Productivity seems to be the ultimate goal of the modern society. Yet it seems so darn elusive!
You could be convinced you have everything planned to perfection – Yet unexpected obligations intrude on your program, procrastination wins over, and distractions lure in every corner.
Are you ready to stop stressing and start doing the things that matter to you? This article will teach you how to have a productive week in 12 simple and effective ways. Let’s dive right in!
How To Have A Productive Week
6 Impactful Mindset Shifts to Skyrocket Your Productivity
1. It is not just you
If you catch yourself stalling when your to-do list is still incomplete, don’t go hard on yourself. It is within our nature to procrastinate, and there are actually many reasons for it. Perfectionism, fear of failure, or even physical or mental exhaustion can be to blame.
2. Productivity doesn’t look the same for everyone
The productivity routines of the online gurus are truly impressive! Yet, you should not compare them with your program and be intimidated.
Productivity looks different for everyone because we all lead different lives with different priorities. Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is sit still and do nothing!
3. More is not always better
This goes for many things in life. If you want to learn how to have a productive week, you should adopt this wise motto. A survey concluded that the average UK worker remains productive for only about 3 hours of the day!
Also, a Stanford study found that productivity declines when you work long hours. Keep this in mind when you are tempted to squeeze more things into your already tight schedule.
4. Don’t overlook the satisfaction factor
I get it; you’re busy and want to get things done. But life’s not just about what we must do but also what makes us happy. Never forget the satisfaction factor! Keeping your spirits high will contribute to your mental health, which will eventually boost your productivity.
5. Focus on making progress
Instead of forcing yourself to complete a task in an impossible (and usually arbitrarily decided) time slot, focus on making progress toward your goal. For example, instead of aiming to read the whole book, aim to read a few chapters.
6. Be flexible
Daily life is incredibly unpredictable. While planning your week is an act of exercising control, you should be able to let go of that control when plans change unexpectedly.
Being flexible and able to pivot challenges is a great skill that can save you from the piles of anxiety.
12 Tips For A Productive Week
1. Discover Your Strong Points
At this point, I am calling my bluff. Honestly, I can’t teach you how to have a productive week. But you can teach yourself!
You can read a bunch of tips for a productive week online, but only you know your buttons. Finding the silver lining for a weekly plan requires you to consider your time, energy, abilities/ special skills, needs, and commitment.
Take the role of the observer and notice how you go about a normal week. Notice what time of the day you feel more productive and how much time you can devote to a task before getting distracted.
Ask yourself, what environment is the most inducive of concentrated work? What do I need to do in the day to relax and recharge my batteries?
Equipped with this knowledge, you can now find the optimal workflow for yourself. Read the next tips on how to have a productive week and actually achieve it!
2. Plan Your Week At Least One Day Ahead
Having a clear plan before your week starts is crucial. We say “morning shows the day,” but the same goes for the week. By starting your week strong, you are more likely to be motivated to continue with the program of the rest days.
You won’t lose important time and energy trying to figure out what needs to be done and when. This will also put more pressure on the following days.
3. Do A Braindump
Before you make any plans, take to your journal and do a good old brain dump. I like writing down everything that goes through my mind – obligations, meetings, spare time activities, aspirations for the week.
You are left with a fantastic list of things to do you can then form into your weekly schedule. This ensures that you won’t leave anything out to fit into your program last minute.
4. Set Realistic Goals
A week is a relatively small time frame. If you don’t set realistic goals, you will end up unmotivated, running after impossible deadlines.
Dreaming big is excellent. However, goal achieving takes patience and determination. Bigger goals should be broken down into smaller, more digestible bits. By conquering little milestones, you will remain motivated and consistent.
To make sure that you set achievable goals, keep in mind the acronym SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
If you want to learn more about how to set goals that will help you smash your life, read this article by Simone.
5. Use A Planner
I was never too good at remembering things. Feeling like important things are slipping from your mind generates a lot of anxiety. On the other hand, anxiety can cause brain fog, which, in turn, facilitates memory loss.
The conclusion? Write things down! Yes, your mom was absolutely right to keep notes of every little thing.
You can employ your old notebooks or even a napkin to fill the role. However, I suggest using a planner. Planners (whether analog or digital) usually have user-friendly layouts that will guide you and make your life a lot easier.
If you want to learn how to use planners like a pro, this article is for you!
6. Lay Down Your Standard Obligations
There are several methods to organize your to-do lists or planners, like the time-blocking method or the “daily highlight” method.
If they seem too complex for you, don’t worry. Building a productive week’s schedule brews down to a simple routine that will become automatic after a while.
First, you lay down all your standard obligations from Monday to Sunday. That could be school, a dancing class, taking the kids to karate, an appointment, etc.
These essential commitments create time blocks within your schedule. Once these foundational blocks are in place, you can fill the remaining spaces with other activities.
7. Set A Center Goal For Each Day
After you have filled in your standard obligations, continue with setting a central goal for each day. Just one! This is the main goal you will try to complete within each day, like finishing an assignment or cleaning the house.
Make sure that you prioritize your obligations and tasks correctly. Urgency should definitely be considered. Yet you should never neglect the things that matter to you, like family or personal time.
Pro tip: Remember that your goal needs to be SMART!
8. Fill The Remaining Time
Most of your planning work is done by this point. Finally, check out your braindump page and fish out other activities you could fit into the empty spots of your schedule.
However, all of these activities are “could do” activities that do not dictate whether your day was successful or not. If you have time and energy, then great – tackle these tasks, as well! If not, do not feel any guilt to pass.
9. Do One Thing At a Time
Would you be surprised if I told you that multitasking is counterproductive? According to the Cleveland Clinic, multitasking makes us less effective and more prone to error. It also creates heaps of anxiety and tension.
Instead, beat the urge to do everything at the same time, relax, and focus on one task. Mindfulness exercises, like slow breathing or doing a body scan, can help you slow down and direct your attention correctly.
10. Plan Self-Care and Connection Time
One thing I like to do is plan self-care time and family/friends meetings or dates. Whether that is going for a visit or making a phone call, I make sure to put it in my planner. Why?
Because these are the things that are most easily overlooked and neglected when you are juggling a busy schedule. Yet they are equally important to any other task, and I don’t want to miss out on them.
11. Eat and Sleep Well
This tip on how to have a productive week is more like general advice. We cannot expect our bodies and minds to function productively when running on low energy.
Eating nutritious, energy-packed meals and introducing a form of enjoyable daily movement will pamper your body and set you up for success.
Sleeping well and enough is also crucial. No, sleeping is not a waste of time. Sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on cognitive performance and mood.
12. Give Yourself Feedback
Give yourself some feedback and track your progress as you tackle a more productive week. Take a few moments at the end of each day to think about what went smoothly and where there’s room for improvement.
This process will help you adjust your program to your unique needs and goals. Instead of chasing the abstract idea of productivity, you will embrace it in a way that comes naturally.
Pro tip: Make sure to leave judgment out of the room when you are at it.
How To Have a Productive Week: Skill Unlocked
This wraps up this mini guide on how to have a productive week. We talked about a lot of things, but here is what I want you to take home.
Firstly, productivity should not be a goal by itself. Your weekly plan does not have to be productive because it’s trendy but because it helps you manage more of the things that matter to you!
And secondly, learning how to have a productive week is all about doing less than more. Just make sure to set your priorities straight and tackle these high-importance tasks with commitment and devotion.
That’s all – now go grab a planner and head off to a fresh and productive week.