Thaisa Fernandes⚡
Sep 13 · 8 min read

Continuing the Reset Your Week series, today I’m going to share what helps me stay focused and ensure I’m prioritizing the right things.

Continuing the Reset Your Week series, today I’m going to share what helps me stay focused and ensure I’m prioritizing the right things instead of running around and multitasking “just because.” If you have a reset week, you can experience a feeling of renovation and encouragement to pursue your goals.

When you reset your week you can take the much needed time to think, reevaluate, and refresh your ideas. It can help you to concentrate, to focus on your goals, and pursue what is important without being distracted by the day-to-day things that get in the way or make the week harder.

🛁 Clean your space

Sometimes it is really hard to concentrate or even think about anything, and you just don’t know why. Perhaps you can relate? It might be your space. When your space is messy, it’s really hard to get clarity amid the chaos.

When we think about our space we tend to think only about our physical space, but we also need to pay attention to our virtual space. Clean your desktop and download folder on your computer, move everything to the appropriate folder. You can also cleanout your work bag and backpack. Remove those old receipts and things you’re not using.

Don’t forget to clean your browser. Close the tabs you’re not using anymore. Bookmark what you need to bookmark. Don’t forget about the note keeping apps. Make sure the notes still make sense, and you’re taking action on them.

Last but not least, wipe down your computer, monitor(s), and keyboard. Close everything, and shut down for the day. Make sure your desk is tidy. You can clean your desk every Friday so your Monday will look better. This whole process may take some time, but trust me, the cleanse will give you some peace of mind.

✨ Get inbox zero

Routinely unsubscribe from those annoying emails that you’re not interested in. Why do we need to waste our time checking promo emails we were never interested in and in some cases never signed up for?

I know some apps can help you with that, but personally I like to get old school with this task because I have more control over it, and I like that. One technique that helps me a lot is to use the Gmail folders. I just archive any emails so that they appear in the All Mail folder. For the emails that require action, I created four different category folders for them. I have these folders in my email:

  • ___Action Today
  • __Action this Week
  • _Awaiting to Read
  • _No Deadline

I also changed the folder colors to make it easier to identify them. Action Today is red, Action This Week is yellow, Awaiting to Read is blue, and No Deadline is green. Every time I get an email for which I need to take one of those actions, I move it to the corresponding folder until I’m prepared to take action.

It’s easy to maintain and check these folders on a weekly basis. It helps me avoid looking for an email that requires action but getting lost in another email that doesn’t have a deadline.

You don’t need to get too serious about inbox zero. You can definitely get close to that, but more importantly, you can easily ensure everything is prioritized by filing according to the required action. Seeing that you have a zero inbox can be an amazing feeling, but be careful it doesn’t become an obsession. We just need to make our life easier.

📈 Check your goals

They say that simply checking your goals from time to time definitely helps you to achieve them. Checking goals is a powerful tool to keep us on track to achieve them. Some people suggest writing down your goals in your journal every day. I personally don’t like this approach, because it consumes a considerable space in my journal, and I don’t want that.

I do want to ensure that I check my goals everyday, so I write down my trimester goals on a Sticky Note that is attached to the current page in my journal. I make sure to move the Sticky Note everyday when I write in my journal to the next blank page. And I don’t just move it, I actually read and think about it for at least a few seconds.

We often get stuck because we don’t know what to do next. We also prioritize the wrong things just because we don’t have clarity on our goals. It sounds silly, but we forget things. Our brain is sometimes not as good as we think.

Make sure you’re at least reading and thinking about your goals every day. I like to review my accomplishments every semester and also during the end of the year. One of my favorite things to do is to recap everything I’ve accomplished that year. It’s an awesome feeling. Don’t forget to congratulate yourself.

💌 Self care

I think introspection is something powerful, not only for introverts. It’s important to spend some time with ourselves reflecting on what might have happened or even planning our other goals.

The amount of time you need probably depends on your personality type. Introverts might need more time than extroverts, and you’re the person who will decide that.

