Organizing Your Workweek

Organizing Your Workweek

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Organizing Your Workweek

life | 11 July 2016

Thank God it’s Monday!

Said no one ever. You’re right, it’s everybody’s least favorite day of the week. It robs you of your weekend bliss, it’s the start of another dreadful workweek and it’s a reminder you haven’t accomplished much since last Monday (hi five if this is you). The latter has to do with the fact that we’re doing so much at the same time that we’re drowning in our commitments. We want to excel at work, we want to manage our social life, we want to maintain our online social presence and we’re doing all of it whilst trying to also enjoy life a little.

Sound familiar?

To avoid the Monday Blues and to ensure the best ending of your workweek (and thus beginning of next week), here’s some pointers on how to organize your workweek.

1. Make lists

This is probably what you’re doing already but instead of making a never-ending list of tasks you won’t have a chance of accomplishing by the end of the week, start with a daily list of five things you need to finish that day. Break up your tasks into smaller groups – finishing a daily list is less daunting and more effective because you’ve uncluttered your urgent matters from trivial ones.

2. Cluster your tasks

If you have a bunch of tasks that are somewhat the same, bundle up those tasks and do it in one go. For instance, you need to send out proposals by the end of the day – try to do it all at once. Not only will this save you time, it will help you focus better on that specific task too. 

3. Schedule your distractions

If there’s one thing that takes up a lot of time during the day, it’s checking your email and taking unscheduled phone calls. And this is distracting and really not an efficient use of your time. Instead, schedule your email time at various hours throughout the day and do the same with your phone. For me, I like to check my email once every three hours, starting from 10am. Avoid any email contact outside of those times but instead use that time to focus on your actual work. Take control of your distractions and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re getting done.

4. Work according to the 80/20 rule

By Wednesday, chances are you’ve still got loads to do and you’re already stressing about not getting things done by the end of the week. Apply the 80/20 rule (also, the Pareto Principle). According to the 80/20 rule, an 80% output can be realized by a 20% input. Looking at your task schedule, analyze which tasks will generate you the highest result and focus on that. If you know you can’t finish all before Friday, at least try to get most of the work done.

5. Leave work behind

After work, shut down the computer and put your work phone on silent. Taking work home only adds to the stress and only builds an increasing tension towards the end of the week. Unless you’re managing your own company, let go of your work and actually enjoy your evening and/or weekend.

Are these tips helpful to you? Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment in the comment section below!