Are you stressed out by your upcoming week? So much to do, so little time. Not sure where to get started? Try these four steps to get a weekly work plan up and running to help reduce stress and get all the important tasks crossed off your list!
A weekly plan helps you think about everything you want to accomplish and break things down to get them done. It uses visual cues to help you get organized. As we mentioned in last week’s post, getting things down on paper and out of our of our brains relieves stress. Once written down the mental energy is released to actually complete it not just remember it. Visually seeing your work week tasks will give you structure to ensure the important pieces and the little things are not forgotten and taken care of during the week. Prioritizing work helps move you towards efficiency versus distraction. Let’s get started, follow these four easy steps!
1. Make a List
Once a week take a moment to write out all your job requirements. Think about each day of the week and what you tasks need to be completed on those days. Then take five minutes and do a brain dump and write down everything that you have done over the past year to see if you forgot anything else. Finally take five minutes on a separate page and write down any personal items that need taking care of.
2. Pick Out a Visual Organization Template
It may be a printed template, a commercially prepared planner or a digital form or app. Find the one that speaks to you. Do you like to see it on your desk or prefer digital notifications? Do you like everything on one page or separating things day by day? Here are a few samples to start you on the journey of finding the right one for you.
3. Fill In the Chart
Set your 5 day work week or 7 day calendar in front of you. Put your top three must-do items at the top of the day that it’s due. Fill in the rest by planning times to do so. You can also set notifications – either through your e-mail, phone or app if you are using a digital planner.
4. Fill In the Breaks and After Work Plans
Make sure to plan for movement, fun and rest and relaxation! And note some of the most important things to do this week from your personal to-do’s. Staying productive is important and the best way to do that is by charging your battery. Try meditation, gratitude activities, stretching or walking and journaling during breaks to do just that.
Now it might be silly to say but to make sure this is a successful way to reduce stress you have to actually use the planner. Find ways to motivate yourself to fill it in and cross things off…coloured pens, smelly markers, stickers, a new app, whatever you are excited to use! To keep the momentum going, see how it worked and tweak it at the end of the first day or week.
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