How do you feel on Sunday evenings?
Some people get to Sunday evening and feel complete dread at their upcoming. Others get to Sunday night and don’t think about their upcoming week at all. The most successful among us, however, set aside some time on Sunday nights to think about the week ahead and where they want to be by the next week. They may also reflect on the week behind them and see what all they got accomplished and what was left on the table.
Setting aside a small amount of time each week to look at how your week went is a great practice to better understand how you’ve set priorities for yourself and how you’re doing at meeting those priorities. While this is great to do on a day to day basis, having a time to reflect weekly works as a great addition to the daily reflection time.
This week’s download is for the folks who feel a sense of dread at their upcoming week. Now this may not be how you feel every Sunday, but whenever you do I think it’s safe to say that it’s a terrible way to feel when facing your week! This week’s download is for a weekly work schedule template that will help you turn your feelings of dread into an action plan for success.
Action plans are the perfect cure for an overwhelming sense of anxiety or dread that you might feel about something coming up in your life. Whether you have to plan an event, meet a deadline at work, or just reach your own personal goals, when there’s too much pressure placed on us, we tend to lose excitement for what we’re doing and replace it with worry.
While I think worry is normal, I don’t know that I agree that there’s a healthy amount of worry. This isn’t to say that you should pretend your worry doesn’t exist. Rather, figure out what’s actually causing you to worry and then what steps you have to take to get that thing done.
You’ll find that don’t have to wait until the cause of your worry is over for the anxious feeling itself to die down. Just knowing what steps you are going to take will relieve your worry immensely.
Worry places a huge amount of stress on our bodies which can cause us to engage in unhealthy habits and lead to long term health problems. Usually this feeling is at the cause of mismanaged priorities. Using the free weekly planner template we have available this week will allow you to identify your largest priority and then the steps you need to take each day in order to make sure that priority is met.
Priorities are generally not confusing when they are taken individually. The confusion typically comes in when we have multiple priorities and can’t effectively multi task to get them all done right away. It’s at that point when we have to determine levels of priority (Critical, Major, Minor, Trivial) which can often be subjective. Once you know what is the most critical priority you have, use our weekly calendar download & write it in as what you are going to make sure to get done.
You’ll start by filling in this sentence: “By the end of this week, I will make sure to have ________________ done.”
You may still be worried even though you’ve identified your top priority and written it down. Maybe you’ve been putting this off for weeks and you know it is going to be a ton of work. Maybe it involves being around someone that you really don’t care for. Maybe you don’t think you’re capable of doing it and you’re worried you might fail.
Just identifying our priorities and writing them down isn’t enough. We have to motivate ourselves to get these priorities done. Motivation is the counter emotion to dread. If we could take a shot of motivation whenever we dreaded something that was coming up, we’d rid ourselves of that emotion altogether.
Motivation is just what the next two sentences on this week’s calendar download are for: to identify the pleasure you will derive from getting this thing accomplished and the pain you will feel if you don’t. As humans we tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain. If you can figure out how reaching your priorities will help you to get more pleasure and avoid more pain, you will be double-fisting on motivation!
Answer these few questions about this priority:
What pleasure will you feel by taking action on this priority? What would getting this pleasure mean to you?
If you don’t take action on this priority, what will it cost you?
Here’s an example of how I’ve used this weekly planner template. I have had a goal (for a long time) to get better visibility for TimeTap on search engines, but I have been putting off getting an SEO plan in place and executing on it.
Why have I been putting it off? I could always give you the canned yet reasonable excuses: I have had a lot going on, I’m busy with other initiatives to grow TimeTap, I haven’t been able to set aside time to learn our SEO software, and SEO is an ongoing project that I just can’t fit in regularly enough to make lasting changes.
What’s really happening? We’ve talked about this procrastination element before which is that I haven’t made this a non-negotiable priority. Since I haven’t made this a critical priority that is non-negotiable, I have protected myself from feeling like I’ve failed with the reasonable excuses I listed above. If I ask myself the two questions above, however, I may just find all the motivation I need to make this a top priority and really take steps toward getting it done.
Question 1: What pleasure will I get by taking action on creating an SEO plan? What would that pleasure mean to me?
Answer: I will get the pleasure of knowing I have control over my site’s visibility, that it isn’t just Google’s random bidding over whether or not to send traffic our way. This control will help us to feel like we’re at the helm, steering our way to our own success. With a plan to monitor my efforts, I will also feel like I have a better understanding of the direct outcomes of my work and how those outcomes differ based on where I spend my time.
Question 2: If I don’t take action on making an SEO plan, what will it cost me?
Answer: I will keep blogging into infinity without knowing whether or not it is doing a darn bit of good. I will not feel motivated to write each week in order to keep fresh content on our site. I will feel like I don’t have the power to control the outcomes of our business’s visibility.
As you can tell from the 2 answers, there’s a whole lot of motivation as to why I should build an SEO plan and start executing on it. I can take my answer to question 1 and rephrase it to fill in sentence 2 on my weekly work schedule template. I can then take question 2 and do the same thing to help fill in the last sentence on the weekly calendar download. From here, I can use the boxes next to the days of the week to give myself some starting points on what to tackle each day to make sure this priority gets met.
Print off a few of these free weekly planner templates and keep them in your desk drawer. When you find solace on Sundays to sit and think about your week, pull out one of these sheets and fill in what you are going to make sure to get done by the end of it and the steps you can take to get there.