As someone who spends her time procrastinating more than hustling, I can’t tell you how hypocritical it felt to pen this one down. Planning an entire week ahead seems like the most daunting thing to me, when I’m not even sure of what I’m doing in the next hour (she says, sitting at her desk in her 9-5 job). But every now and then, the universe plays a funny game and I suddenly find myself with more motivation than I can possibly handle. And this article is the exact result of that.
You’ll find below a few of my tried and tested tips to having a productive week ahead. They involve full-blown to-do lists, planners, treats, and performance tracking – the result of which, I find, has led to consistency, contentment, and above all, Productivity! –
Set your weekly targets (and stick to them)
Preferably do this a day before, when you have plenty of time to yourself to peacefully jot down your to-do list for the week. Give yourself a particular period of time and don’t allow yourself to exceed that particular limit. Easier said than done, but if you’re determined to have a productive week ahead, nothing will stop you from achieving just that. Your targets may also be in the form of something as simple as daily exercise, or dietary goals. For example, you may have a target of working out at least 5 times in the week, or go one whole week without any form of sugar or junk food
Don’t over-task yourself
The freedom of a to-do list also means our lists often become longer than we can handle. It is important to know how much is possible to achieve, and how much time is needed to do so. Leave yourself some room to breathe and unwind and don’t try to complete an absurd amount of tasks just for the sake of achieving your targets. Going to the gym twice a day will not give you a beach body in a week!
Get tasks out of the way
No matter how hard we try, there will always be that one particular task we’ve been putting off for the longest time. It could be a doctor’s appointment, reading a book, or finishing a chapter in your textbooks. The best way to tackle this is to ensure that this is your number one priority, so that you don’t have to bother about it or dread it for the rest of the week. You will also give yourself the satisfaction of having successfully completed it, which is way better than procrastination.
Keep a physical planner handy at all times
These days, you’ll be able to find thousands of aesthetically pleasing day planners to fit any type of budget. And having one to yourself will be the biggest blessing you could hope for. You can arrange your tasks in your planner, keep track of your appointments/meetings, previous tasks, deadlines or assignments. You can also jazz up your planner with multiple stickers or post its, and we guarantee you’ll be reaching for your planner more often than you’d expect.
Treat yo-self midweek
Midweek treats are probably the best way to keep the momentum going for the rest of the week. Fix a particular time of the day to give yourself a breather, relax, and not think about your to-do list for a bit. Your ‘treats’ may be in the form of visiting a new restaurant, catching a movie at the cinema, making a dessert run to your favourite patisserie or ice-cream, visiting a dog cafe (there are plenty of these around town), going on a mini shopping spree, making a visit to the spa, or just winding down at home with a good movie. These may be the most clichéd of things to do, but they’re definitely the mid week fuel you need to take on the rest of the week ahead.
Netflix and chill only on the weekend
How many of us have logged into our Netflix account with the intention of watching an episode, without it quickly turning into a full-on Netflix binge (guilty!). It can completely throw you off your game, and disrupt all the motivation you’ve so successfully held all week long. But hey, this is completely acceptable over the weekend when you probably have all the time in the world to do as you please. Chances are you might have a public holiday somewhere in the middle of the week so you can also indulge in some guilt-free Netflixin’.
Track your performance
At the end of the week when the dust has finally settled, take an hour or so to go over what you’ve achieved, what you haven’t, and what are your possible areas of improvement. This will also help you plan better for the next week ahead. Don’t beat yourself up if things haven’t gone to plan, it takes time to master anything. But be mindful of your long-term goals.