How to organize your week like a professional

 *this is a guest post ! Scroll down to read more about Talia 

It’s Friday afternoon and many of us are packing up for a weekend of relaxation, while others are staying late to finish up work that seems to never end. Who would you rather be?

How is it that successful people seem to have the time to accomplish their big goals and dreams while others can’t find enough of it? The secret is all in the schedule and getting yourself organized. Successful people find pockets of time to get the most important tasks done first. They start their week with a sense of purpose and finish with a feeling of satisfaction. They practice work life integration. They have a well-planned strategy and they execute it with ease.

Here are 6 tips to organize your week like a professional so that you can leave early next Friday afternoon!

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1.      Find the right tools to organize your schedule.

Before you can start organizing your schedule you need the tools for the job. Invest in a weekly planner that you enjoy using. I’ve been investing in the Kate Spade planner for years and it always makes me feel motivated to get organized. If you prefer going paperless, you can sign up for Google Calendar to set-up reminders of recurring tasks and receive notifications on your phone. Personally, I use both!

2.      Schedule time in your calendar to plan your week.

Plan to spend one hour on Sunday evening or on your way into work Monday morning (if you transit) setting up your week. Many career professionals suggest mapping out your week on a Friday before the weekend, but I find this to be a bit unrealistic. Most of us can’t wait to end our week and enjoy some relaxation over the weekend! To make your planning session something to look forward to, have a glass of wine on Sunday evening as your reward for preparing yourself for a successful week ahead.

3.      Prioritize your tasks.

Make a list of your goals for the week, month and year. Break larger goals into smaller tasks. Now prioritize these tasks. Number each task in order of importance. Plan to get the most important task on your list done first and don’t skip ahead. If you run out of time at the beginning of your week, you will still have a chance to complete your most important tasks as they are on the top of your list.

4.      Schedule your tasks.

Scheduling your prioritized tasks is essential to accomplishing your goals. Schedule each item as an appointment in your planner. Give each task a start and end time. Add buffer time between tasks. Power through each project! Get it finished and move on. If you didn’t have time to finish the task during your allocated appointment, reschedule the task for later in the week. You should aim to complete one important project per day and leave time in your schedule for smaller, busy tasks. Ideally, plan to get it finished first thing in the morning before any distractions.

5.      Allow time to daydream.

Incorporate time in your schedule to daydream because your mind will wander. If you are an entrepreneur you are likely continuously coming up with new plans and you need to allow yourself the time to visualize some of your business ideas so they can come to fruition. Carry a small notebook to capture your ideas when you are on the go. Think about small things you can do weekly to make these goals a reality and bring your projects to life.

6.      Check off your accomplishments and plan for next week.

At the end of your week (or during your Sunday night planning session!), check off your accomplishments and reflect on how much closer you are to achieving your goals. Carry forward anything that didn’t get completed and reschedule it in your calendar. Delete the task entirely if you keep putting it off, or move it forward a few months as a reminder in your calendar.

Now that you have a plan to get your week organized like a professional, you can feel relaxed starting your week with a sense of purpose and ending your week feeling fulfilled. You will be working toward growing your business or your career by taking small steps to organize your goals in the right direction.

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Talia Beckett Davis is the Managing Director of Pink Pearl PR, a luxury female marketing agency specializing in baby and kids’ products, women’s fitness, beauty, fashion and lifestyle. She is the Founder of Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations, an organization that connects women in PR and media across the Americas.