If we want to have a good, productive week, we can take purposeful action to make it happen.
A good week is largely within our control
Lately, our weeks have been very different from what they have been in the past. No two days look the same and things are constantly changing. But it’s still possible to plan, be productive, and have a good week, while fitting in some fun and relaxation. I’ve come up with ten things we can all do to make sure we have the best, most productive week. I’ll bet you have some suggestions, too, and I’d love to hear them!
Ten things we can do to ensure a good week
1. Decide you’re going to have a good week
So much of our life experience is based on our thoughts and other things going on around us. We can choose to have a good week no matter what our circumstances might be. We can still enjoy our week and cope with whatever life throws at us-with good humor and a positive attitude.
2. Know what a good week means to you
It’s impossible to hit a target you can’t see. Therefore, you need to have a vision in your mind of what a good week would look like. Spend some time thinking about it. Is it a good week if you accomplish something big? Or if you get several things done on your to-do list? Maybe you’ve been able to work on a special project. Maybe daily workouts, quiet time, plenty of sleep, time with your loved one. Know yourself and what components made up a good week.
3. Plan Ahead
Spend a little time over the weekend preparing for the week ahead. This is not something that has to take a lot of time, but you should plan for a good week, and prepare your mental and physical space.
A good week can mean we aren’t rushing around or playing catch-up, and by planning ahead, we are more likely to have a smooth week. For example,
- If you’re responsible for meals for yourself or others, maybe do some meal planning and any food prep that you can ahead of time.
- If it’s going to be a busy week, put your outfits together ahead of time for yourself, your spouse, or the kids’. Lay out everything from your jewelry to your shoes so you’re ready to go in the morning.
- Spend a few minutes checking key areas of your house, such as the kitchen and bathroom, to restock everyday supplies–things like cotton balls, Kleenex, showering supplies, dish soap, etc. Make sure pet food is stocked up, your devices are charged, and your gas tank is full.
By taking the time to check these things, you are taking the weight of them off your mind and you are more likely to have a better week.
4. Be realistic
As you think about the coming week, be honest about how much you can do in a day given the totality of your projects and responsibilities, your health, and your general circumstances. Sometimes we can be overly ambitious and take on more than we can really handle.
Also, these are strange times and what we can do in the course of a day or week may have been affected. It’s fine to push ourselves, but we need to be creative and gives ourselves grace about how much we can accomplish.
Leave white space on your calendar instead of scheduling meetings, calls, and appointments back to back. Give yourself time to take a break and a chance to breathe.
Think about what matters most to you, and clear out anything you can to create the space and energy to enjoy what’s most important.
5. Guard your mind
Be intentional about the inputs. What comes in our eyes and ears affects our thinking, which creates our emotions. For me, that means limiting the amount of news I watch and who I follow on social media. It’s important to me to know what’s going on in the world, but too much negativity sends my thoughts and emotions to a place I don’t want to live in.
Incorporate something uplifting into your day, every day, such as reading or listening to a book that inspires or encourages you, or listening to music that makes your heart soar or your feet move. Deliberately seek out activities and experiences that can contribute to a good week.
6. Get outside (and move your body)
Try to get outside every day. Sunshine and fresh air are good for us all. It can be tricky this time of year, depending on where you live and how hot (or cold) it is, but maybe an early morning walk just as the sun is coming up, or an evening walk with your husband and kids as the sun sets?
Play a game of kickball or softball or badminton with your kids, or go for a bike ride.
Getting outside regularly is particularly important if you work from home, or in a part of the world where you are still mostly quarantined.
7. Plan something for you
Only you know what would be most beneficial. Whether it’s a candlelit soak in the tub with soft music, a glass of wine, and a good book, or an hour working on the project of your heart, a chat with your best friend, or a night out with your love . . . whatever makes you smile and lifts your heart, make time for that. Schedule it before the week begins, and make it a priority to keep that appointment with yourself. You will have something to look forward to and can anticipate how good this will make you feel.
8. Choose gratitude
Thankfulness and gratitude can benefit us when it comes to our relationships, our home life, and our jobs. This is an essential part of having a good week. Listen to some past episodes where we discuss the benefits of gratitude (see TPW270 – Gratitude and TPW167 – Gratitude & Productivity).
Many studies show that grateful people are happier, healthier, and more productive.
Develop a simple gratitude practice. For instance, each night before you go to bed, write down 2-3 things, big or small, that you’re thankful for. Every morning as part of your routine, reread the list.
When you make gratitude journaling a habit, your brain will start to naturally look for things to be thankful for.
No matter what your circumstances are, there is always something to be thankful for. When you have this mindset, you will be happier, healthier, more productive, and you will have a good week.
9. Make a memory
This doesn’t have to be something elaborate and you don’t have to go anywhere. Even during COVID-19 quarantine, you can still make good memories.
Maybe plan a family night. Get out the board games or card games. Play a game of charades, or just cuddle up on the couch with popcorn and a funny movie.
Maybe have a heart-to-heart talk with your husband or a dear friend over a meal or a cup of really, really good coffee or tea. Let them know what they mean to you. Say the words that often go unsaid. You can show someone how much you love them by giving them your undivided attention. Leave your phones in the other room.
Make creating memories a part of your good week.
10. Do something kind
Research shows doing kindnesses to others boosts your own mood. Lee Rowland, Ph.D., co-author of a 2018 study in the Journal of Social Psychology, says, “Acts of altruism and prosocial behavior are linked to reward-processing areas of the brain.” [from Do These 8 Things on Monday to Start Your Week Off Right]
Watch for opportunities to brighten someone else’s day. For example, maybe bring coffee to a co-worker, let that stranger go before you in the parking lot or the grocery store checkout, leave a treat or bottle of water for your mail carrier or Fed Ex driver; send a quick text or email to an old friend letting her know she’s on your mind, even send a handwritten note to let someone know how they’ve positively impacted you.
Little kindnesses can change the world around you and make you feel happier and more productive.
What do you think?
What makes a week a good one for you? What do you do to make sure you have a good week? Share your tips and ideas in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or email me!
Resources and Links
- 10 Ways to Have a Great Week!
- Do These 8 Things on Monday to Start Your Week Off Right | Real Simple
- How to Have a Great Week in Your Everyday Life – Life As Mom
- 3 Things You Can Do This Weekend To Have A Great Week
- 13 Things to Do for a Better Week | The Everygirl
- 20 Ways to Make This Week the Most Productive Yet
- 7 Tips to Make This A Great Week
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