Do you ever reach the end of the week and wonder where it went? Poof! Flew by! Gone! You made a “to do” list of things to accomplish. You had good intentions. But, at the end of the week, many of the items are still on your list — just waiting for you to get it in gear, get it done and get it crossed off.

I don’t know about you, but I used to have a lot of weeks like this. And, it was a real downer. Then I started making an appointment with myself every Sunday to plan my week. What a difference!

What’s that funny quote that circulates every now and then on social media? It goes something like, “Please note that I am self-employed. So, if you see me talking to myself, do not disturb. I’m having a staff meeting.” I can totally relate, and my Sunday meeting with myself is definitely my weekly staff meeting. Here’s how it typically goes.

I take out my paper calendar/journal. Yes, I love what some would describe as “old school” paper calendars. There’s just something about being able to put pencil to paper; at least in my world. And, not just regular pencil. I like to brighten things up with colored pencils like pink for personal activities, teal for personal development and green for income producing activities.

The first thing I do in my staff meeting with myself is review my goals — both personal and professional — because I want to be sure the activities I have planned for the week support my overall goals. If they don’t, then they don’t get “priority status.” This is one way to keep focused on what really matters so you don’t end the week with your high priority items still on the list and your social media scrolling — well — taking priority.

Then, I take the activities and appointments I’ve penciled in on my monthly calendar for the upcoming week and I transfer them to my weekly calendar making sure to label them accordingly and also making sure they support one of my goals. As I’m labeling them, I think about specific tasks that might need to be done in preparation for the event. I jot these tasks down on the weekly calendar as well.

Next, I take a good, hard look at my week. I block out the time I’ll work each day and, more importantly, the time I’ll shut things down for the day. When you are really enjoying your work, writing down the time you’ll stop working for the day is so important. Even though you’re enjoying your work, you still need that balance between work and personal life. But really, isn’t that a good place to be in? I mean, I’d rather be writing down the time I’ll stop working every day instead of watching the minutes slowly tick away until I can walk out the office door to the parking lot. I did that for too many years.

So, now I’m ready for my week. And, it will be productive because I’ve already made sure my activities are aligned with my goals (both personal and professional), I’ve allocated a realistic amount of time for each activity and I’ve packed my week with activities that I’ve deemed “priority status.”

So, that’s how I do it? How do you seize your week?

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