’t micromanage, prioritize your to-do's, and outsource smaller less technical tasks. Clean up your work environment and keep the most important and frequently used items close by.
Set a schedule and follow it with discipline, but unless you’re Superman, don’t be too hard on yourself; we’re still only human and factors out of our control will certainly work against us, no matter what!! So, don’t fall into the trap of overwhelming yourself unnecessarily.
I believe that a clean, sufficiently equipped work environment, along with a solid work culture and system will improve FOCUS and EFFICIENCY….and you will see that, too!
8. Get a partner for accountability
Remember what they said about “two heads”? Yeah, “better than one”.
An accountability partner will help you have a second look at yourself. He or she is there to make sure you do the tasks you have set out to do, to motivate you, to provide support, and to keep you on track.
The best accountability buddy to get is someone that shares the same or similar mission as you!! That’s been one of my secret hacks over the years.
You both check in on each other, help keep each other on task and celebrate each other’s wins. You will typically see something like this in a gym. Both partners are there to encourage and toast to success. Cheers!
9. Decline some gestures (where possible)
You’re trying to balance a MULTITUDE of tasks and your supervisor brings in a couple more with a polite request that you add these to your to-do’s. What do you do?
While you might think rejecting the idea might put you in his bad books, wait until you consistently fail to deliver on the jobs you have been assigned to do and to which you have agreed to do, or when you make a series of costly mistakes because you’ve simply taken on too much!
There’s no harm in saying “No” … or at least posing the idea of pushing the deadline or delegating the task to someone who perhaps has less on their plate (IF possible in both scenarios). Just be sure to say it politely and ahead of time, with a cogent reason as to why you cannot take on more tasks. Be CLEAR and FIRM.
Don’t let anyone push you off your center!!! You have a right to protect your energy & be intentional with your time… and you will LOVE the result of feeling a bit more at ease from setting these boundaries.
10. Set a routine
To continue my list of tips to organize your week for maximum productivity, it is important to set a routine.
What daily morning routines are so natural to you that you don’t even think about them twice or regard them with any level of stress? For most of us that would be simple mundane habits like brushing our teeth every morning, taking a shower, or fixing breakfast, right?
Having a daily routine will help you turn daily duties into daily habits. You don’t think about it, you just do it!
This helps you stay more organized and makes your workdays EASIER. If you program yourself to check emails first thing when you get to the office, it becomes easier to do and harder to procrastinate.
The best tasks to make a routine out of are those repetitive ones – checking emails, updating relevant social pages, going to the gym, and so on. Time is of essence, so don’t waste it on meaningless tasks that reduce your resources and get in the way of your productive period.
These were my tips to organize your week for maximum productivity!
As we can see, productivity is not about working long hours or laboring more than normal. That would actually be a quick recipe for mental and physical stress, depletion of motivation, and eventual counter-productivity. Rather, instead of working long, work SMART… and on the important things.
The tips I have shared will help you create an effective workflow and STAY organized, so that you can be productive and achieve your goals for the week (or any set timeframe). You may be surprised how many more hours you will have saved each day after you have implemented some of these recommendations. I bet you!
Choosing the best lifestyle planner that works for your life and goal is also a must, so don’t forget to check my article for even more tips to kick-start your productivity!
Is bullet journaling good for mental health?
Yes, bullet journaling is great for mental health. It helps us organize tasks better, establish priorities, track progress, and log daily accomplishments. By having all that information in one place, bullet journals help to reduce stress and therefore improve mental health.
What should I put in my bullet journal?
Some bullet journal ideas include tracking your habits, writing down what you are grateful for, writing important dates and appointments, as well as tracking your daily and weekly progress towards achieving your goals. You can basically organize your bullet journal any way you want, but if you want one that has the structure built in for you, the Daily Grind Planner was created with you in mind.
What should a beginner bullet journal include?
If you’re new to bullet journaling and planning in general, a beginner bullet journal should include an index (a table of contents for your bullet journal), future logs, daily (or weekly) spreads, habit trackers, as well as anything else that will help you improve your time management, motivation, and help you organize your life better.