Preparation Is Key!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." 
How many times have you heard this saying? I’ve heard it more times than I can count, and it never gets old. In fact, I take it heart. As Professional Divas, I believe that it is important to prepare and plan for the work week in order to maximize productivity. As you may already know, I am a big proponent of balancing my personal and professional lives to achieve a well-balanced life. What you may not know is that every Sunday, I sit at my dining room table and plan my week. I plan what I will do each day at work, as well as what I will do before and after work. It may sound strange, but actually seeing what I need and want to accomplish each week makes me more efficient. Maybe it is psychological, but it works for me! In the spirit of sharing, I wanted to let you in on my planning process.

First, I make a list of all the tasks I need to accomplish during the week at work.  I then make a separate list of the tasks that I want to accomplish. There is a difference, and distinguishing between the two makes it easier to prioritize tasks.

Second, I make a list of those things I want to accomplish before and after work. This varies from week to week. I like to go to gym every day before or after work, so I typically plan for this. I also like to cook at least 3 times a week.  I definitely make time to work on my blog, and network with my fellow bloggers.

Third, I list any “extracurricular” activities that I plan to participate in during the week. It may be an after work happy hour, or a Yankees game, or a family get together.

Once I have my lists together, I begin to plan my week. I actually break out my notebook and pen, and write down my weekly schedule (real old school like!). I first add my extracurricular activities, along with the time I plan to attend the specified event. I then add the task I need to accomplish at work, and then those thing I want to accomplish before and after work. Finally, I add the tasks I want to accomplish at work where time permits. These things are not mandatory, but if I can get them done, I win!

And there it is! It usually takes me about 30 minutes to an hour to crank out my plan, but it makes a world of a difference when my crazy work week starts. I understand that this form of preparation may not be for everyone, but I emphatically believe that some form of preparation and planning is necessary. After all, failure to plan is planning to fail. And Professional Divas should never plan to fail!

Have a fabulous and productive week!


Just One Donna said...

I'm always impressed by those who stay organized with lists because I'm just NOT one of those people. The only thing I make lists for regularly is grocery shopping and by extension, Christmas shopping and dinner parties (to keep track of the menu prep). Otherwise I use my calendar to schedule my life and wing whatever isn't on the calendar.

Jessica @FoundtheMarbles said...

I use a similar style but do it on Excel so I can lay out the days and activities but also be able to move them around with ease. It's old school but it works for me!

Heather said...

I really need to do this! Maybe I will sit down with Excel tonight and plan out the rest of my week, or at least tomorrow!

ManWifeDog said...

Girl this article is SO right on time for me. I need to immediately begin to start separating my "needs" and "wants" for work and personal each week. It's a must. Yet another one of your articles that I'm already printing out.

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