Do you hit the weekend feeling accomplished, or are you frustrated at the amount of stuff left undone? If you’re constantly behind, anxiety builds -- especially on Sunday evenings when you start thinking about everything you have to check off in the week ahead!
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.
You don’t have to play catch up constantly.
You can tackle more -- without getting bogged down by it.
And you can hit the weekend knowing you’ve won the week feeling excited to leverage your momentum for the seven days ahead.
Best of all, you don’t have to rely on harder work and later nights to get these result. Instead, implement the Weekly Action Plan system I’m about to share in this article and you can:
Get more done in less time.
Take back control.
Empower yourself to hit your deadlines, cultivate work-life harmony, and achieve your goals.
What to include on your Weekly Action Plan
The mistake most people make when planning their week is to rely on a to-do list alone.
While it’s a step in the right direction to get your to-dos out of your head and onto paper, a list of tasks alone doesn’t help you manage them.
Not all tasks are created equally. If you work through a to-do list from top to bottom, while you may get a lot ticked off, are you actually moving the needle? Are you actually checking through the tasks that matter?
That’s why the Weekly Action Plan system guides you to tackle your do-do list on a number of different levels including:
- Due dates
- Time estimates
Organize and plan your tasks with these categories and you’ll see your week through an entirely different lens. Instead of juggling multiple tasks, you’ll start to organize and prioritize -- and your productivity will soar as a result.
Let’s explore how each of these categories works...
1. TASKS - write down everything you want to get done this week
Your weekly to-do list becomes overwhelming and unachievable when it lists of EVERYTHING you have to get done -- even those things you know you won’t get to do in the coming 7 days.
That’s why your Weekly Action Plan [WAP] should list the week’s tasks alone. Park everything else on your master to-do list so you don’t get distracted or anxious about the stack of other stuff coming up.
This simple action is a game-changer because suddenly your to-do list isn’t so overwhelming. It’s a step that helps you focus and feel in greater control of your time and your week.
When listing out the week’s tasks, remember to include everything you want to get done -- including personal stuff and appointments. Not only does this create an external brain to free up bandwidth, but it puts work-life harmony back on the map.
With a finite amount of time available to you, it’s easy to let slip the things that you don’t write down. So if you want to spend more time reading, walking, cooking, playing with your kids, or relaxing, write it on your WAP.
2. DUE - capture your deadlines
If you want to end the week on a win, you have to get all the highest leveraged tasks done. It’s the 80/20 rule where 20% of your effort will deliver 80% of your results.
Marking down due dates allows you to figure out the best day of the week to tackle each task. With your deadlines front of mind, you’re less likely to forget or be forced to tackle something at the last-minute.
This is a powerful step that helps you figure out your weekly work pattern and ensure your efforts move the needle -- as far as possible.
3. PRIORITY - know which tasks matter most
Even if the volume of your task list felt realistic at the start of the week, life is unpredictable. There’s no guarantee you will get everything done because there’s always the risk of unexpected demands or deadlines.
That’s why it’s so important to prioritize each task -- that way if you do run short of time, you can still end the week on a win. This is what the PRIORITY column of your WAP is for.
You may find the following categorization useful:
- TOP priority - You MUST do these tasks urgently (without fail, zero excuses!)
- IMPORTANT - Still important, but you have more leeway
- DELEGATE - these are tasks you want to get done, but someone else can do them for you.
- DUMP - on reflection, these tasks don’t move the needle and you can scratch them off your list
This simple exercise helps you get clear on what tasks will make the most impact on your goals and your life. This step helps remove decision fatigue by helping you decide in what order to tackle tasks.
4. TIME EST. - how long should each task take?
Have you ever completely over-estimated how much you can get done in a day?
You’re not alone!
When you have a stack to get done, it’s tempting to write down a massive list of what you hope to accomplish. There’s just one problem… when it becomes clear you have no chance of ticking it all off, you feel demotivated and your productivity drops.
Time estimates help you avoid this problem by ensuring you don’t set yourself up to fail.
Think about the tasks you do week in, week out… do you know how long they take you? Do you know how long they should take you?
It’s powerful to know how quickly and efficiently you can work. That’s because you can then plan your day to include the optimum amount of activities and tasks. You can craft days that stretch you, but don’t overwhelm you -- so you can win the week.
If you don’t currently write down time estimates, this step is going to change things for you. You’ll find it’s trial and error to begin with, but don’t get disillusioned. The more you do this, the more accurate your estimates will be.
5. E/N/D Formula - how do tasks make you feel?
Not all tasks are created equally and each task will have an impact on how you feel. It’s useful knowledge because the way a task makes you feel will influence how efficiently, thoroughly, and happily you tackle it.
In short, some tasks will energize you, others will drain you, and some tasks have no impact at all. Your job [as an action-taker] is to know the affects of different tasks on you.
Armed with this knowledge, you can plan your time to maximize your energy. It’s a simple way to get more done without wearing yourself out because you’re leveraging your natural willpower flux.
This awareness is at the heart of the E/N/D formula. When you know which tasks:
For example, if you know that writing energizes you, schedule writing tasks for the post-lunch slump. Similarly, if you know calling your accountant will drain you, schedule this task for when you have high energy.
It’s a simple way to organize tasks to boosts your productivity and performance.
6. Now plan your day
Daily planning is powerful because it helps you manage those minutes and stretch them as far as they can go.
It’s how you get more done in less time.
So just imagine how much more effective your daily planning will be if you create each day to link back to the bigger picture of your week.
This is where your WAP becomes super powerful.
With each task categorized by due dates, priority, time estimates, and its energizing capability, you get to be more intentional with your daily timeline. No more picking tasks randomly. Instead, you can use your WAP to hone in on which task you need to do now, next, and later for maximum results.
Schedule tasks like the pieces of the jigsaw into your daily timeline and boost your efficiency
Spread tasks throughout the week so you don’t overload or overwhelm yourself
Hit deadlines with ease
Make time for work-life harmony -- so you feel happy and fulfilled as well as accomplished
How to get your Weekly Action Pad
If you want to be more productive and take back control of your week, pick up your Weekly Action Pad today.
With 52 weekly templates, each pad lasts an entire year. Each template tears off easily so you can file old plans and stick new ones on your wall. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to get productive and organized.
This tool pairs perfectly with your SELF Journal allowing you to take care of your daily and weekly plans with ease.
So what are you waiting for! Pick up your Weekly Action Pad today and empower yourself to move the needle, show up as your best, and feel how it feels to win the week -- every week.