How to Do a Weekly Reset to Improve Your Productivity and Wellbeing

Weeks > Years

Sinem Günel
Jan 30 · 8 min read
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Creating greatness in your life is about the small stuff. It’s the use of your hours and days that determine whether you’ll reach your goals or not.

Quite often, we distract ourselves with the big picture and forget that our results are determined by what we do right now.

But having goals for the next 12 months won’t move you forward if you’re not careful about how you’re using your time on a small scale.

If you fail to make effective use of your hours, you’ll be stuck in a reality that doesn’t match your expectations.

A weekly reset and proper planning will help you take your level of execution to the next level.

And the reality is that those who execute better end up achieving their goals and creating lives they genuinely enjoy.

As Henry Ford once said:

Success is about what you do, not what you say you’ll do. A weekly reset will help you be more productive while also having more time to take care of yourself.

Weeks > Years

Most people set yearly or quarterly goals but fail to execute on a daily basis because they quickly feel overwhelmed.

And even though yearly goals are important, it’s your level of weekly execution that determines whether you reach your long-term goals or not.

If you set a long-term goal, you don’t have a sense of urgency to work on it now. You might think that you could also do it next week, or in six months, so you end up not doing anything at all.

Once you create weekly plans and do a weekly reset, you need to figure out how to make the best possible use of each day.

And the reality is that every day counts because your life is limited. However, that doesn’t mean you should spend your days working yourself to death.

It’s about the contrary: You should try to make the best possible use of your workdays so that you get your tasks done efficiently and have more time for other activities.

You’re not living to work. You’re working because you need to. But why not minimize the amount of time you spend on planning and decision-making so that you have more time and energy for the beautiful things in life?

If you fail to make productive use of your time, you’ll need to work more hours than necessary — that’s what we want to avoid with proper planning and a weekly reset.

#1. Start with an imperfect weekly reset template.

If you had a great week, a weekly reflection helps you keep that momentum and build on that success. And if you had a bad week, a weekly review helps you to let go of the failure of the past days and start from scratch.

However, the problem with new routines like a weekly reset is that most people waste so much time planning the routine that they lose excitement when it comes to execution.

That’s why I initially started with a template to do my weekly reset and planning. Over time, I gradually adjusted the template to my own needs and wants.

I highly recommend doing the same: Instead of wasting endless hours creating a weekly reset plan, start with a premade template, see how it fits your needs, and add or delete items depending on your priorities.

#2. Define your “non-negotiables” and add “nice-to-haves.”

Your weekly reset should be efficient and effective. You don’t want to have hundreds of items on that list and spend your entire weekend working off another to-do list.

Instead, you want to focus on a few critical items that help you move forward and feel more relaxed and organized.

For me, this includes the following points:

Inbox Zero

I hate having too many unread emails and messages. However, I also hate wasting too much time on them.

That’s why I created the following rule: I reset my inboxes at least once per week.

I usually don’t check my emails more than once per day, but I try to reply to all of them by the end of the week. This helps me ensure I don’t miss any important information or dates and gives me a relaxed feeling because I start each new week with an empty inbox.

Desktop Zero

Similar to my email inbox, I also clean up my laptop desktop at the end of each week.

Here’s how my desktop looks like after a weekly reset:

Screenshot by Author

Instead of spamming my desktop, I keep it clean and organize all important documents in a folder called “Desktop.”

Throughout the week, documents and screenshots often pile up on my desktop, but it takes me less than ten minutes to organize them.

If it’s important, I place them in appropriate folders inside my Desktop folder, Google Drive, or hard drive.

If it’s related to a task, I either get it done immediately or schedule it on my to-do list.

If I realize that it’s irrelevant, I delete it.

This helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed because of a cluttered desktop. And to be honest, I love the relaxed feeling of looking at a clean desktop and seeing my wallpaper instead of countless folders and documents.

Tackling loose papers and receipts

After organizing digital papers and documents, I also take a few minutes to sort out papers and receipts that piled up during the week.

I open business letters I received throughout the week, pay invoices, and get rid of all loose papers on my desk and in my wallet.

Tidying up and cleaning

Another of my must-haves is to clean up my apartment.

