9 Tips That Will Make Your Week Super Productive

I noticed that I haven’t been very focused of late. During my time in self-isolation, I had a pretty good routine; I was very concentrated and made a lot of progress. It was a very work-intensive time. Maybe too much so that intensity had to be outbalanced at one point.
Then some very unfocused weeks followed and where I couldn’t find my flow. It became apparent that I needed to rebalance myself to get back into my productivity flow.
For me, productivity is not about huffing and puffing as much as possible, working more, or being busier. It’s always about working less while getting more out of life.
I realized what robs me of the most energy to do this is the lack of planning for the next week. That’s why I set some rules and habits that developed into a framework for my week.
After applying these habits, I have had one of the best weeks in a long time. The ideal symbiosis of productive work, relaxation, and joy of life was created.
Don’t worry; you don’t need to join the 5 am club, take freezing cold showers, or do HIIT workouts in the morning.
Although all these things may be helpful, I am convinced that you can also be productive when you have no specific morning routine. Because it’s not about the big things you do the week, it’s about the little things you do more often.

1. Start Your Week On Friday

So the traditional way to plan your week is from Monday to Sunday. I often wanted to plan my next week on Sunday evening, but this has never really worked out. It was just the wrong day for me.
So I started to plan my next week on Friday.
Friday is the day my newest podcast episode goes live. After uploading the episode and sharing it on social media, I generally don’t have too much work left. So now I start planning my next week on Friday afternoon.
A big advantage of this is that the week feels still fresh. Because there is no weekend pause between ending the week and planning the new one I still know what I did this week, what needs to be postponed to the next week, what worked well and what didn’t. So before I plan the new week, I can reflect on what happened in the last one.
Another advantage is that my new week starts at the weekend.
I am a big advocate of active resting. Active resting means to refill your energy before you spent it on another productive week.
It’s like saving: you have to pay yourself first, not wait until there is nothing left at the end of the month. Gather new energy first.
So if you do your weekly planning on Friday, you can plan the next two days just for yourself and the things that you enjoy. You still have the rest of the week to be productive.
So on Friday, after reflecting on the last week, I start to plan the new week.
But How?

2. Clear Your Head

Before starting a new week, you have to let go of those annoying to do’s that are too important to dump but not important enough to do them right away.
We all have those annoying little duties we’ve been putting off for ages, like the one bill we haven’t paid or the doorknob that’s been waiting to be fixed. If you’ve got those things popping up frequently, now’s the time to do them. I mean it, now!
Done? Perfect, now it’s time to plan!

3. Use The “ONE Thing” Method

I am a big fan of the book “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It’s a huge lifesaver and guide for direction when it comes to time management.
Briefly, the goal is to identify this ONE Thing that brings the most results in your life or business. But how do you know what’s most important?
The ONE Thing is about asking yourself one question; it’s called the focus question:
What’s the ONE Thing you can that makes everything easier or even unnecessary?
This question shows you which priorities you have to set to achieve your goals in the long term, and you can use this as a basis for defining your weekly goal. So if you start from the big picture: Which is the ONE Thing I want to do at some point?
Then the focus question: What is the ONE Thing I can do in the next five years to achieve this goal?
What can I do this year?
This month?
And what can I do, especially this week, to achieve this goal?

4. Write A Success List

The concept of the success list also arises from the same book. The success list is the better version of the to-do list. You know the saying: Don’t be busy, be productive. Exactly this saying can be put into practice with a success list.
Every day there are dozens of things we can do, but there are only a few things we MUST do to reach our goals. When we recognize which tasks are crucial and set priorities, a to-do list becomes a success list.
The success list is based on the 80/20 principle, that says 20% of your tasks, make 80% of your results.
Which tasks bring you really to your goal?
What is your 20%?
This can be everything from publishing a blog post, writing a new offer to call previous customers. Concentrate on these tasks and add them to your success list for this week!

