How To Have A Scary Productive Week
The things we have to do as members of society are inescapable. Even for creative minds like writers. Changing from day to day, week to week, and month to month.
I could write an entire novelette on the difference between each, how-to get the most out of them etc. Productivity, along with writing and reading, is, after all, a passion of mine. But for the sake of not making this post way too long, we’ll just focus on how to have a productive week.
Why A Week?
I had some other timeframes in mind while I was planning this post. Day, month, season, and year were all contenders for the period of time being covered. All equally worth talking about and subjects I have a lot of opinions on.
However, a week has one thing none of the rest has. It is neither too short nor too long for those new to productivity and goal planning. This allows people who plan by the week to move things forward in time at the end of the week. To pick things they can do in a week. And even to assign smaller milestones on the way to meeting their weekly goals to certain days.
A week is also a great foundation to build on. It can be broken down into seven days, expanded to a month or even a year. In short, planning a week at a time is the easiest method of helping to balance writing and life.
What Exactly Does A Productive Week Look Like?
The simplest way to describe a productive week is the following: a week in which someone can look back at its end and say they completed all or most of their goals for the last seven days. That’s it. No authoritative mumbo jumbo about how a productive week looks a certain way.
Not only is that not true, a productive week depends so heavily on a particular person’s life that what is productive for you and I will not look the same. And that’s OK. We each have our own lives to lead, our own challenges to overcome, adventures to experience. That we come up with methods which best suit our personal needs is more important than uniformity.
How-To Make The Most Of Your Week
Keeping in mind that the optimal week will look different for all of us, how do you make the most of your week? How do you have a productive week?
I like to do the following three things to make my week as productive as possible:
1.) Plan Out Large Commitments.
The key to being more productive is knowing what commitments you have for the coming week. Commitments being the goals you set for yourself, like writing a chapter or short story. Trips to the doctor, special events, or other things it would set you back in some way to reschedule.
I like to use a combination of Asana and my Bullet Journal® for this. Asana is where I keep breakdowns of projects. Steps to completing and submitting a short story, such as the submission call I mentioned in my September review. The different stages of a novel or novella I want to write. And since blogging certainly takes writing energy and planning, all things related to blogging.
My Bullet Journal, however, is where I keep deadlines and other things of that nature. It helps keep me from worrying about my computer or phone dying. Not only because it is an analog or non-digital method, but because my Bullet Journal is so small I can pop it in my jacket or a small compartment in my messenger bag. I can always just turn a page and know that I sent something out or a deadline for a submission call is coming up.
2.) Protect Your Writing Time
I’ve written about how important it is to separate writing and personal time before as part of a post on balancing writing and life. But I can’t stress enough just how important it is to also protect your writing time.
If you easily give that time up to watch a show for reasons other than writer’s block, for example, then you won’t have a productive week. You’ll be rushed, forced to finish your goals in one large marathon. Or you’ll not finish them at all and be disappointed with yourself for it.
We should never feel guilty for having a little me time when we truly need it. But writing time has to be important, too.
3.) Plan Your Day The Night Before
I know this is a scary prospect for some. Planning the next day can feel like it requires one of those regimented day planners with timeslots that are strictly adhered too. And that can work if that is what someone needs. But it is also not something that is required.
When I say plan your day the night before, I mean write down your to-do list for the next day. Or to mark any undated tasks you wish to get done the next with whatever the date is in your digital app.
I like to take time in the evenings to check in with both my Bullet Journal and Asana. Any personal tasks/appointments go in my Bullet Journal. My scheduled writing time and blogging hours go in my Bullet Journal as well. I also make liberal use of being able to assign due dates in Asana by picking a couple of undated tasks and marking them both with the date for the next day and upcoming.
How do you plan your week?