The #1 Time-Management Habit

Feeling overwhelmed on Mondays? Drowning in tasks at the end of the day? Need time for your health and relationships? Pre-week planning can be your secret weapon!

This is the #1 habit for effective time management. So, let’s review a few key steps to successfully pre-week plan and four benefits you’ll realize as you pre-week plan.

How to Conquer the Week

Think of your week as a blank canvas. Pre-week planning is where you sketch the outline, ensuring you dedicate time to what matters most. Here’s how:

Pick Your Power Hour: Find a weekly time you can successfully pre-week plan (e.g., Friday at the end of work, Sunday morning, etc.). Dedicate 20-60 minutes to plan the upcoming week. This is your “power hour!”

Review Your Personal Vision and Goals: Briefly review your personal vision and goals. You can then align your day and week with what matters most in the long run. You’ll also take your vision and goals into your daily and weekly schedule.

Write Out Your Life Roles: Write out your life roles. This ensures you prioritize time for work, for yourself, for your relationships, and for the areas of life that matter most to you. Here’s an example of what this may look like:

Set Action Items By Role: Write out 1-5 key action items for each of your life roles. You’re not scheduling them yet, your simply identifying “what matters most” for each life role. These are your priorities for the week.

Then Schedule Your Action Items: Then schedule your action items before all else. This is how you schedule your priorities first, before prioritizing your schedule. This allows you to readily focus on and do what matters most at the weekly and daily level.

Don’t Minimize the Personal: Planning isn’t just about work! Schedule time for exercise, errands, hobbies, mental and emotional well-being, relationships, and social events. Take care of yourself outside of work, and you can give your best at work.

Be Flexible and Accept Imperfection: Be realistic! Include buffer time for unexpected tasks. Some jobs require more “flexibility” than others. Find what level of “buffer” is needed in your schedule. If necessary, make some tasks “floating tasks” that can be moved around.

And, know that some tasks won’t get completed. Life happens 🙂 And that’s okay. Some weeks you may get 40% of your tasks done and other weeks 70%. You are still accomplishing what matters most and leading a life by design! And THAT is the point.

Bonus Tip: Use a planning tool! Whether it’s a digital pre-week planner for Outlook or Google calendars, a custom planner, or a simple pen and paper, find a system and set of tools that work for you.

Benefits of Pre-Week Planning

Increase Productivity: People who pre-week plan accomplish 30-50% more on average.
Do What Matters Most: People who pre-week plan prioritize what matters most.
Reduce Stress: 100% of people who pre-week plan report having less stress in life.
Prioritize Work-Life Balance and Self-Care: Pre-week planning for personal time allows for a more fulfilling week, healthy living, and healthy relationships. We all need balance in life, and this habit readily creates it.

Wrapping Up

So, pick and find your power hour — a time where you can review your vision and goals, list your life roles, set your action items for each role, and then schedule your priorities first for the upcoming week.

You’ll achieve 30-50% more each week, experience less stress, and create time for your health and relationships, and that’s becoming your best!

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” – Dale Carnegie

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