How Can I Make Next Week An Excellent Week?
Nobody has enough of the most precious resource of all; Time! Too much to do in the time available, too many deadlines, too many complicated issues to sort and too many people to deal with.
The most successful manager that you can think of is the manager that somehow makes their week work for them; they are in control, they drive forward, they seem to have available time to do things at short notice.
They probably make you sick!
But what they are delivering is not some dark art that cannot be used by mere mortals! They plan, think and reflect and then repeat that cycle over and over again to refine their processes and to deliver consistently.
So what are the secrets of harnessing the power of the week? Try using the pointers below and see how you get on;
Set aside time to plan
You need to set aside up to two hours to plan out how you will spend the week; this will give you time to think and plan ahead rather than just diving head-first into the storm that is the workplace. This will give you increased confidence and you will be far more effective. Do this either first thing on a Monday or on a Sunday evening – an hour on a Sunday brings massive rewards on the following days.identify when is your planning time and stick to it every week.
See the Big Picture
Critically examine what you are trying to achieve and how far you have come so far. Recognising that you have ambition and drive is essential in being successful and in then planning and allocating time and resources to achieve this.
Review and critically assess last week
This is very important and here you should write down everything that went well in the previous week – what were you proud of and what went really well? People seldom celebrate victories and successes, preferring instead to focus on the things that did not go the way we intended or problems and concerns. Write them down and then use the successes to drive you forward for the coming week.
Write down lessons learned
We learn new things every day. But an education is worthless if you don’t make the lessons a part of your life. What did you learn from last week that you did not know the week before? No manager ever fully knows everything about the workplace and if they do it is clearly time to move on!
Keep your notes in a file and build up a pattern of learning. What does this then tell you about how you deal with your week, how you plan and most importantly how you refine your approach to tasks and duties in the workplace?
- Assess what did not go to plan
This should not be a stick to beat yourself with – it needs to be measured and evaluative. Nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. Looking back on the important things you wanted to accomplish last week what was not a success? Be totally honest with yourself and make the list but only the issues that really mattered and put down why it was not successful. By doing this you should see patterns emerging that will show you how to avoid this in the future.
Be clear on your outcomes
So, what are you looking to achieve this week? Look at the goals and ask yourself how they fit into your personal objectives and your personal mission. Personally I would recommend having no more than 5 for the week ahead as this is a memorable number, there are 5 days in a standard working week and I have 5 sugars in my coffee! These could be anything but they should add value to what you are trying to achieve and should move you closer to attaining your personal goals.
The more attention you give to timetabling the greater your chance of having a successful week. It is no accident that the trains run to a predetermined timetable,that airports depend upon scheduling and precise timings so there needs to be order and structure in what you are doing. The trick here is to scientifically estimate the amount of time needed to complete tasks because it is human nature to seriously underestimate how long things take. Identify which core tasks are needed to accomplish what is in your timetable and spread these out across the week thereby giving yourself a little “wriggle room” if things slip.
Follow this by blocking out periods of time in your calendar – if the tasks sits on the calendar then it is going to get done. There can be no excuses – if it is in it gets done! Set up at least 2 important tasks for each weekday. Do this in an electronic diary or just print out sheets of each month and mark up th weeks manually – whatever works for you!
Get the joy of little wins!
By all means do some nice little tasks and bits and pieces that make you feel good – the stuff that is easy to do, but bear in mind that while this is satisfying it does not get you anywhere nearer to achieving what you have set as the target. If you have set up little goals as the targets of the week then you have not been listening!!
Always remember that things get in the way and that sometimes you cannot do everything you set out to do – but by reviewing your plans and evaluating your progress change and improvement will come. Schedule really important tasks for early in the week and leave the lighter, less mission-critical tasks for the end of the week.
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