How to Schedule Your Week for Success
I am going to be real honest. I used to dread Monday.
When I was working in my agency jobs, I would dread Monday because it meant going back to the hustle or getting back to lingering assignments that I did not want to do. When I transitioned to working for myself and running my own business, it meant knowing I would have a million things to pack into my day from client work to coffee dates and everything in-between.
Monday's used to mean 'busy'. It was the start of the week but always felt like the worst day of the week for so many reasons. Until I decided to take back my Monday and to make it fun again.
So, I started creating a routine for myself each week. A routine that would allow me to get all the things I needed to do done, but also allowed me to ease into the week. Now, this schedule will not work for everyone - especially if you work for a traditional company or still are in the 9-to-5, but I do have a few tips on how to have the best week, regardless of your situation.
I implemented my "new schedule" toward the end of 2017. It was not easy at first because I have been trained to believe that busy equals success. But after sticking to my plan for a few months, it's made all the difference in my overall mood and productivity! For me, I now look at Monday as a fresh start. And a new week to accomplish things. For me, Monday means starting over.
This is my new 'me' day. It used to be Friday, but let's be real. Friday's make it hard to focus. The week is wrapping up and your mind is elsewhere. Now, I've made Monday my day to set the tone for the rest of my week. That means starting my day slow. Doing things that bring me joy. And not jumping straight into the grind. I start my Monday with a bit of meditation, followed by drinking water and coffee. And I always try to take time to do my hair and makeup, even though I likely won't leave my home office for the day. It just feels good to look good! This is the most important part: I do NOT schedule any meetings or major deadlines on Monday. This is key in starting the week off right and not feeling stressed. I might even schedule something personal - just for myself. Like a facial, mani/pedi or even just going to an afternoon workout.
As far as my work schedule goes, this is the day that I set out my weekly to-do list in Google Drive, review any emails and notifications from the weekend and ease into my client work by tackling the 'easy assignments' off my to-do list. That might mean scheduling out social media posts or drafting emails. Nothing too crazy or daunting, but doing a few things to kick start the week.
If I truly eased into the week and had a nice balance of 'me' time and planning on Monday, I am typically ready to move at a quicker pace by Tuesday. Tuesday is my day to work on big projects and assignments. I still try not to schedule any meetings or photo shoots on Tuesday, so I can focus my energy on accomplishing those big tasks for my business and client work. I may have the occasional TV segment on a Tuesday morning, but that is always 'fun work' that gets me back into the flow of getting out of my office and connecting with industry peers. Overall, Tuesday is a good day to make things happen! That might include writing proposals, creating brand strategy plans, building our campaigns or working on any other big tasks.
By Wednesday, the week is obviously halfway over, but the goal is for it to feel like it's just begun. This is the day I typically pack all of my meetings, photo shoots, and off-site events into one. That may mean going to a potential client coffee consultation to a photo shoot or even back-to-back client meetings. While this makes for a busy day, I have learned that it's best to pack similar activities into one day (i.e. meetings & photo shoots), so that you are focusing your energy in one way and not trying to bounce from one assignment to the other. For example, it's really hard to go from a styled shoot - that takes creative energy to working on client reports - that is more methodical.
I like to think of Thursday as a mix of Tuesday & Wednesday. It's the last day of the week to really tackle big assignments (because who really wants to be hustling on Friday), but it's also a good day to be out and about. That means that Thursday's are flex days. Sometimes I am packing them with meetings, more shoots, and consultations. And other week's, I am just focused on doing work. Any important work or communications must go out on a Thursday. Example: any communications to media, clients or influencers, as I have learned that Friday emails are not always answered in a timely manner. So, Thursday is the day to hustle hard, whether in the office or off-site.
T-G-I-F! We made it to Friday. Friday's are my favorite for so many reasons. I try not to schedule any important meetings or shoots on Friday but will have the occasion pull (i.e picking up items for a TV segment or event) that falls over the weekend. Friday is my day to go out for a fancy latte, work remotely and you will most likely catch me in a mid-morning workout class. I try not to put too much pressure on myself on Friday's. I do like to check the weekly to-do list that I created on Monday to see where I am at and what I accomplished throughout the week. If it was a really productive week, I may even call it a day early! Overall, Friday is my day to work on my business like writing blog posts or creating fresh content. But I also sometimes do the not-so-fun things, like checking in with my accountant or doing client billing. And don't be surprised if I call it quits early! I am known to take the afternoons off if it's been a good week.
Unfortunately, I do have to work some Saturday's. But usually, it's fun work! Whether hosting a lifestyle TV segment on our local news station or popping by a client event, I do typically work every other Saturday morning to afternoon. I also still have to keep social media accounts running over the weekend, so snoozing super late is not an option for me! But I've realized that waking up early to conquer client work means more time in the day to add in fun things, like brunch! Saturday is a mix of work and play for me. After my client work is wrapped, you can find me meeting up with friends or going on a date with the hubby.
This is the most important day of the week. It's a mix of rest and preparing for the week ahead. I definitely like to start my Sunday slow. Meaning, a yummy breakfast and Netflix or just doing nothing. Reading is a great way to relax and unplug as well. After running around and being on my phone all week, unplugging is key. I try not to answer client emails or texts, unless urgent! Other things that I do on Sunday that help me set up my week for success include: tidying up the house, doing laundry, reading at least one chapter of a good book, and doing one things that makes me happy. Sometimes that is going to a movie. Others that is picking up flowers. Just depends on my mood. It's very important to take time for yourself on Sunday.
There you have it! That is my typical (and ideal) week in a nutshell. As you can see, it's definitely a balance of planning, work, hustle, fun, and relaxation. When one day gets thrown off, it can ruin the rest of my week. So, I do try to stick to this plan 99% of the time!