Managing time well is a necessity for any leader. Here is a process that I often use to help leaders think through weekly planning. Follow these four steps toward a more organized week.
Step 1: Break your week into 21 time-blocks.
Look at each day as three blocks of time. 8am-12pm, 1pm-5pm, and 6pm-10pm with 1 hour meal breaks in between. These time-blocks are more of an art than a science so feel free to adjust times to your personality, lifestyle, etc.
Time-blocking is one of the simplest and most effective ways toward productivity. With time-blocking, rather than jumping from task to task every few minutes, focus on one priority for a longer time.
Step 2: Determine how many time blocks you are going to work in an ideal week.
There are 21 time-blocks in a given week. How many will you work?
- 10 time-blocks (not including any breakfast, lunch, or dinner meetings) is a 40 hour work week.
- 11 time-blocks is a 44 hour work week.
- 12 time-blocks is a 48 hour work week.
You get the picture. If you are completely in charge of your own schedule then, you get to choose how many time-blocks you work weekly. If there is an expectation in your employment context, then choose based on that context.
Step 3: Commit to working no more than two time-blocks in a row.
Stay with me here, workaholics! Working 6 time-blocks in a row is a recipe for a meltdown. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t work more than two time-blocks in a row. Before protesting, at least be attentive to this idea. If you must work more than two time-blocks in a row, try not to do it more than once or twice per week.
Step 4: Take three time-blocks in a row off every week. (Sabbath)
Brothers and Sisters, you need to get some rest. God worked, and God rested. God taught his people to work and to rest. Take 24 hours every week away from all aspects of your work. Be present to your family. Watch a movie. Talk a walk or a bike ride. However you rest, rest.
One last thought. This exercise has to be regularly revisited. I recommend no less than once per quarter. Happy Planning