For the first time in more than a year, I’m hearing people talk about future plans with a sense of hope and optimism. Remember early on in the pandemic, when we had no timeline for when to expect things to go back to normal? We would talk about the things we were going to do “when this is over,” and the vacations we were going to take “someday.”
Now, we’re on the cusp of someday. As the weather keeps getting warmer and more people get vaccinated, it’s finally safe to make real, solid plans. You may be able to go visit and hug those family members you haven’t seen in more than a year. You may be able to reschedule the vacations you had to cancel, and catch up with friends in person instead of over Zoom.
Hopefully, you’re about to have a busy, social summer. But you still have to work—so keeping your weekends clear is going to be key to making sure you’re able to make all the plans you want to make.
It could be a big adjustment. If you’ve been staying home and working from home during the pandemic, I know that weekdays and weekends may have started to kind of bleed together. Every day became the same. Maybe you ended up working through the weekends just because there wasn’t much else to do, or because pandemic stress made time management and productivity so challenging. Your weekends may not look or feel like weekends anymore. It’s going to take a conscious effort to create a boundary between work time and personal time.
Weekly Planning: The Key to Weekend-Friendly Time Management
Even if you love what you do, you may sometimes start the week with Monday blues. Maybe your weekend was so great that you’re sorry it’s over. But a lot of times, haven’t you started work on Monday feeling burned out and irritated because your weekend was stressful instead of relaxing or fun?
In any case, it’s normal to spend Monday thinking about the weekend that just ended. Then the week gets busy, and you’re focused on just getting through the day. Maybe you don’t think much about the next weekend until it’s Friday again. By that point, there’s so much on your plate. If there are time-sensitive work tasks that didn’t get done, you may be dealing with them over the weekend. Or, you’ve been so busy with work that you have a week’s worth of errands, cleaning, home maintenance tasks and other personal business to attend to. Add kids, pets and family obligations on top of everything and it’s no wonder your weekends include little to no relaxation.
The Danger of Taking a Day-by-Day Approach to Time Management
When you’re focused on just putting your head down and getting through the day, you’re not setting yourself up for success on the next day. You get so overwhelmed that you run out of time and energy in the day, and some of the most important stuff just keeps getting pushed until tomorrow—even to Friday.
Weekly planning lets you look at the big picture of your week. It starts with getting really clear about your priorities so you can make sure that the most important stuff gets done each week.
Just as importantly, weekly planning allows you to make sure you get the time off you need each week. If you’ve worked with me, you know that I insist that your weekly plan include at least 24 straight hours of personal time. When you have a weekly plan that you’ve created for your specific life and brain, it really is possible to disconnect from work for a day (or week!) without worrying that things aren’t getting done.
Planning is the Cornerstone of Good Time Management
Setting yourself up for a productive, efficient and low-stress week starts with a plan. For most of us, the work week begins with Monday. That’s where your weekend planning needs to begin too! If you start the week knowing exactly what needs to get done and set up your environment to help you succeed, you’ll stay on track all week so you can move into the weekend without stress.
I want you to have the time you need for the weekends you want, so I want to help you learn weekly planning. Join me April 19-23 for the 5 Days to Freedom Challenge! I’ll be LIVE in the True Focus Tribe Facebook group at 7pm ET for 5 days straight with a powerful brief training. Each day I’ll cover a new easy step to move you forward so you can have your week on your terms, and I’ll answer your questions during a Q&A session at the end of every training.
Click here to join the True Focus Tribe group on Facebook—that’s all you have to do to participate!