There are a lot of approaches out there when it comes to organizing your business. My opinion? Start with creating a smooth workweek. One that brings a rhythm to your week while still allowing for lots of flexibility because, you know, life.
When you have a flow to your week, a few pretty amazing things start to happen.
You sit down to start your workday and you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing (yes, even on Monday morning!).
You know that you have plenty of time to do the things that need to be done. And if you’ve got too much on your plate, you’ll know that too and be able to make adjustments.
You feel more calm and at ease…which also gives you more energy and creativity throughout the day.
In this post you’ll start creating your ideal week in 4 simple steps, and I’ve even got a special gift to help you jumpstart your plan.
Organize Your Business With Trello
My absolute favorite tool for laying out your workweek (and pretty much everything else in your business) is Trello.
Trello is a super visual and easy-to-use project management tool that I use for my weekly dashboard, client projects, marketing content and tons of other fun stuff. I even used it to plan out our big family road trip this summer (read more about that here)!
It is easy (and free!) to get started, and Trello has all the features you need so you can start simple and build on it as you go. I’ve used this tool since the very beginning of my business almost 3 years ago, and I still love it so much.
Plan Your Ideal Week
Before we dive into creating your ideal week, there’s one myth I want to put to rest.
Organized does not have to be rigid.
In fact, for most people (myself included), creating a looser structure that leaves room to adjust for the unexpected is way more helpful and realistic. So that’s what you’ll be learning here.
For the steps below, you don’t have to plan out your entire day from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. The way you choose to lay things out will depend a lot on your current stage of life and what you have going on.
For example, I used to plan based more on my whole day when my kids were little and at home with me full time. Now that they’re in school, I plan for the 7 hours that they are gone during the day and know that I won’t plan to work when they are home (and I probably won’t get a ton of personal time during those hours, either).
Step 1: Figure out your big blocks of time
What are the top 3-5 categories that demand your attention on a daily or weekly basis?
Make sure that you’re taking all the parts of your life into account. For me, it’s my business, client work, kids/family, household chores and personal time. These are all important and they all get time on my schedule.
Estimate how much time each week you’d like to spend in each category. Since this blog is focused on creating a structure around your business, that’s the one that I’m going to focus on in this post. But you can use the same steps to map out your other categories, too.
Step 2: Map out your ideal week
Here are some questions to guide you as you define your main blocks of time:
- How many hours per week are you currently working? (If you’re not sure, check out my post on time tracking.)
- What tasks must fit into that time? Think about the client tasks you do daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally. Remember to also factor in the admin, marketing, CEO time and any other tasks you complete for your own business, too.
- How many hours do you want to work per week?
If the dream schedule and reality don’t quite match up, that’s ok! Getting a clear picture of where your time is going and where you want it to go is a huge step in creating your ideal schedule. Like with any other goal, you have to know where you are and where you want to go.
Step 3: Start plugging things into a visual planner
My favorite place to do this is Trello, and I have a special gift to help you on your way, so keep reading!
You can make the most of your time by batching (grouping like tasks together). You might group similar tasks together (e.g. do all podcast-related tasks or create all of your social media graphics in the same chunk or time) or create blocks of time for individual clients.
Once you know which tasks need to fit into your time blocks, start plugging them in! I love being able to drag and drop tasks because it makes it so easy to shift things around and see what makes the most sense.
Be sure you leave some blank space in your plan. Expect that unexpected things will come up. Leaving room for adjustments makes those curveballs WAY less stressful.
Step 4: Keep up your plan week by week
Friday afternoons, I always spend the last 20-30 minutes of my work day mapping out the coming week. Once you have an overall schedule in place that you love, this part becomes really simple. It feels so good to end the week knowing that you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when Monday comes around.
First, look at your calendar and plug in any appointments or meetings that you know are coming up (remember the personal stuff, too, like dentist appointments and parent-teacher conferences).
Check for any upcoming projects or deadlines. Then, you can drag and drop your tasks around until the weekly plan puzzle is complete.
The beauty of having a base weekly plan to work with is that you aren’t re-inventing the wheel every time and you can easily make small changes as you go until your week feels just right.
Get Your Trello Weekly Planner
I’ve created a template just for you based on the Trello board I use in my business every. single. day.
You can use it just as it is or move things around and make it your own. Have fun with it!
Map out your week, get your schedule and to-dos out of your head, and be more productive with less stress!