One of my favorite productivity tips is all about planning ahead for success and creating your ideal week. I’m not going to lie, I’m nerding out a little bit out having this conversation around creating your ideal week. Over the years, I’ve had some many questions about this and one of the biggest shifts for me, as I have built my business, is that I have had to get more laser focused on my time management skills. I will say that creating an ideal week for my business has been probably the reason that I have been able to juggle so many things in my personal and business life.
When it comes down to it, you need to have some structure around your week, or you’re going to find that week after week you’ll feel frazzled by the lack of structure in your business, and you won’t be getting the things done that are essential for reaching your goals. I’m so excited to be able to share some of the things that I’ve learned and am still learning as I really dive into that next level for my business. Today’s episode will help you to figure out what anchors you need to have every week to make real progress on your goals. I hope that with these time management tips, you will become more efficient with your time and reach your goals faster.
What is an Ideal Week?
So, an ideal week is really just what it sounds like: It’s what you dream of your week looking like. Not only from the perspective of what you need in terms of balance, but also what are the important things that you need to get done every week or every couple of weeks and how can you start to create those anchors in your schedule to make sure that it gets done. Let’s go over a couple of things that can be in your ideal week. You can add blocks of times for the following:
Content Creation: Break that down into the best days of the week for you to test recipes, shoot photos or write blog content. You will be more efficient when you batch these tasks together, where you can test two or three recipes at a time, take photos of two or three recipes at a time then outline your blog post altogether. Break apart your content creation, so that you can get ahead and get into a rhythm that makes the most sense for you.
Marketing: You can put in time blocks for marketing, either social media marketing or email marketing, depending on how you structure your content plan. If you can carve out the time in your ideal week to sit down and write a few social media captions at a time or a few emails at a time, you will be more productive and accountable during that time.
Business Development: This can be things like thinking about your next level partnerships, thinking about team building or other ways of bringing income into your business. You can also carve out some time for CEO time, like we talked about in this episode.
Education: You can carve out some time for education, so things like catching up on courses, or finding new courses to take or listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos. These are probably things you’re doing already, but if you can do them in a focused container of time, it will help you to be a little bit more productive with that time.
Admin Tasks: This could look like updating plugins on your website, responding to comments or emails from fans or clients, replying to DMS on Instagram, and paying or sending out invoices.
Delegating Tasks: The last thing that you want to add to your ideal week is a block of time for you to focus on delegating tasks. So having that block of time set aside to be able to just look at what needs to be delegated, whether that’s in your personal life or your business life, can be so helpful for making sure that you are really utilizing the team that you have, and taking some stuff off your plate in the meantime.
When thinking about your ideal week, you really want to be thinking about not only when do you have time blocks during your week, but also when do you feel the most energetic or the most creative, so that you can plan your highest-level tasks and your best tasks during that time. Now that you have quite a few ideas of things that you can include in your ideal week, take a blank calendar from a weekly view or a blank piece of paper, and then map out the blocks of time that you have to work with. Let’s say that you have from eight to five every day throughout the week, though truthfully speaking, you may not get started right away at 8 o’clock and you need some time to settle in.
Be realistic about when you want that first block of time to be in and, block off the time that you want for breaks. Now for most people, and just in general, our focus is going to drastically shift after about an hour to an hour and a half. So, if you can help it, you want to have no more than two hours blocked off for a specific task, and make sure to let yourself take breaks within that task. Remember, rest is 100% productive and will help you to be more efficient with your time, so please remember to let yourself take a little break.
When to Reevaluate?
Now if you have this ideal week at least sketched out, and you have given it a try to see if having that structure helped you to be more productive, the biggest question that comes to mind is: when do you need to reevaluate this ideal week? The first thing is, are you using it? If you have been using it, give it a month to six weeks before you just throw it all out and scrap the whole plan. You don’t have to follow it perfectly, but the closer you can follow it, the more helpful it’s going to be to see if it works for you or not. Keep track of the things that you are maybe not doing in your ideal week that you need to add in. You want to reevaluate your ideal week anytime there’s a major change in your schedule, or if you find that it’s just not working for you. If you find that you’re not really following it anymore, and you just keep putting off kind of following the system that you’ve created, that’s a great sign that you need to go back and revisit it. Or if you have had a change in your team or a change in your client load, then that’s a great time to reevaluate and revisit your schedule.
Get Back on Track
Last question to ask yourself is how do you get back on track when you have fallen off your ideal week? I think for this, again you really must reevaluate, is it the ideal week that’s not working or is it just your dedication to it? Because if there’s something that is not right on the ideal week, it’s often going to make you want to skip over it and not follow it. But if your ideal week is really set up to serve you and your business, then it’s going to be easier to follow it. So, I would take a step back and reevaluate it first, then use that as motivation to get you back on track and then just recommit to making a true effort to follow your ideal week as much as you can.