How to Productively Plan Out Your Weekly Tasks
At this moment in time, there are a lot of things that we are unsure of or can’t control. Covid-19 is causing lots of panic, cancellations, and fear all around the world. And the habits and comforts we are used to may not be available to us right now. I even thought, “maybe I shouldn’t write a blog post for this week.. no one wants to read blog posts at a time like this”. But on the contrary… I have been seeing a lot of media talking about people coming together in amazing ways, and many social media accounts and blogs I love are continuing to (as much as they can) produce content as usual. So I am still writing this post, in the hopes it might help you set up some productivity and positivity in your life, no matter what your current normal is.
To start, I have monthly, weekly, and daily tasks that I keep in my 2020 planner. And I LIVE by my planner. The planner I use is a Fringe Studio agenda (I couldn’t find the same design as mine on their site, but mine is similar to this one). It is also good to note that I also have a little notebook that I keep at work for my work tasks (I write out a work to-do list once I get to work each day).
My planner is divided into a monthly spread, weekly spreads, and a page at the beginning of each month with a monthly to-do list and monthly goals.
My first page is where I lay out my goals for the month and my tasks for the month. My goals are the big dreams or activities I want to achieve. For example, one of my goals for April is to run 50km, adding up all of my running through the month. This is something I am challenging myself to prioritize next month. My tasks are the to-do list items that I need to schedule in for that month. My tasks might include any appointments I need to make, any paperwork I need to fill out, or any purchases I should make that month.
My monthly spread is just a calendar of that month. There is not enough room on this page for my daily tasks so I use this page to write down appointments or events that I need to know at-a-glance.
These pages are where the magic happens. My planner has enough space on these weekly spread pages for me to write down my daily appointments or classes but also to list my weekly tasks.
At the beginning of the month, when I have filled out my first page with my weekly goals and tasks, I then look through my weekly spreads and schedule them right away. SO if one of my monthly tasks is to schedule a dental appointment, I literally go to my weekly spread and write down the exact day that I will call the dentist to schedule my appointment. This may sound a bit too planner-crazy but what this does is free up my mind. I don’t need to be constantly reminding myself to call the dentist, instead I just see in my planner that I have to call them on Tuesday. It actually makes my list of tasks feel more manageable.
How Many Tasks Per Day?
For my weekly tasks, I like to have 3 tasks per day. These tasks don’t include appointments, but they could be anything from “doing laundry” to “design newsletter” but I like to keep it at 3 per day if possible. Because on top of exercising, eating, and going to work, those extra tasks can feel like a lot to add to your day. So keeping it at 3 keeps my day feeling manageable and still productive.
Work With The Time You Have
Something that has made my weekly tasks work so much better, is to work with my natural schedule. I used to have soccer games on Sundays, so when I would schedule other tasks that day my chances of getting to those were quite a bit smaller because of my soccer games. But now that I don’t have my Sundays taken up with games, I now schedule lots of my home tasks like meal prepping or cleaning on Sundays. Similarly, I tend to feel more motivated for the first few days of the week, so I like to schedule appointments, phone calls, or events on Mondays and Tuesdays if possible. Working with your natural schedule or moods will help you be more productive.
When it Doesn’t Get Done
When a task I had planned to accomplish one week doesn’t get checked off, I just move it to the next week! The earlier in the week the better. And at the end of the month? Move it to the next month! I have to sometimes give myself a kick in the butt when there are certain tasks I just really don’t want to do (out of laziness usually). I really try not to stress about when these tasks don’t get done, but sometimes we all need a wake up call if we are letting ourselves down by ignoring an important task for weeks on end. Sometimes I give myself a deadline and a reward, like, if I clean my car (a task I do NOT love) by a specific day, I’ll treat myself to a new plant, or takeout for dinner.
Setting yourself up for productivity and success when it comes to your schedule and tasks can be tricky. But by creating a monthly list of tasks and goals, scheduling those tasks and goals into your weeks right away, working with your natural schedule, and doing this all consistently, your planner will be working for you, freeing up time and space in your mind for other things. Like happiness, gratitude, connection, and creativity.