How I plan out my week
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a ‘seat of my pants’ kind of guy in a ‘rocket powered rollercoaster’ kind of job. Because of that, and often in spite of that, I have to work very hard to make sure that I’m driving the direction I want. It doesn’t work every day, but over the long term, it definitely works.
So I thought I’d share what I do to help stay in control, be proactive and get things done amongst the chaos. A lot of it is built up from the principles of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Regardless of what you think of this book, it had a profound influence on me when I read it at 19 and changed me from a dreamer to a doer. One of the key things I picked up, and primarily from a follow on audio book, was the weekly plan.
The principle of a weekly plan is to take some time out each week to think about the days ahead. Not to write a to do list, not to look at your meetings scheduled, but to step back from that and look at what you should be doing.
A key way to do this is to look at the roles you have in your life. And I mean all the roles, not just work. For an example, here are some of mine.
Son / Son in-law
Family finances manager
EO and EO Forum Member
That’s a lot. There is no way I can do the right thing by all those roles if I have to think about them minute by minute as my week rolls along.
I briefly think about each role, and see if there is something I should be doing in that role that I’m not. This is a the key moment. At that point I’m not responding to an inbox or an external pressure. I’m thinking about the roles I’ve identified as important to me and I get a chance to insert proactive tasks/projects into my week.
I mention the big rock theory, which basically means if you don’t put the important things in first as a priority, your time will fill up with lots of little, less important things.
My time each Sunday to think about my week has become an important and positive part of my life. If I miss it, I’m a mess. Not really, but I can feel that something is missing. Like there’s no driver.
I’m a big believer in finding the system that works for you. If this helps you be a little more proactive, and a little less ‘do what my latest email tells me’, then great.
If you have any questions about this, please reach out. I had lots of help working this out.
First published at pollenizer.com