How to Purposefully & Intentionally Design Your Week
Have you ever started the week with good intentions to tackle everything on your to-do list to only get to the end of the week with little to nothing to show? Every Sunday we set out with good intentions but for some reason, it seems like there is always something that stands in the way or threatens the time we have to work on our goals.
Appointments pop up, social gatherings are scheduled, and so many other unplanned things take up our time and attention to the point where we find ourselves busy doing everything but what the Lord is calling us to do. Rather than letting your week dictate you, take dominion over your week by learning how to design it with purpose and intention.
Review all your set in stone appointments, meetings, and commitments.
Take a few moments on Sunday or Monday to purposefully plan out your week. Jot down any set in stone appointments, meetings, and commitments on your calendar. Rather than frantically running through the week, this allows you to see your week at a glance and make the necessary arrangements so you can be prepared. Bonus Tip: Use both a paper and digital calendar to reinforce reminders.
Work in your routines.
It has been found that people work better from routines rather than lists. Instead of letting your list lead your day, go back to your rhythms and routines that are rooted in your life’s mission and goals. For example, if you’ve determined that a day well-spent looks like waking up at 5 am to have quiet time with the Lord and work on your personal development; 7 am you’re headed off to a full day of work to come home at 6 pm for your evening workout, and from 8 to 10 pm you’re plugging a few hours away working on your business, then that was a purposeful and productive day. A to-list should only support and reinforce the rhythms and routines that create the time and space for you to accomplish your goals.
Put your priorities first.
Priorities, goals, and to-dos don’t just happen by chance. It’s not enough to just create a plan or a list. They manifest into reality when you assign a concrete day and time to actively work on them. Each day ask yourself what are the three most important things that you can accomplish that day. Then take it a step further and ask yourself, "If I could only get one thing today, the thing that would make me feel most accomplished, what would that thing be?" Only focus on the priority that is going to have the most impact on your day and determine to do it first.
Factor in Flexibility.
It’s always a good practice to plan for the unexpected. A terrible accident on the highway this morning that made you unbearably late to work. A dentist appointment that you totally forgot was on your calendar for this week. You had to work later hours this week due to an upcoming project deadline. The truth is the unexpected is never expected and interruptions are inevitable but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for them. Factor flexibility into your schedule by giving yourself a buffer between your plans and commitments. This allows you to better adapt to the unexpected when it comes.
Make room for margin.
It can be easy to fill up your calendar with so much to do that your wheels are spinning from sun up to sun down with no end in sight. You don’t have to fill up every gap of time with activity to live a meaningful life. Being purposeful and productive also looks like knowing when to just be too. Make sure that you carve some white space into your calendar that allows you to reflect, rest, and connect with the people and activities that bring you joy and reminds you of what matters most.
Do you need to gain greater control and composure of your week? Designing your week not only allows you to see and manage how you're spending time but decide how you will make the most of your fringe hours, the extra pockets of unused time that God has gifted you.
For more on managing your time and making the most of every opportunity, download the free Master Your Time Lifestyle Guide.
Knowing your mission, priorities, roles, and goals will help you to steward your time efficiently and make the most of your opportunities. Learn how to do so in the Master Your Time Online Workshop. There will be live teaching, group coaching exercises and more. The workshop will be held Wednesday, September 25th at 7:30 pm and there will be a replay available to those who register. Click the button below to register.