I love to include some reflection time and self care in my routine. This is especially important to help us guarantee we’re allocating time to reflect on what is bothering us or even what we can improve. Don’t forget to set your intentions during this time.

One thing I learned in previous years is that it’s really difficult to accomplish anything if I don’t have a positive mindset, or even if I’m not being gentle to myself. The best way to do that is to incorporate self-care into my routine.

The weekly reset can serve as a recurring detox that will bring a new and exciting perspective to your goals and schedule planning to help you to shine bright like a diamond. You can also do a social media or even human beings detox for a period of time such as a day or half-day.

☀️ Life admin day

I’m a big fan of Michelle Barnes YouTube channel, and since she did the first life admin day video I have been hooked. A life admin day is basically a day you schedule to accomplish all the small and ongoing tasks that tend to accumulate over time. Since they’re not a priority, they tend to accumulate and become something bigger.

After I started to intentionally tackle these tasks, I realized how much they’re affecting my productivity. You know when you feel overwhelmed and like you don’t have your life together? At the same time, you have other priorities and booking that dentist appointment is not necessarily your number one priority this month. However, you’re due for a cleaning this month, and it bothers you to postpone that. The cycle continues until you take action.

After starting the life admin days, I realized it’s easier and even more encouraging to tackle annoying and boring tasks during life admin days. It also can be pleasurable to finish your day making sure nothing is falling apart, even that frame you needed to buy and hang on your wall after months of waiting.

The goal is really to reserve a day to guarantee that your life continues to run smoothly. This is the reason you need a weekly reset. You can schedule life admin days as necessary. Over time you’ll also realize that some things tend to repeat, and once you see this you can optimize as much as possible. My suggestion is to start with once a month and see how it goes. Include everything you think is important, and have fun!

📆 Daily routine

I spent a lot of time being against daily routines. I even bragged about how having a routine was boring. Time went by, and then I realized that I had always had a routine, and it was the routine that actually kept me going, sometimes even sane, during difficult times.

I think the routine comes with time, and when you start to think about the things you do everyday, or even the things you’d like to do, this is the moment you’re creating or even recreating your lifestyle.

The routine itself will help you not to fall off track. It’s also going to help when you’re feeling tired, overwhelmed, and unproductive because it’s going to give structure to your chaos.

No magic tricks here, you can use different softwares to help like Trello and Asana. You can also use Google Calendar and a bullet journal. You have to decide what works best for you.

😜 Schedule it

I understand that not everyone likes to use their personal Google Calendar as often as I use it, but at the same time, I believe some appointments and deadlines require an extra level of care. One of the ways to ensure that something you promised or that is important to you happens is to schedule it (not only work-related things, but also the personal ones).

You can find the right tool and the right amount of formal scheduling for your needs. Some people schedule only appointments in their Google Calendar. For weekly planning they have a list of things they want or need to accomplish based on their goals as a way to be more fluid. And some people, probably those who have a more consistent schedule, make formal appointments for all their tasks.

Find the best tool for you. Another option is to have a friend that you can meet on a weekly basis to talk about how you’re progressing with your goals. If you’re serious about increasing your performance, you really need to use the right strategy and tool that works best for you. Having a friend can help you to have more accountability.

Be strategic, don’t forget to have fun, and always celebrate your wins. And remember, this process is a two-way street. While your friend helps you, make sure you’re being a useful resource to your friend as well.

I realized this post has going to get super big so I decided to break it into two articles. I hope you also check the other post. I believe we change along the way and also that our routines change. Maybe this post can be a living document that I update every time I discover a new trick. Hoping you can share your strategies too!



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Product Management 101

PM learnings in my journey at Silicon Valley

Thaisa Fernandes⚡

Written by

Program Manager @ Twitter. Latina in Tech. Based in San Francisco. Product Manager & Founder @ Lunna App. Vegan.

Product Management 101

PM learnings in my journey at Silicon Valley

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