The Art of Planning Your Weeks
When working for yourself, there are so many hats to wear that it can make it difficult to know which one to wear and when.
From what I see, freelancers and business owners have different orientations to time and work. We work to different hours and locations, and can often blur the line between at work and not. saying that, there’s a lot of pressure to get projects done, week by week.
Therefore, time is often not the primary consideration — the work that needs to be done is
To help understand the different techniques better, I recently posed the question — How do you plan and prioritise your list of tasks each week? — to a group of business owners on the Freelance Heroes FB Group. here are a selection of responses:
“I recently changed how I do this… having a number of different clients, I now allocate them a day and do all their regular tasks on that day. Then when I’ve finished I fill the rest of the day with other stuff that’s come in randomly, and if anything urgent comes in on a certain day then I make sure that gets done too. It works quite well… in general my VA clients get priority over my author clients.” — Jo Harrison, Virtual Assistant
“I have a rolling To Do list which I constantly update as I complete each task. More important tasks on the list are in bold text.” — Les Howard, VAT Advice
“Schedule absolutely everything including breaks, personal tasks, emails etc. and review at the end of each day so I know what my focus is for tomorrow. Also leave space in your schedule for unexpected calls, enquiries, tech issues etc.” — Emma Read, ER-VA
“One, I have a daily “schedule” that I absolutely adhere to on days that I am at home in the office. This gives me set blocks of time for specific tasks and there are no excuses for not doing them. For example, here is the daily schedule I have for a Wednesday…
9–9:30 Meditate and Self affirmation
930–1000 — Social Media
10–1030 — Photo Editing
1030–1200 — Sales Calls
12–1230 — Lunch
1230–1300 — Exercise
1300–1500 — Photo Editing
1500–1600 — Sales Calls
1600–1700 — General Office (invoicing, call analysis).
It’s different for everyday of the week as I don’t make calls on Monday’s or Friday so those days have more emails and other tasks. I found that once I started doing this, it made me more productive as I could easily stretch what should be 1 hour of editing into 3… now I know that I need to finish things in a set period of time.
But, I also keep a journal and in that is my “to-do” list. So, for example, Social Media “can” be skipped if I have urgent emails or research to do.. or if editing doesn’t fill that block, then other tasks go into that area” — George Fairbairn, GF Photography
For me, it’s simply — List the tasks that need doing, Prioritise, Schedule. As new jobs come up, fit them in to the schedule before carrying them out.
What about you? How do you prioritise your weekly tasks? Leave a comment below to help others asking the same question.
This article first appeared at http://www.edagoodman.com/the-art-of-planning-your-weeks/.