By Keith

In starting my own business I’ve noticed that trying to establish or stick to a routine is very helpful in keeping everything as stress-free as possible. It’s very hard to do and I’ve had to slow way down on some fronts to stay sane.

(Hell, to simply have a moments peace!)

I’ve noticed in the last few weeks it’s become harder and harder for me to keep up with all my obligations. I went through another of my “quitting exercises” and that should help a bit. I also spent some time creating and formalizing a loose weekly schedule for myself.

I fully expect this to be a big help, provided I can keep it intact, as it will further allow me to focus by setting aside time for activities that need it. I figured it might be fun and educational to share that schedule and get your thoughts on it.

So here is how I’m hoping for my “typical” week to break down:

* Monday is meeting day. I’ve got a standing meeting in the early afternoon and if I can, I like to have other meetings on Monday to get them out of the way. I’m not a big meeting person and my whole week goes much better if I can get past them early on.
* Tuesday is my wild card day. I usually try and leave it pretty open for whatever I have going on at the moment. That can mean meetings on hellish weeks or heads-down work on productive weeks. Or anything else, Tuesday needs to be flexible.
* Wednesday is my hard work day. I usually plan out my whole day, turn off distractions and getting to work, work, work. It’s also my writing day. I spend a good chunk of time in the evening working on my various columns and features, doing my best to finish them off.
* Thursday is planning day. I like to kick off projects and have status-type meetings on Thursday as I feel it’s the best day to plan for the next week.
* Friday is wrapping-things-up day. My Fridays are kind of like a less intense version of my Wednesdays. I tend to get as much done as possible, as early as possible and I usually focus on those projects that are nearing completion. I really don’t like meetings on Fridays or kicking things off in any formal fashion. I like to clear the decks for my weekend.

I’ve tried to plan for flexibility, yet still have some blocks of time (like my writing time) set aside and as “untouchable”. Some flex is needed for creative bursts or times when energy is higher or lower than normal. Oh, and the fact that I can’t get everyone to play by my rules!

I’ve actually had this “schedule” in place for a while in the back of my mind. Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows how I feel about Fridays for example. And Wednesday has always been about working my tail off.

I’m curious to know if any of you have a similar schedule or biases towards certain days of the week. Going forward I hope this can help me get more done and still leave me with the free time I need to keep a level head. Wish me luck.

6 Comments on My Work Week

  1. Brandy Karl says:

    I similarly do all planning/scheduling on Thursday. I avoid scheduled meetings on Monday in order to have the space open for emergencies, and only do meetings after noon – I do actual work in the mornings. The rest is a juggling act, but it’s what my particular job demands :) Course I’m a big fan of brainstorming day. Always need to take a step back and ponder & generate ideas.

  2. Lee says:

    Keith, you are inspirational.

    Thanks :)

  3. slackah says:

    Work Week Example

    To-Done’s Keith has been starting a new business called Blue Flavor. Now he gives as a detailed look into his workweek scheduling. It’s pretty interesting!

    Monday is meeting day. I’ve got a standing meeting in the early afternoon and if I c…

  4. Marcelo Ruiz says:

    I really never thought about organizing a week like that but will try it!
    I usually *try* to organize my day in two hours “modules”, two in the morning and two in the afternoon, with a cofee break and lunch between them.

  5. enoch says:

    I like the plan of having a plan for every day. I have “Marketing Mondays” where i do nothing but work on bringing in new business, but the rest of my week is like your wild card Tuesdays. Thanks for the ideas – I need more structure!

  6. TjL says:

    Funny you should mention this, I’ve been trying to do the same thing recently (with limited success).

    For me, Monday is clean up and prep day. There are always a lot of people around, a lot of interruptions, so I use the day to plan the rest of the week and take care of any leftovers from the previous week.

    Tuesday is Shut Up and Work Day. I almost never accept a meeting on Tuesday if I can avoid it. It’s the day that I do the least amount of email, the least amount of IM, the least amount of phone work. Ideally this would be the day that I was not even in the office but working somewhere no one knows who I am. (In reality I find I need too many things around my office.) I’ll often put in a lot of hours on Tuesday as they seem to be productive ones.

    Wednesday is Task Day. I do followups on things that I started on Tuesday but needed to take a break from (point of diminishing returns). If at all possible I’ll get out of the office on Wednesday afternoon because I have a weekly Wednesday night commitment.

    Thursday is the One Big Thing day. Energy may be low by this point, so I look at the list of things I’m working on and try to get determine which is the one I have to have done (or what to have done the most) by the end of the week.

    Friday is my flex day for whatever came up during the week that was urgent but not “Has To Be Today”

    As I said, that’s the ideal. That perfect week is elusive, but it helps to have a plan. I do wonder, however, if planning on one “Really Effective Day” is a little weak, but it’s a start.

    Also, I can hardly ever get all my meetings done in one day, but if I have any control over them at all I push them to later in the day and try to protect my mornings which are usually much more productive.

Leave a Reply