04 Mar Three Simple Steps to Create Your Ideal Week (and FREE template!)
Have you ever gotten to the end of a week and felt you were just put into a washing machine on spin cycle?
- Your head is spinning.
- You aren’t sure what you got done (but somehow you were verrryyy busy).
- You don’t feel refreshed.
- Most importantly, you didn’t make progress on your big goals.
You know it’s high time to change things up but you don’t have any more time to get things done.
But you can imagine a week where YOU are in charge of your time. A week where you create time for what matters most – both personally and professionally.
You are ready to create an ideal week!
It’s time to take charge of your calendar. It’s time to organize your time less around reacting and more around driving forward your goals. It’s time to get more productive.
What does taking charge look like? It starts with design. You want to create an outline for how you want to spend your limited time. You might be thinking, “Isn’t this basically time-blocking?” The answer is “Yes, but it’s a little more than that.
FREE template HERE so you can create your own ideal week!
How your ideal week serves you
- You will create time for your highest priorities – personal and professional. This means time for friends and family, important goals in your career or personal life, and actual time for things that energize you.
- You will become more productive because instead of zooming around like a ping pong ball, you will create time blocks for key work.
- Because you design this week around your needs – not the needs of others – you are effectively saying ‘no’ to the lesser priorities that often get put in front of you.
- You are creating space for important strategies that help make your day more efficient and flow better like a morning routine, wind-down routine, and evening routine. More on those below!
STEP 1: Get clear on your destination. Where are you headed?
So let’s get started! This first step asks you to take a moment and draft a Destination Map. How can you do that? A Destination Map is simple an outline for where you want to be in 90-days, a year, or even three years. You choose.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: What are your top priorities? Where do you want to take your career? Relationships? Commitment to family? How do you want to take care of health? What do you want to explore? What does success look like for you?
Take a moment to write out a Destination Map outlining where you want to end up in a number of different categories.
EXAMPLE for Destination Map
- I will design and deliver my special project at work.
- I will get to know more of my colleagues.
- I will explore ideas to pursue a new idea for my career.
Relationships (e.g. partner, friends, family)
- I will create non-rushed time in the evenings for my family.
- I will see my girlfriends on a monthly basis.
Personal growth and learning (e.g. courses, reading, podcasts)
- I will read in bed at night (and limit TV!)
- I will experiment with discovering my passion by volunteering.
Health and wellbeing (e.g. gym, meditation, meals)
- I will create a healthy eating plan and make 3 meals a week.
- I will take meditative walks at least once per day.
Hint: Do not worry about whether you have cleverly crafted goals that are specific and measurable! If you have set some general intentions, then just write them out. If you don’t have a clear idea just yet, you can write out that you are exploring something new or discovering new ways to do something. It is perfectly fine to be general or specific depending on the category.
STEP 2: Design your week with your key priorities in mind
Now that you know what is a priority for you, sketch out your ideal week.
Start with your big priorities? What are your ‘big rocks’? Your ‘big rocks’ are your top priorities. Focusing on the big rocks will ensure the smaller items (e.g. sorting through email, checking off less important to-do items, and surfing the web) not invade your day.
HINT #1: Michael Hyatt who is among other things a productivity geek recommends creating “theme days” that help you aim your time. You can theme your days around things like: Rest, Deep Work, Administration, Planning, Meetings, Creativity.
HINT #2: Include routines that allow you to tackle important habit
Design your days to include morning, end-of-day and evening routines!
Morning routine: This is time at the very beginning of your day where you create time to get yourself off on the right path. This is a hefty subject all by itself so feel free to download my FREE Morning Routine guide here.
End-of-day routine: At the end of your work day, you want to wrap up not by leaving your desk with to-do items half finished. Consider building in 30-60 minutes to pursue a wind down routine so you can be ready for the next work day.
Evening routine: Before you go to bed, you can have a routine where you focus on important habits. The evening routine can include basic habits (e.g. brushing teeth, washing face) but also activities that bring you calm or enjoyment (e.g. watching TV, reading books, meditation).
STEP 3: Get started, practice, and refine
Once you have the sketch of your week, make a commitment to put it to work. More likely than not, you won’t implement your Ideal Week in your first (or even your 5th) try. The key is to get started!
Follow these tips for success:
- Block off your online calendar (especially if others can schedule meetings for you) so other meetings and calls do not creep up onto your calendar.
- Always look at your calendar first before saying yes to any new meeting or obligation. If you can’t say ‘no’ then work to slot meetings/calls into time blocks set aside for that purpose.
- Communicate your ideal week to your family and co-workers so they understand how you are seeking to aim your time.
- Find an accountability buddy while you are just getting started so they can help you work toward implementation.
- Do not expect overnight success! Look at every week as a way to get closer to your ideal week by making the smaller shifts.
- Celebrate when you start to track your ideal week even if it is only for some of the time. Success will breed on success! Be grateful for when you make good progress.
Take the first step. Get started and see how you can take charge of your time!
Now it’s your turn!
I’ve put together a guide to create your own template. Click HERE and then click on MAKE A COPY so you can create your own personal ideal week. Send me questions if you are having trouble creating!
If you are interested in finally making forward progress on your goals, creating your own ideal week (and life!), don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation. I work with clients all of the time to help them create ideal days, weeks, and lives. Set up my free consultation! No obligation just to explore what coaching is all about.