If you know me, you’ll know I’m a sucker for productivity and organisation tips. I love being time efficient (sounds lame but it’s true) and making the most of my day.
I know fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs have some struggles here. I definitely did when I first started. I was always wondering how I should plan my workday to get the best results!
Do you ever find yourself asking these questions?
How do I increase productivity?
How can I spend more time on what’s actually important?
How do I stay focused at work?
Which tools and products will help me keep productive?
Well, you’re in the right place, pal!
I’m here to give you a whole fifteen tips on how to plan out your most productive week EVER. You can also grab yourself a free blog post planner if you stick around 😉
Set Weekly Goals
Start by setting your goals for the week.
This is something I’ve started doing fairly recently and the effects have been amazing. It’s been great for keeping focused when I have a million and one tasks and ideas I want to work on. I start each week by saying “okay, this week I’m focusing on X, Y & Z and I’m going to achieve A, B & C!”
To set your weekly goals, just answer the following question: what do you want to achieve this week and how will you get there?
Your goals could be as little as ‘tidy desk’ or ‘create new Asana board’ or as big as ‘reach 800 Instagram followers’ or ‘book 2 new clients’.
Not sure if setting goals will be beneficial to you? Think again. Here are 5 reasons you need to be setting goals in your blog or business:
- Accountability. By writing your goals down, you are holding yourself accountable to achieving them. It may sound silly, but believe me, it works.
- Gratification. When you reach a goal, you’ll feel amazing about it. Big goals, little goals - a goal is a challenge and every time you complete it, you’ll feel accomplished and it will make you super happy you set goals in the first place.
- Motivation. That feeling of gratification won’t come out of nowhere. Nope. Goals will keep you motivated and on the right track to get to where you want to be.
- Progress. When you have something to work towards, you will actually make great progress in your business. Goals also help you measure your progress - when you achieve one, you can set a larger one, and so on.
- Focus. Once you’ve set yourself some goals, you’ll feel super focused. You’ll know what you’re working towards in your blog or business, and you can stop flying from one idea to the next.
Action: Set weekly goals for your blog or business and write them down on a post-it note or create a new goal-card for the week to print and have on your desk.
Declutter Your Workspace
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge neat-freak and I can’t work on a messy desk. A tidy desk is a tidy mind - that’s the saying, right?
Spend 20 minutes or so at the end of your week to declutter your workspace and get it ready for your epic productive week ahead!
I strongly recommend in investing in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying to find out how to best declutter and re-organise your workspace! I got this as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and it’s changed the way I think about everything when it comes to clearing out and organising my space. Definitely worth the read!
Action: Simple - have a tidy and declutter your space! Go go go!
Say hello to my new BFF!
I remember the days when I didn’t batch tasks and I was ALL over the place. Spending 20 minutes on my Instagram each day, 30 minutes working on my blog every other day, and checking Facebook groups every 5 minutes for ways to interact with potential clients - it was exhausting, to say the least.
Batching tasks essentially means blocking out time to complete a certain group of tasks. You can do this every day (i.e. 20 minutes from 9:10am to 9:30am each day to check emails), weekly (i.e. scheduling all your social media content for the week on a Sunday) or monthly (i.e. create a new pillar blog post on the last Sunday of every month).
This method improves productivity, keeps you focused, and it’s actually quite fun!
For more info on batching your tasks, have a read of these awesome guides:
- How To Set Up (And Stick To) Weekly Batch Days by Nesha Designs
- How To Get More Done By Batching Your Blog Tasks by My Adaptable Career
Action: Write a list of all the tasks you do each and every week. Are there any you can group together? How long will each of these groups take? Now pick a day to do each of these tasks on and trial a weekly batching schedule for the next couple of weeks. You won’t regret it!
You need to keep your tasks prioritised so you know exactly what you need to do first and what can wait. If you don’t prioritise, it’s like the equivalent of trying to bake a cake with instructions in the wrong order.
In order to have a productive week, plan out your tasks in time blocks (oh hi again, batching) and label each task/batch with a high, medium or low priority label. I like to use three different coloured highlighters to help me quickly see what needs to be done today and what can wait until tomorrow.
Action: List everything you need to get done this week and prioritise your tasks using my highlighter method!
Schedule In Advance
Save yourself time during the week and schedule all your social media posts, blog posts & emails in advance.
I use the batch scheduling method to plan out and schedule all my Instagram posts and emails throughout the week. My Twitter and Facebook posts are already scheduled in and and loop around thanks to MeetEdgar and having BoardBooster means I never have to worry about my Pinterest being inactive again.
To plan and schedule my Instagram feed, I use Planoly. Planoly is an amazing visual planner and scheduling app that helps you visualise your feed, track your analytics, and monitor comments on your posts.