No matter how busy my week is, I want to feel comfortable at home, so the minimum I do is vacuuming, tidying up, and making sure the kitchen and bathroom are clean.

Meal planning

It’d be an understatement to say that meal planning changed my life.

When I started working from home two years ago, I didn’t care about preparing meals in advance.

However, 1.5 years later, I had gained 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and felt as if I was spending endless hours in the kitchen every day.

As a result, I invested $500 in an online course, including a 12-week meal plan. After the 12 weeks, I had lost 7 kg (15 pounds), tried dozens of new, delicious meals, and saved so much time.

Now, meal planning is one of my non-negotiables.

Every weekend, I create a meal plan for the next seven days. Once I finished planning, I ask my boyfriend which of the meals he wants to eat too. Afterward, I check out the supplies of food we have at home and create a shopping list.

Setting priorities and daily to-dos

An inevitable part of my weekly reset is planning my to-dos for the next week.

First, I look at my yearly plus monthly goals and reflect on my current progress.

Then, I check my calendar to be aware of meetings and events.

This also helps me estimate how much time I can actually dedicate to high focus work time to get crucial tasks done.

Based on that, I set weekly work goals and break them down into daily tasks.

However, I also do the same for other areas of my life, such as my health and relationships.

For my health, I reflect on how I felt in the past week and what I want to do to be healthier and fitter next week.

And for my relationships, I ask myself whether there’s something specific I want to do to strengthen the bond with certain people.

For instance, my partner and I schedule at least one date night per week to nourish our relationship and spend time together. This can be a movie night, playing card games, eating out, or any other activity we desire.

At the end of this process, I write down my three priorities for the next week. Here, I try to be as specific as possible by writing down things like:

  • Write five new blog posts
  • Do yoga every day
  • Call one family member per day

This is the most lengthy part of my weekly reflection, but it’s absolutely worth it as it gives me a sense of stability to tackle the next seven days.

Reviewing all notes

One more thing I do is reviewing and organizing all notes I’ve taken during the week.

I usually keep notes at various places: On my phone, laptop, notebooks, and sticky notes. However, this often ends up in a mess, and I fail to use the ideas I note down.

That’s why I put all notes into my digital note keeping system at the end of a week.

This makes it easier to structure my thoughts, ideas, and the new knowledge I gain from books, podcasts, and courses.

Reviewing my notes also helps me develop new ways of implementing those new ideas instead of just storing them in a notebook without ever looking at them.

Keeping up on socials

Last but not least, I take a few minutes to keep my social media accounts up to date.

I check platforms like Linkedin and Instagram and ask myself whether I should create a new posting for these platforms.

Keeping these platforms up to date is part of my business. However, it’s not a #1 priority, so I barely post something throughout the week and instead do a little update on the weekend.

#3. Decide how you’re going to do it.

Depending on the week, I print out my weekly resetting template on Saturday or Sunday.

Instead of tackling all the points on my list at once, I usually do it throughout the entire weekend. E.g., I might clean up my inboxes on Saturday but do the weekly planning on Sunday evening.

For me, this usually works better because I feel less overwhelmed as I don’t have the pressure of doing it all at once.

Instead, I take small steps throughout the entire weekend, which makes it a more fun process.

However, I know some people prefer blocking a few hours and doing all these things at once.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for such a weekly reset and you’ll need to give it a try yourself to figure out what your ideal schedule looks like.

You can try to do it all at once, spread it across the weekend, and try different tasks until you figure out how your most effective weekly reset looks like.

Bonus: #4. Create monthly add-ons.

On top of my weekly reset, I have a few additional items that I perform on the last weekend of the month.

This includes keeping my accounting updated, checking expenses, and an update meeting with my partner to ensure we’re on track to achieve our business goals.

Final Thoughts

Proper planning comes with so many benefits. It helps you minimize mistakes, save time, and focus on the critical tasks you need to get done throughout your week.

However, for a weekly reset to be useful, you need to know why you’re doing it. Otherwise, you might soon get bored or annoyed by the whole process.

But once you see that it helps you get closer to your goals, you’ll likely fall in love with the whole process.

Wanna become your best self? Grab your free Personal Growth Toolkit.

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