In the previous NOW and DAILY checklists, we’ve been focused on building awareness of what’s grabbing our attention at the moment and being more intentional with each day.

We are now going to step back even further and start planning our weeks.

If you find that you don’t have time for yourself, this is a great place to start.

The WEEKLY Checklist covers three fundamental productivity principles:

First, planning out your ideal week.

Second, the power of the weekly review.

Third, celebrating our progress with others.

Let’s dive a little deeper into each one.

Ideal Week

The first item on the WEEKLY Checklist is to plan out an ideal week.

The idea here is to plan in advance how you are going to spend your time.

In your calendar software, create a new private calendar and add repeating time boxes for all of your major activities.

Perhaps you have themes depending on the day of the week (one-on-one meetings on Monday and Thursday, marketing on Tuesdays, etc…), or maybe it’s the same blueprint Monday through Friday with time to rest and relax on the weekend.

Imagine it was the most productive and enjoyable week that you have ever had. What would that look like?

Now that you have a blueprint for your ideal week let get into the nitty-gritty of getting things done.

Look Ahead

The next three items on the WEEKLY Checklist are about planning the upcoming week.

At the start of each week, you will want to review your roles, goals and projects.

We will cover all of these in later checklists.

For know, create a list of all upcoming priorities.

Big Rocks First

Once you’ve collected all your priorities, you will want to apply the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of the value comes from 20% of your activities.

Review your list and identify your 1 to 3 (maximum three) essential activities that you want to complete this week.

Put time blocks (meetings you book with yourself) in your live calendar to reserve time for this activity.

By booking time yourself, you are reserving this time to work on this activity.

Treat these time blocks as if it were a critical meeting with your boss. Protect this time and don’t allow others to book over it.

Eat, Move, Sleep

Don’t forget to take care of yourself.

To perform at your best, you need to ensure that you make time for The Big 3 – Eating, moving and sleeping.

Add time blocks throughout your week to reserve time for each of the activities.

And more importantly, keep these commitments!

The One Thing

Now that we’ve laid the framework for our ideal week, it’s now time to get to work.

You will not achieve your long-term goals by chasing multiple goals and projects.

You need to focus in on the one thing that you are going to accomplish this week.

Choose one of the many goals and projects, zero in and choose one as the priority.

If you are not sure which goal to pick, ask yourself the magical question from the book “The ONE Thing” by Gary Keller. “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

And make that your number one priority for the week.

The Weekly Review

The next two items form the WEEKLY Checklist are about the weekly review.

The weekly review is a critical component of your productivity system. Without it, your trusted system will collapse after a few weeks of accumulated unfinished tasks.

The objective of the weekly review is to capture all unfinished tasks, incomplete projects, and other loose ends and put them in their proper place.

The book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, also known as GTD, outlines a comprehensive system of collecting, processing, organizing, and reviewing all of your outstanding activities.

For now, review your past week and collect all of your loose ends and decide to do it, defer it, delegate it, or delete it.

Optimize

The second part of the weekly review is to review the previous week and identify an area of personal improvement.

Reflect on all of your interactions, encounters, meetings, and behaviours, from the past week and identify an area of improvement.

Look for times where you may have experienced a negative emotion like anger, fear, jealousy, frustration, or anxiety AND interfered with the result that you wanted.

Use this experience as a learning opportunity and create a plan to do better next time.

Accountability

The last item on the WEEKLY Checklist is about accountability.

I’ve found it extremely useful to work with a mastermind group to hold me accountable for my most essential priorities each week.

A mastermind is a group of people that are working toward similar goals or interests. In my mastermind we share progress, collaborate, make commitments for each week, and celebrate success.

One of the huge benefits an accountability partner or group is constructive feedback. If you are in a good group, your peers will start to notice what is holding you back, and more importantly, push you in a good way.

My weekly calls with my mastermind are one of the most productive and enjoyable meetings in my week.

In Summary

As you can see, the WEEKLY Checklist covers a lot of ground in the area of goal setting and achievement.

First, plan out your ideal week, placing big rocks first.

Second, establish a weekly review and optimize each week.

Third, join or establish a mastermind group to share progress, celebrate successes, and hold each other accountable.

Now that we’ve laid the foundation of a productive week, in the next article in this series, I will show you how to manage the work that fills them, one of my favourite topics, projects.

P.S. What’s one thing that you are going to apply today? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your thoughts in the comments below.

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