Last weekend I did a nerdy thing on a rainy Sunday, I watched The Winning the Week Method Webinar by Demir Bentley on time management and productivity. Demir made the webinar a lot of fun and I learned some things. Since I pride myself on planning out my week, I wasn't sure the Win the Week Webinar would offer me much. But right out of the gate, I learned some new information. Then the process itself was similar to my method, but just enough difference that I'm excited all over again for weekly planning. Here are a few of my key takeaways.
Make a Fun Plan
First, 95% of professionals see the value in weekly planning, but only 1% actually do it! What??
His suggestion is to pair the planning session - which really only takes about 30 minutes - with something fun. His example was a visit to a coffee shop. Then you "crave" the fun and you get the result. His routine is visiting a coffee shop on Friday afternoon to enjoy the coffee and change of atmosphere and to tackle the planning for the next week. I really like this approach. I have on occasion skipped my planning session on Sunday night because I didn't want to lose the weekend vibe. By incorporating it into the end of the week and making it a fun way to start the weekend, the desire to make it happen is more robust.
Another part of his program is taking a high-level view both backwards and into the future. Looking back at your past week, ask yourself, “What did I learn last week?” This is a simple way to discover or "cement" the new learning from your past seven days. We really should be learning something at least every seven days. Then turn your attention to the future and consider what you can do in the week coming up to make the next few weeks, months, or even years, better. If you are spending some time every week making your future better, then you will be reaping rewards week after week.
Finally, he recommends that you "triage your calendar". Look ahead at appointments set in the coming 14 days, not just next week. This will give you time to make scheduling changes if necessary and to build in production time for projects or meetings a few weeks out. I have been doing this process for about a year and it has saved me. It gives me enough cushion to enlist others to help or block out time to do the work and coordinate with others if needed. In addition to reviewing the activity, really study when you're productive for certain types of activities. If you get sleepy in the afternoon, you probably don't want to read reports for an important meeting.
These are just a few of the tweaks that I'm making as a result of the webinar. His overall approach meshed nicely with how I like to plan, so it has been easy making these adjustments. Which one step are you going to take this week to make next week easier?
If you need help with planning or are interested in learning more about The Winning the Week Method, I’m happy to help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk more.