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10 ways to smash your work week

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Also known as 10 medium-term steps to reduce your overwhelm

1. Understand/work out what you want to achieve this week – in all aspects of your life. What are your top 3 goals for the week? If you feel like you have more than that, perhaps you’re thinking more about tasks, rather than goals. One of my goals is always to spend quality time with my family so sometimes that shows up as putting a specific time aside, sometimes that shows up as doubling down on my boundaries which means refocussing on no tech during family time. Other goals might comprise a large number of tasks. For instance, a marketing goal might be to increase my email subscribers, but the tasks that sit underneath that would be creating a digital workbook, creating the emails, putting them into a sequence, creating and then implementing a marketing strategy to advertise the new lead magnet.

2. Work out how many hours you realistically possess to allocate to each area of your life. Be realistic. Are you including sleeping, known chores and a bit of leeway? How realistic do your goals now look in relation to the hours you have available.

3. Make a quick list of things not to do this week. Could be admin, a long-term project, excessive social media time, a ‘friend’ that drains your energy, volunteering for extra work. Where are you most likely to be distracted? Where are your energy traps? Consciously deciding that you are not going to do these things can mean that you free up energy that you didn’t even know you were using. Even subconsciously feeling bad you haven’t done something uses energy better placed for elsewhere.

4. What are you going to do to maintain your health? Drink 2 litres of water, take 10 000 steps, workout 3 times, limit unhealthy snacks, meditate, spend time outdoors. You might already do a lot of these but actively choose to continue doing them this week and/or add something new to the list.

5. Commit to your boundaries. So, commit to finishing work on time, but also commit to only looking at your phone during breaks. When we discuss work/life balance boundaries, we need to recognise that balance works in all ways. To finish work on time, we need to focus on work during work times. It’s when we have porous boundaries that we are most out of sync. If you’re working from home, this can be much harder, but establish your boundaries using time or space and stick to them.

6. Enhance your work environment. Tidy your workspace, add a plant, a motivational postcard or whatever would work for you.

7. Start each day with the thing that will move you closer to your big goals. Even if it’s 15 minutes. Making a small amount of progress every day is better than sporadic leaps. End each day with 15 minutes to plan your following day. There’s a massive difference to your mindset when you can wake up and know exactly what you want to do and achieve that day. It makes it much easier to set your intentions. You can use the template in the free downloadable guide to do this.

8. Turn off email as much as you can. Start with chunks of an hour in a morning and an hour in the afternoon. Let colleagues and managers know you’re minimising distraction during those hours to move other projects forward, but you’re still available by phone if necessary. If your work still flows well when you’re away from email for an hour’s meeting, it will do the same when you turn it off at other times too. Research shows it takes us {insert} minutes to re-gain focus when we switch tasks. Checking email breaks our focus and takes us out of the task we were doing. It’s much more time efficient and productive to tackle your email in chunks.

9. Stick to your priority list and avoid the temptation to start something new and exciting just because it is momentarily more interesting.

10. Review.

You can find more information, short-term and long-term actions and 19 printable templates to reduce your overwhelm in the free e-guide. Download it here.

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