We all go through those phases where we find ourselves lacking motivation and willing our self to do something productive. With so many tasks and plans to juggle it’s too easy to get distracted. However having a productive week is something that can be easily achieved with proper planning and preparation.
So I’ve come up with a challenge for you. It’s aimed to help maximize your time and increase productivity so that you never need to forget anything again!
SUNDAY – PLAN THE WEEK AHEAD
Use the weekends to your advantage. Take time each week to sit down with your planner and take note of any appointments you have or tasks that you need to cross off your to-do list by the end of the week. Reviewing your week before it has even started will help you get a better grasp of what you need to do so you can schedule time in advance to prepare.
Use this time to plan your meals and outfits for the week too. Planning in advance will save you the hassle of thinking what to cook that evening or what clothes you need to wash before morning.
You can read more about creating a stress-free meal plan here!
MONDAY – DE-CLUTTER
Clutter is the result of procrastination. For me, I’m much more productive when I’m working in a clean house. If you live and work in disorganisation then this will reflect in your mindset.
“A recent survey says a disorganized workspace can lead to decreased productivity and unprofessional behavior.” Inc Magazine.
Let’s start small. Take a look at your workspace. Are there papers and notebooks piled up? Is the paper bin overflowing? Does your inbox need clearing out? Write a list of what needs doing and work at it today until your desk is free of clutter. Once you are no longer scrambling around to find papers and emails, you’ll find that your time management and productivity will improve.
TUESDAY – MAKE A REALISTIC TO-DO LIST
Everyone has their own way of creating a to-do list. Personally, I like to have one master to-do list for everything so that I can see it all one page but I know that a lot of people would prefer to keep their work and personal life separate. That’s fine! The important thing is that your to-do list is actually benefiting you.
There is no point in having repetitive tasks such as ‘shower’ and ‘wake up’ on your list. You do these instinctively and so do not need reminding to complete it. If anything, writing these down on your list is only wasting time and wasting space.
Instead use your to-do list to cross off important tasks on your list that you are likely to forget or abandon.
WEDNESDAY – USE THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most popular time management options used today. It is designed to keep you focused so that you can dedicate your time to completing tasks effectively without getting distracted.
The system is really simple. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a timer (kitchen timer or app on your phone) and the following steps:
1. Choose a task that you need to complete (write a blog post, college assignment, etc.)
2. Set the timer to 25 minutes.
3. Work on the task continuously for 25 minutes until the timer goes off. Avoid getting distracted by your phone, emails, etc.
4. Take a 5-10 minute when the timer goes off.
Once you have completed four pomodoros (each pomodoro is 25 minutes), take a longer break of 30 minutes. This ensures that you don’t get burnt out and can fully focus on the task when you return to it.
THURSDAY – FIND A NEW HABIT AND STICK TO IT
Creating a habit and sticking to it is very important if you want to accomplish more in your daily life. They have been proven to make us more productive and focused if kept to on a regular basis.
Choose an area that you would like to improve – perhaps you would like to start getting up earlier to fit more in your day or put time aside each day to develop your language/writing skills. For now, just start off with one habit you would like to incorporate into your day and track your progress with this free habit tracker printable.
FRIDAY – LEARN TO SAY NO
Saying no can be difficult but the truth is, if you say yes to one thing then you’ll have to say no to many other things. When you say yes to everything asked of you then you’re more than likely stretching yourself too thin resulting in you being unable to give your full focus to the tasks important to you.
“Before you can say no to others, you have to be able to say no to yourself.”
It’s important to also be able to say no to yourself. This can include examples such as learning to leave work on time, saying no to a takeaway to stick to your health goals or turning off your phone notifications when you need to focus.
For the rest of the week if someone asks you to do something that will distract you from your own work or personal goals then simply say no.
SATURDAY – TAKE A BREAK
Are you guilty of pushing yourself too hard? Do you find yourself working at your computer all weekend or getting up at the crack of dawn to hit the gym on a Saturday/Sunday? Constantly putting yourself under pressure to get things done will only make you stressed and tired. That’s why today is the easiest day of the week – relax!
As long as you return to the task with a fresh, positive mindset then taking regular breaks is a great way to stay productive and focused!