Do you want to achieve all your goals but have no idea how to do so?
Or maybe you have a big picture in mind but haven’t worked out all the nitty-gritty details?
This is a common issue that many of us face.
Be it in work or personal life, here’s how you can build a weekly work plan template to stay productive and motivated!
1. Have a set time to plan
It’s easy to say, “I’ll plan it all out!” and end up never getting around to doing it. Make sure you set a time for yourself to sit down and write down the things you want to do for the upcoming week! This can be every Sunday morning or whichever day and time you prefer.
First, come up with an extensive to-do list. This would give you a broad idea of which tasks you need to complete for the upcoming week. After that, slowly allocate these tasks to the specific days you have in mind. You can balance these tasks out by having a good mix of challenging and easy tasks for each day. Otherwise, you may stress yourself out later on if you plan too many challenging tasks to handle in one day.
You can also set the priority of different tasks when planning. Put urgent tasks at the top and less important ones at the bottom later. By arranging them this way, it would be easier for you to refer to as you can complete tasks by following the order of the list.
2. Follow your energy levels when planning
Back in 2015, an email sent by a Google staffer regarding weekly planning was shared, and its contents were made into a video for easier understanding. The idea was to plan your weekly work plan by best utilising your energy. We all know how Monday blues and Friday nights are a real thing, and that shows how our energy fluctuates throughout the week.
By planning your tasks according to your energy levels during the different workweek days, you would have a steady stream of productivity throughout the week. You may even have a calm and relaxing week as you follow your plan and stay motivated instead of getting burned out.
The following are some points extracted from the entire email. You can build an effective and efficient weekly work plan template with these tips!
When your energy is lowest on Mondays, it would be best to tackle low-demand tasks. This includes scheduling and organising; and setting goals, objectives, and critical metrics.
As your energy rises to its peak on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can plan to complete the most challenging tasks here. This includes writing and project planning, brainstorming, and scheduling time to work on tasks assigned. To facilitate productivity, it would be good to have very few or no meetings on these two days.
On Thursdays, your energy levels would be lower, and you could work on less tiring tasks. You could have team meetings here to align your goals and arrange appointments for the following week.
Your energy levels will be at their lowest by the end of the week, as you will be looking forward to the weekend. You can schedule your least draining tasks on Fridays, such as doing broad-based work like idea generation, conducting long-term planning and reviewing your project timelines, as well as focusing on people and relationship building by arranging catchup sessions with your colleagues and subordinates.
3. Plan break times
Of course, working every minute during work hours would be too much for anyone. Remember to schedule break times for yourself, and if you’d like, you can block this on your calendar too!
During these breaks, take the opportunity to get yourself a hot cup of coffee or stand up and stretch your body. You could also share some casual conversations with your colleagues to build relationships, which would help in raising workplace cohesion!
Having such break times would also give your mind a chance to rest and recharge. This way, you would be ready to do the following task even more vital after the break. Apart from that, you can even find ways to work smarter, not harder and increase your productivity even further.
Make sure to plan your after-work activities as well! Be it just going home to take a rest or meeting up with family or friends, having a post-work activity in mind would help you draw the line between work and play more clearly.
4. Block everything on a planner
Employees would have blocked times for meetings, lunches, and other special events in most organisations. Yet, they hardly stop time to do the actual work, where they sit down to work on the tasks assigned to them during earlier meetings. In the Google staffer’s email, this was referred to as “Make Time”.
By blocking all of your Make Times, your planner would give you a much clearer picture of exactly how much time you have in a day to complete your assigned tasks. For example, if your day is filled with back-to-back meetings, you would have very little Make time on that day, and your work to-do list would keep growing. This is why it would be best to schedule your Make Times on your planner.
This would also help your colleagues refer to your planner and only approach you during your free blocks of time. This way, there would be fewer situations where you would have to give up part of your blocked times for more meetings, unless urgent.
With specific time blocked out on your weekly work plan template to focus on your assigned tasks, this would help with better concentration and increased productivity. You can then start completing your work and striking off your daily to-do list one by one!
5. Reduce the need for meetings
As much as meetings are necessary for brainstorming and teamwork purposes, they are also one of the most time-consuming work activities. If possible, you can reduce the need for meetings by only calling for them when they are essential.
If they are unavoidable, some ways you can make them more efficient include:
- Setting a clear agenda and schedule to be sent to all attendees before the meeting
- Reducing the number of attendees, only including those who are necessary
- Being prepared for the meeting with actual drafts and prototypes, not just ideas
- Having a timekeeper to ensure the session is progressing as planned
- Taking clear meeting minutes, recording which attendee is assigned to which tasks
You can also identify repetitive tasks which can be completed using work automation. Highly administrative tasks such as sending mass emails or payment reminders can be achieved using a business management software in minutes. This would help to reduce the amount of time needed to complete the project, making things even more efficient. This way, only essential activities would be blocked out on your weekly work plan template!
Creating the ideal work plan with Tessaract
With the many methods for planning available, it can be not very clear to find one which works best for you. Although the traditional way of pen and paper is a good option, it is limiting as you need to carry a physical planner around, which could get quite restrictive. For example, you would inevitably run out of pages to write on, or you may forget to bring it along with you.
Digital tools such as cloud software would work just as well to build your weekly work plan template with many more advantages. One good tool for you to try would be Tessaract, which has many functionalities allowing for easy project collaboration.
It also helps to reduce administrative work by providing time tracking, secure e-signing, e-invoicing and many other functions. These would help free up your time to do more energy-consuming tasks! You can then power your business and complete essential jobs more efficiently.
Empower yourself with Tessaract today!