When it comes to scheduling emails to your mailing list, you can’t get better than ConvertKit. Not only can you schedule emails in advance, you can track subscribers with bespoke tags, create scheduled email sequences (I use this feature for my free email courses), custom design your email templates, and more!
Action: Pick a day of the week (either Sunday or Monday work best for me) to plan out and schedule an entire week’s worth of social media and email content. If you post to your blog more than twice a week, you might want to pick a day to schedule that in advance too!
Download My Free Blog Post Planner
Speaking of planning your blog, use my free blog post planner to brainstorm new blog post ideas for the week, check you’ve got all the right elements in place and maintain your old posts so your content is always up to date!
There is also a calendar aspect of my free planner so you can use this to organise when your posts will go live and check-in each week to see what you need to schedule for the upcoming week.
Action: Download the planner here!
Plan Your Week On Paper
Now you’ve set your goals, organised your workload into batch days, prioritised your tasks and scheduled everything in advance, you’re going to want to see an overview of your week.
Use an IRL paper planner to plan out your week so you can get a good idea of what each day will look like.
I recently purchased the Refresh Weekly Planner by J.Lynn Designery and I LOVE it. Each month has a monthly spready so you can plan big events/launch days/birthdays/etc and the weekly spread has space for AM/PM tasks AND to-do lists. Perfect!
I also love that the Saturday and Sunday spaces are the same size as every other weekend - great for the weekend hustlers among us!
There’s also a notes section at the end of the week, which is the perfect size for a little ‘weekly thanks’ - I like to say 3 things I’m thankful for that week to get me thinking positive for the next week to come.
I’ve been using this planner each week to plan the week ahead and it’s really increased my work productivity. I couldn’t have found a better weekly planner if I tried!
Action: Plan out your week in your weekly planner or invest in the Refresh Weekly Planner if you haven’t got a 2017 planner yet!
Try the Pomodoro Technique
Okay, this is quite new to me but I’ve been recommending it to everyone since I got started with it.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method where you use a timer to block your tasks down to 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks in between each ‘pomodoro’.
When I find myself starting to lose focus, I say to myself ‘okay, I’m going to get X done in the next 25 minutes’. I pop my Simple Pomodoro timer on for 25 minutes and focus on what needs to get done.
After the timer is up, a nice little break reminder message pops up and I set the timer for a 5 minute break. I use this time to browse Facebook, scroll Instagram, reply to emails, etc. Then get back to the task at hand for another 25 minutes - and so on, and so forth!
I would recommend using this technique if you:
- Tend to get lost down the rabbit hole of social media instead of doing work
- Always take longer than expected to complete a simple task
- Find yourself procrastinating more than working on what matters
Personally, I’ve found this technique to be the most helpful when I’m working with clients on their social media accounts. It’s so easy for me to get lost on Pinterest when I’m already on their for a client. This technique means I can say ‘this looks interesting, but I’ll save it for my 5 minute break!’
Action: Install a Pomodoro timer app (there’s a great one for Google Chrome here) or invest in a real Pomodoro timer and start implementing this technique!
Track Your Tasks in Asana
Asana is my new productivity BFF. I tried a couple of online task trackers before; Wunderlist, HelloFocus, Trello, etc. But nothing stuck until Asana.
I LOVE the calendar aspect of Asana so you can see what’s coming up and drag and drop tasks to another day if necessary. Also, Asana have recently introduced a boards feature, which is great for tracking a repetitive workflow (i.e creating a new blog post or onboarding a new client).
I definitely recommend using Asana to pop in what you need to get done each week to help you visualise your workflow. If you want to learn more about the benefits of using Asana, take a look at this great blog post from Lauren Hooker at Elle & Company.
Action: Sign-up to Asana and start plotting in your tasks for the week with deadlines and notes. You can even delegate tasks to others if you have a team!
Spend Less Time In Your Inbox
This one is probably not for everyone and will definitely depend on the way you work personally.
I find that the less time I spend in my inbox, the better. I schedule certain times of day to check my inbox and try to stay out of it for the rest of the day. Otherwise, I find myself replying to emails here and there all day - something that disjoints my day and limits my productivity.
Action: Pick 3 times of day to check your inbox. Set timers to remind you and keep that tab closed for the rest of the day!
Write Down Your Tasks The Night Before
This 5 minute job will help you save so much time the next morning. When you’re done for the day with your blog or business, take a moment to write down what you need to do the next day.
Maybe it will include things you didn’t have the time to accomplish today or even things you forgot about. Don’t forget to prioritise this list too so you know exactly what you have to focus on when you get to your workspace in the morning.
Action: At the end of your workday, bullet point 3 to 5 things you need to get done tomorrow. Highlight the most important tasks and leave your work behind - you’re done for the day!
How do you plan your week?
I really hope these tips helped you to plan your most productive week!
Do you have any personal tips or productivity hacks that help you plan your week?
Tell us in the comments - let's geek out over productivity tips!