5. Track Your Peak Times

Peak times are the times during the day when you are most creative and motivated. Everyone has different peak times. If you want to increase your productivity, there is no point in getting up at 6 am when you are most productive in the evening. You need to know your peak times.
My peak time is usually from about 8 am to 2 pm. Afterward, I often have a pretty good down and almost no energy from 2 pm to 4 pm. At that time, I won’t produce content, record a podcast episode, or do super demanding tasks. I do that between 8 am and 2 pm.
In my low state, I will schedule meetings, do some research, read a book, or look for inspiration on Pinterest.
So assuming my big goal this week was to redesign my website. I would do the writing and programming until 2 pm and then between 2 pm and 4 pm get more inspiration for the next day or maybe take a break and then start again after 4 pm.

6. Question Your Monday

Why does the new week have to start on Monday? Why does Monday have to be the day everything goes on again? Sure, the classic 9-to-5 week works from Monday to Friday, but you can still make some changes that will ease your Monday.
For example, scheduling no meetings on Monday. Keep your Monday clear for the important things that will come up during the week like researching social media posts, planning blog posts, or preparing new podcast interviews.
Everything that requires deep work mode should be done on Monday.
If you have a classical office job, this tip may be harder to implement. Still, the best thing you can do is to educate all people around you that you are not available on Monday. It may take a while, but they will get used to it.
Emails, messages, and calls will be answered on Tuesday. On Monday, you work for yourself and not for someone else. Flight mode on!

7. Find The Right Tools

The right tools can be a real lifesaver when it comes to productivity. If there is one essential that you need for a productive week, it’s a notebook.
I do not know how people can work without it.
You don’t need a Bullet-Journal with a gratitude diary and habit tracker for now, although that can help. But at least a notebook where your weekly goal, your success list, and your daily to-do’s are recorded.
You need a place where you can check tasks off, so you know what you have achieved that day.
There are plenty of practical tools that support you during the week. I started scheduling my Instagram Posts with Planoly, keep track of all my projects with Trello, and never need to remember my passwords thanks to LastPass.
What are your most annoying and time-consuming tasks during the week? I am sure there is a solution out there; just find the right tools.

8. Do Less More Often

The key to feeling super productive is maintaining a clean space. It will also make you feel like your winning at adulthood.
Many people work from home these days. So do I. With a pretty furry dog and a “loves to cook but not to clean” type of husband in the house, most of the work is on me.
I was forced to develop some easy habits for me to keep my house clean and organized ALL the time.
So I do fewer things but more frequently.
One of my daily habits is: leaving the room more beautiful than I have found it. Even if I just get a pen from the other room, I grab a little thing that needs to be put away. Doing this helps me to reduce the chaos consistently or not to let it arise at all.
But the most important routine, I got used to, is turn on the dishwasher before going to bed — this way it is done and ready to be cleaned out first thing in the morning.
The dishwasher stays open so that one can put the used dishes in the kitchen right away. No mess arises in the kitchen sink.
It seems simple, but believe me, things like this differ a super productive week from a productive one.

9. Schedule Your Rest

This may be the most essential yet underestimated point when it comes to productivity, and that is recovery. Or as I call it Active Resting.
A lot of people find it difficult to switch off and get rest. Some say that they don’t need it at all, because they are so positively engaged in their work.
There are two types of stress: distress and negative pressure from outside, which if not eliminated or at least reduced, can lead to burnout syndrome in the long run. And eustress, stress that we experience as positive when we are excited or full in ecstasy because we what we do.
But eustress is also stressful, even if you love your work you need to rest at some point.
Top athletes live for their sport, but even top-class sport has understood that the most progress in performance comes from rest periods (!).
And we all need rest — each in their own weight and in their own way.
Yet so many people still see rest as a weakness and do not allow themselves to pause.
When we no longer see relaxation as a luxury but as a necessity, that makes us even more productive, we can let go more easily.
Be proud of every progress you make. Small progress is also progress and a step in the right direction. Do your best, that’s all you can do.

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