13th Dec, 2023
Planning a productive week shouldn't be difficult. We have gathered some top tips on how to plan your week to be productive, including our recommended productivity apps for planning, time management and tasks.
Have you found yourself in a cycle of procrastination, a lack of motivation, and an ever-growing pile of things you need to get done but for some reason, you never have the time, or you never complete a single task?
It's probably because you are not planning your time efficiently or effectively, and just winging it. The key to being productive and getting everything on your list done is to plan your week to be productive.
There are multiple ways to organize your week to make sure you tick off your to-do list, feel a sense of achievement, and reduce stress, along with the pile of stuff you need to get done. You can begin to plan each week using one of the methods stated in this guide, you will have to do some testing. A little trial and error, to see which method works best for you.
Well, let's help you better plan your week and the priorities within:
First up is managing your tasks and priorities.
If you want to plan a productive week you have to know what it is you want to plan into your week first. Having an outline of all tasks with priorities helps give you a better idea and a focus on what to plan and what needs to get done.
To conclude managing tasks and priorities each week, you essentially want to create a list of everything you need to get done, assign a priority level to important tasks, and plan them into your week day by day.
To help with managing tasks and lists of things to do, here are a couple of applications we recommend to make the process easier.
TickTick is more than just a task management tool, you can also integrate it with other calendars and tools to optimise your workflow and manage all tasks. Inside TickTick you have many customisation and organisation options to create a well-managed and easy-to-use space.
You can quickly add tasks to create a list of tasks to later assign to a day per week. You can also use Natural Language to add tasks to a specific date and time automatically. TickTick is great as it will also give you reminders and show you what needs to get done with a daily list.
You also have a space to measure priority levels to make sure important tasks are completed. This is called the Eisenhower Matrix inside TickTick, a methodology we will dive into a bit later in this guide.
Todoist is a great tool for planning your week to be productive thanks to its many features and abilities for task management and organisation. Todoist is also a good tool to use within teams or to share to-dos with others. For now, let's just talk about personal use.
Todoist allows you to add detail to your tasks such as subtasks, tags, filters and priority levels. This all helps you better manage tasks to understand what needs to get done and plan for the upcoming week.
Using Kanban boards, you can also create a great space to plan and carry out projects. It's super easy and the interface is very clean, just drag and drop tasks into the correct space in the board to work towards completion.
Below are a couple of task applications to help plan your productive week with extra help. We have chosen TickTick and Todoist for this.
The best advice for using task applications is to first give the free trials a test run and to just manage a couple of tasks to begin with. Plan your first week with the features available and see if this has helped your productivity.
You can also organise tasks and projects into their own spaces to create an easier workflow and interface to manage.
Next is a very helpful tip for planning your week to be productive. It's something not everyone does but it's key for better managing time and giving yourself a better balance of work.
Without time blocking you might find you have scheduled too many tasks for the day there's just simply not enough time, or, you procrastinate through tasks because you have no set times to complete them.
To conclude, time blocking is a really helpful method for creating a visual representation of how much time you have and what you need to get done. Create your time blocks first so you can see when you have time, and then go back and add important tasks and things you need to get done.
Here are a couple of productivity applications to help you plan your week to be productive.
These tools help with time blocking, task management and overall organisation for all projects and things you need to get done.
Sunsama is a great tool for creating a productive week through its time blocking and calendar system. Sunsama also is high on promoting a healthy work-life balance to ensure you aren't stressed or overwhelmed with your work, and making sure you create time for personal life matters.
You can see all your tasks, weekly plans in a board view and time-blocked events all on one screen, providing a great visual for your week. By seeing everything in one go you can help your brain understand what's going on, and how much time you have.
To use the timeboxing feature, simply drag the tasks within your daily plan into the side to create a box, you can colour code this box and tweak the times to make sure it fits in with your day and any existing tasks. Oh, and all these tasks can be consolidated from other apps!
Akiflow is well known for its task consolidation abilities and provides a streamlined and manageable space for all of your tasks from all different applications. When inside Akiflow you can then manage when and where you are going to carry out your tasks each day.
Just drag and drop tasks into the side where you can create time blocks, this again, like Sunsama, helps you create a visual idea of how and where you spend your time. Make sure you have enough time in the day to get them done.
The best thing about Akiflow is its universal inbox and its organisation abilities. In no time you can create recurring tasks, add tags, filters and more to create a well-structured weekly plan to be productive.
Time blocking can be done with a paper calendar, however, it's a lot easier and can even be automated thanks to productivity applications.
The best way to optimise time blocking is to make sure you include everything. You need to know where your time is spent right down to when you go to sleep. Once you have done this you can see where your spare time is
The next best tip is to colour-coordinate your time. Have all personal tasks one colour, work tasks another, daily routines something else and so on. You will figure out what works for you. The final tip is to be ready to make changes, unexpected things happen in the week and we need to shuffle things about. This is when priorities come into play. If something isn't as important you can move it to next week.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a task management tool for helping you identify which tasks you need to get done by their importance and urgency. It's a really simple yet effective method for narrowing down all your tasks to make sure you stay working towards your goals.
If you begin to sort your tasks using this methodology you will save a ton of time which may have been wasted completing non-important and easy tasks or forgetting about important tasks. You will also get a lot more done.
The biggest key factor to being productive is making sure you orientate your time wisely, the Eisenhower Matrix makes sure you do just that.
So what is the Eisenhower Matrix and how do you use it?
This methodology was first presented by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the US, the idea then led to the creation of the Eisenhower Matrix. You can read more about the Eisenhower Matrix, where it came from and how it works here.
He famously said “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
And that's where the four-point method begins.
Your tasks can be split into two sections, important and non-important. Within these two sections, there is urgent and non-urgent.
Your job is to fill in each box to identify which tasks are of your highest importance and most urgent, and which tasks you don't need to do or could delegate to someone else.
Essentially, all you need to do is create four boxes and write down the following:
Right, now let's tie this all together to summarise what you need to do to create a productive week. We will base this on using the Eisenhower Matrix, along with the productivity tools listed above.
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