As Benjamin Franklin once said — “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Life has so many moving parts, and it’s impossible to keep track of everything when you’re living a full life.
That’s where planning habits come in. By creating routines and rituals, you make it so much easier to get stuff done and show up less scattered and overwhelmed.
Have a Sunday GYST day
Have you heard of this weekly practice from YouTuber Kalyn Nicholson called the “Get Your Shit Together Day” aka GYST Day? It’s what you might consider a Sunday routine, but taken to the next level. The way I practice it is by breaking it down into these three main areas: maintenance, preparation, and self-care, in that order.
I like to maintain by getting things done that have been neglected for a while; do things to prepare for the week ahead; and lastly, take care of myself so that I feel like my best self going into the week ahead.
Create a list for each Sunday, break them down into these categories, and feel set up for a successful work week.
Create a “do not do” list
We know you have a to-do list, but what about the things you’re not going to focus on? I recommend creating a monthly masterlist of all your tasks so that you have them all written down, and then marking them up (you can even color-code) with the following:
Do This Right Away
Do This Next
Do Not Do
Decide what your main three will be, and also choose what you’re not going to work on. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get to it, but it’s important to prioritize and eliminate the stress of trying to get too much done.
Top three lists
I feel like there is power in the number three, because when a list gets any higher than that, it can feel a little overwhelming. You want to feel like your to-do lists are attainable. After you have your masterlist, make sure you start with the top three. You can get in the habit of adding one more to list every time you check off an item.
Don’t duplicate or overcomplicate
In the name of organizing, we tend to overcomplicate or duplicate our efforts – especially when we plan both digitally and on paper. Ask yourself, “Where am I overcomplicating this?”
Because I love aesthetics, I can sometimes spend too much time making things look pretty vs. focusing on the outcome and actual results. Ultimately, I have to get real about what I actually need to do for efficiency and where I’m just using it as a way to avoid doing the work.
Have 2-3 ways you stay organized, max. For example, I use Trello for organizing my weeks and projects, Google Calendar for meetings and a paper planner for a to-do list. Make sure they all have specific uses, and that your system is working for you.
Track your progress
I will preface this by saying that sometimes tracking something can make you feel too fixated on it. Sometimes you have to go on gut feelings, and just trust that the progress will come. That said, if you feel like you have a good relationship with tracking, it can be helpful – especially when you’re working on making a significant change in your life or business.
Each week, take a look at the stats. Whether you run a business or have a side hustle or simply have a goal of any kind – track your progress to see how you’re doing.
I look at our pageviews and advertising income every day to see how we’re doing and what posts are performing best. But when I feel that it’s getting me down or making me feel too wrapped up in the numbers, I may take a few days off from looking at it.
Tracking helps you to spend more time on what’s working and less time on what isn’t. Ultimately, we want to be effective, and not just consume our time with things that don’t serve us.
Create a weekly review meeting with yourself
I treat my weekly review meetings as a recommitment ritual, because it’s so easy to forget the accountability part of planning. We have these cute goals, but if we never look at them again, what exactly was the point of setting them? That’s the problem with resolutions – we’re not actively pursuing them and looking at them week after week. We just toss them out, and keep moving on with life without reconnecting with our goals and asking ourselves – “How is this working for me?” Is what I’m doing getting me closer to my goals or do I need to readjust and create a new plan?
Decide on an intention
Why are you working so hard at what you do? What is your intention behind it?
Our “why” is so valuable in our effort to keep our habits sustainable. Without a reason that speaks to your heart, it’s hard to stay motivated. Get clear on who you are serving and why you’re doing it before you develop an action plan to get there.
Do you have themed days in your workweek? An example of this for me is dedicating a few days to batching a month or more worth of content.
My process for editing used to be that I would work on that day’s post during lunch. That was certainly difficult to maintain. If anything came up during lunchtime, a post wouldn’t go out – until maybe that evening when I got home. I realized that posts weren’t as structured or high quality as they could be.
Here’s why I batch my days:
I get more done by focusing on one main thing throughout the day.
I can schedule content ahead of time, so it allows me more flexibility and quality.
It’s easier to keep up with content.
How do you plan for a productive week? Give us your best tips!