Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Plan for a Productive Week

I know I have mentioned this in many other posts but April seems to be a super busy month for everyone here at school. Our last day of class is April 28th and it seems that because of the snow days teachers are cramming in tests, projects, and presentations all of which are time consuming to complete. I have found that I have to be super productive each day to ease my stress of all of these upcoming assignments. The best way I have found to ensure productivity is planning ahead starting Sunday night. I am sure that many of y'all are dealing with the same sort of stress of deadlines so I figured you may want to hear what I've done so that you can implement some of these practices to prepare yourself for a productive week ahead.

Planning for productivity helps me to put into perspective what all I need to accomplish each day in order to stay on track. If you don't have a planner yet then the phrase better late then never was coined specifically for you. I would be lost without having my planner to organize things. Thank goodness for taking the time at the beginning of the semester to write out all important due dates and homework assignments.

Like I mentioned earlier, I like to do these things on Sunday night in order to make my Monday a bit less stressful. This is a system I have found that works for me but feel free to pick and choose what you may want to implement based on what may work best for your own personality. 

1. Brainstorm Your Ideas/Goals

Thinking through what exactly you need to complete and accomplish is a great way to begin visualizing what the week ahead will hold. Sometimes just while thinking about these tasks you'll think of great ideas as to how to complete them.

2. Clean Up Your Space

I can't function in a disorganized space. I am a whole lot more productive when the area I am working in and the surrounding area are clean. Take a few minutes to ensure that everything is tidy so that you don't spend time later on stressing because you can't find something important.

3. Make a Daily To-Do List

To-do lists are my favorite. By writing out all of the things I have going on on a particular day I am nearly guaranteeing that I won't miss or forget anything.

4. Have a Weekly Goals Post-it Note

Similar to the daily to-do list make a weekly to-do list with all of the things you must accomplish during the current week. This takes all of those bigger assignments from your daily to-do lists and compiles them in an easier to see list setting you up for my next tip.

5. Set Priorities

So you've made a to-do list and know exactly when things are due during the week. Now it is time to prioritize by importance or date to ensure that the most time sensitive and important projects are completed first. This should help to make sure you don't miss any deadlines and that your priority projects are completed earlier on when you have the most energy.

6. Clear Out Your Inbox

I have the most trouble with this one. Responding to emails is definitely not my strong suit but I've gotten better. Ease some stress by going ahead and responding to all of those starred emails you keep telling yourself you'll get to. A clean inbox to start the week is like a clear mind!

7. Execute

This seems to be the no-brainer advice on this list that some people may try to ignore. After all of this planning you can't not execute. Know that you have prepared yourself to the best of your ability to accomplish the goals you have set and jump into completing them. Nothing is more satisfying than checking something off of a to-do list.

8. Time Yourself

If I have a short scale time frame in front of me then I am a lot more likely to make every minute count. Sometimes I create this environment for myself by setting a timer for 30 minutes or an hour and simulate the idea that the task must be accomplished in that short spell of time. With that mindset I am able to crank out a lot of work that can be perfected as I go.

9. Don't Say Yes to Everything

I can be such a people pleaser and sacrifice my own sanity to get something done that was asked of me. Don't take on every little job or task a friend or partner may want you to complete. Have an understanding that it is OK to say no especially when it means that the effort you are putting into the few larger tasks creates a better outcome then spreading your energy to ample smaller tasks.

10. Wake Up Earlier

I find that I am a lot more productive in the morning and therefore aim to spend as many hours in the morning as possible completing tasks. While it can be hard to force yourself into going to bed early so you can wake up even earlier I found that it has been crucial when it comes to my personal productivity. If you find yourself more productive at night then this won't apply to you.

While some of this may seem a bit anal (and I don't disagree with that) I have found that it really helps me to focus during the week and remain productive.  What are your best tips for planning for a productive week? Also, leave me any blog post requests below!


  1. I totally agree with #2! When my desk is cluttered, my mind is cluttered too. Great post!


  2. Getting up early definitely works for me too! I have tried that this semester and it's crazy how much more I get accomplished!

    Mary Katherine

  3. I know when I wake up just an hour or two earlier than I normally would I feel like I get so much more out of my day! Great tips!

    Pick Your Beau

  4. I completely agree with all of these! Thanks for sharing! Saving these tips.

  5. Such good advice - especially waking up early! Will you be doing any videos before you go abroad?

    Alex | Mrs. Mason Dixon

    1. Hopefully, finding time label has been tricky and my memory card keeps cutting the video off so if I can get that fixed soon then you should definitely be seeing some!

  6. Love this! I find that after Spring Break (the home stretch to summer) is a super hard time to be productive!


  7. My classes end on April 28th as well. I can't believe finals are approaching! April definitely is a stressful month for everyone in college, so thank you for the tips on being more productive!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

  8. this is definatley important to consider when revising! great post Dorothy! looking forward to more:)
    i am doing a blog series of my reivision and how i encounter procrastination, social activities and how to control it. i would really appreciate if you could read it!:) x

  9. this is perf, I can def use this

    check out my newest post

  10. Loved these tips! I agree with the desk space being clean and making to-do lists! Makes everything a bit better and less stressful!

    Stephanie |

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