In our fast-paced world of online business, it’s easy to get swallowed by your to-dos and all your business responsabilities. One of the ways I fight this is by making a plan for my week ahead of time. This helps me not only to stay organized but also to have a sense of calm about the week ahead.
When you know what you need to do you don’t have time to wonder about what you should be doing.
Where it all starts: The prep-work
Planning your weeks starts with having a place to plan it on. For me that place is Trello. For you, it can be a paper calendar or a different scheduling app like ToDoIst or Asana.
I wanted however to make a case for Trello. For many years I had used a mixture of paper planner, calendar and task apps and Evernote. And then I really dove into Trello. I had heard of Trello before but wasn’t sold on it. The interface looks odd and it didn’t have all the bells and whistles of the other tools.
But I decided to take another look and know I wouldn’t trade it for a second. It is now the only tool I use, I’ve abandoned paper planers, other checklist type apps and even Evernote. All my ideas, tasks and client information live in Trello. Now I can plan out my days, weeks and months without having to wonder where everything is.
The other great advantage of Trello is its flexibility. You can make it work for your particular business and workflow and there’s really no rules you have to follow in making it work.
Sunday: Get ready for the week ahead
I always plan my weeks on Sunday before, like this when Monday comes around I can focus on doing the things instead of rushing around prepping the things and doing the things at the same time.
The way I plan my week is predicated on the type of work I do but also on so generally good rules that I’ve learned along the way. So here are my two “rules” to planning my week.
First what you do every week
We all have recurring tasks we do every week, for me, that means social media and blog post scheduling both for myself and my clients, for you it might mean something completely different. Regardless of what exactly that looks like for you, these are the first tasks you need to add to your week.
Add them for each of your days and if you can set your system up to do this for you, even better!
Decide how many F*cks you can give.
This idea was first presented to me by Ash Ambirge of the Middle Finger Project. You can read the article here. The idea is this: you only have so much energy every day so as a rule of thumb you never want to schedule more things to do than those that you’ll have the energy for on each given day.
For me what this means is that when planning my week I will only ever add 12 tasks per day, not a single one more. Depending on the tasks 12 may seem like a lot or too little so here’s a rule of thumb: each task should take more than 25 minutes if you have a task that will take more than that split it into smaller steps.
So when looking ahead at your week decide what are the 12 things you’ll do on that given day?
Finally, be flexible
The reason I love digital so much is that it isn’t set in “pen”, you can change and adapt as the week progresses and you should. This means that if a task seemed important at the beginning of the week but doesn’t anymore, remove it, replace it with a different one. If a day is going particularly well and you feel like you could do a few more things you get a choice: you can do a few tasks from the next day or you can take a break and enjoy the day.
Whatever your schedule looks like remember there aren’t right or wrong ways to have a schedule. There are only the right ways for you.
What feels right for you and how can you organize your days so you can give fewer fucks?