Years ago a mentor asked me to do an exercise to plan out my perfect week. If I could have meetings anywhere I wanted and chose any schedule I wanted what would that look like? This perfect week had to include all of my normal job and family responsibilities, but the point was that rather than those responsibilities dictating my time, what would it look like if I dictated when those things were done.
I recently went through this exercise again when I realized that I wasn’t using my time optimally. I was having meetings all over town, bouncing from thing to thing with little to no consistency and all the while losing time and productivity along the way, what I call productivity leakage.
When I sat down to design my perfect week this time, I had a few things I wanted to be sure of.
- Wrap up each workday at 5pm sharp.
- Work out regularly.
- Have time to read, write and think.
- Block meetings around locations.
- Block out chunks of time for similar tasks.
- Leave some gaps for the unexpected.
Here is a snapshot of my perfect week at this moment.
A few highlights:
- I get up every weekday at 4:30am.
- I workout four days a week.
- My goal is to read and blog every day in some capacity, even if not for the full hour.
- I have blocked off time on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to focus on tasks that take longer and need my attention with no distractions.
- I have blocked off three hours per week for reflection and deep thinking. I think this is critical to the growth of both organizations.
- I group in-person meetings around parts of town, meetings in Buckhead on Tuesday and meetings in Midtown on Thursday. I also have Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon open for other meetings or calls that might pop up.
- I’m recording a podcast about nonprofit digital marketing and have blocked off most of the day on Wednesdays for that.
- I have a daily planning time and a daily wrap up time. This allows me to make sure I’m at inbox zero once or twice a day and makes sure I don’t miss any critical tasks.
That same mentor that had me do this exercise also gave me an amazing piece of advice. He said,
Once a day plan your day, once a week plan your week, once a month plan your month, once a year plan your year, and every once in a while plan your lifetime.
– Greg Williams, The Pastors Round Table
This is my way of thinking about and planning my week. How do you plan yours?