Table of Contents:
2. The goal of weekly evaluation
3. Two-Step Formula to Set Your Week Up for Success (Self-Evaluation and Strategic Planning)
WARNING: The following blog is going to be a long, ultimate in-depth guide about weekly planning.
If you’re looking for a short and concise article about setting your week up for success, this one is not for you.
But if you decide to stay, I really hope you get a lot of value from this. Grab your coffee and enjoy your read.
You probably want a distraction-free, success-packed and stay focused throughout the week.
Who doesn’t? Feeling like you have no direction throughout the week makes you feel disappointed and worthless. We do that subconsciously, and not aware of it. But why is that?
Perhaps you lack intention. Perhaps you lack the time to step back and ask yourself “I’m so disappointed for the past few weeks. I wonder why. Why?”
Perhaps you’ve been through the mud of life and it’s been a while since you had looked at your vision. A vision that propels you to move forward.
But you know success starts by setting your week up for success.
But how can we pull that off? Some people think they should start planning the week on Monday. However…
The magic doesn’t happen on Monday. It happens on a different day…
It happens the day before…
Sunday. Do you love Sundays? Do you go out and hang around with your friends or family? Is it a day for your passion project?
That’s all good, but you might be missing something crucial for you to start your week right.
What is it?
You’re forgetting these two critical themes that structure your Sundays. What are those?
START THE WEEK BY:
To start the week right, you need to structure your Sundays different from your weekdays.
Your Sundays must be self-evaluative and very strategic. Those are the two key things. Remember it.
Self-Evaluative and Strategic.
They are the two of the most critical activities you can do during your Sundays.
But let me explain how evaluating your week can change your life…
What is The Goal of Weekly Evaluation:
First of all, people tend to have TWO big problems.
Problem number one is people don’t have a calendar.
Problem number two is for people who choose to have a calendar, they overwhelm themselves by planning for a month, stressing themselves to “timeblock” tasks, which is dangerous when you’re beginning.
Let me explain…
If you are in the learning phase like myself, try planning for 2 weeks. Try planning for 1 week. Try planning for 3 days. If you’re not sure yet if your tasks are not right, don’t plan a month or a quarter ahead.
Because isn’t it true? That you can just block out any task (even if it’s not productive) for the next month and still get no result. Am I wrong?
That’s why if you are in a trial and error phase, it’s okay. Work your way up there from planning the next 3 days. That’s it.
But here’s the catch, you must identify your specific goal first.
Because when you’re clear with the outcome, your tasks could change. When you’re clear with your outcome, the way you get there could go faster versus not having clarity about what you really want.
So identify your most important outcome for the year (E.g. Earn $100,000/year as a Freelance Writer).
Then you structure the next 3 days, week or month towards that outcome.
The goal of the Sunday weekly evaluation or review is to start the week right, and not lose focus. With the right mindset and right alignment of tasks.
But your tasks don’t have to be right every time you block them. But fight to identify the most productive tasks towards your outcome.
To start the week right, you only need to follow a two-step process. Self-evaluate and then strategically plan.
But how? Here’s how…
Let’s start with self-evaluation.
1. Self-Evaluation: Review Your Week
Self-evaluation simply aims to discover what worked this week and what didn’t. That’s it. And how you can do it better.
Do you need to hire a consultant? Do you need a coach? Do you need to talk to that friend? What worked this week? Is it doing the difficult tasks first thing in the morning? How about on your health?
Can you see how less attention we give to the fundamental areas of our lives? We must change that today.
You can start evaluating your habits in these areas of your life to plan out the following week
(Give a number from 1 to 10; 10 being “I felt the best!” and 1 being “Oh that was the worst week!”):
1) Health: __
2) Wealth: __
3) Friends/Family: __
4) Learning: __
5) Mental & Emotional Well-Being: __
Now, describe why it’s that number. Why is it 10?
E.g. I feel I’m in 10 with my health because I got 7–8 hours of sleep throughout the week. I worked out 3 times the past week. I feel great! Do more of these next week!
Next is what went well in your business or career? What can you do better? What didn’t work? Make a list.
E.g. I engaged with my community genuinely, and I gained 200 follows this week. That’s amazing! Do more!
I wasn’t happy with my performance with my team. I should develop my interpersonal skills.
The goal is to reflect and self-evaluate. Spend an hour for this before you go to planning stage.
Bonus: Think (1 Hour):
This one is a bonus for you. You can skip this part if you want to jump to the “strategy” phase. But here’s an essential part of my week where I just daydream.
That’s right, I daydream.
Not for no reason!
I daydream about what could go wrong and what don’t I see. Ever since I learned to “Think” from Bill Gates and Dan Lok, I’ve always decreased the chance of having bad assumptions. They call it being a “realistic optimist”.
Optimism is good, but when real life smashes your plans in your face, you’ll be depressed.
If you’re a high-achiever, you will know that excitement is great, but desperation is even better.
So basically, I think for an hour every Sunday. How do I do it?
You can look at your metrics, financials, school grades or whatever success metric you have. You look at them, ask “What don’t I see here? Why did I hit my goal? Why didn’t I hit my goal?” Actively ask questions and write down your answers.
This way, you imitate having “aha” moments in the shower or from a commute. You know those moments?
And that’s it. I walk around the house, just brainstorming. Just asking myself profound questions and believe it or not, those times bring me breakthrough strategies and eliminates some of my bad assumptions. It’s worth trying.
Now, let’s go the second and final phase for you to start the week right…
2. Strategic Planning (15 minutes to 30 minutes):
When you strategize, you really need to just focus on a handful of things. Not 20. You must find out what are those PRODUCTIVE OUTPUTS that will contribute the most to your goal or outcome. Let’s say your goal is to become a 6-figure freelance writer (which is my goal), you should role model someone who’s been there done that. That’s the shortcut. But you have to carve your own path because everyone’s different.
Identify your top 3 most productive outputs that will contribute the most to your outcome. If you’re writing a book, then your outputs will be:
1. Write the book.
2. Edit and proofread.
3. Promote the book/Market it.
And that’s how you eliminate every non-essential task. Well you see that watching Netflix or binge watching YouTube are not included. That hurts but it’s the truth.
When you identify your productive outputs, it eliminates every unnecessary distraction-work (YouTube for pleasure, Scrolling Mindlessly on Social Media, Reading unnecessary books).
That’s the goal each week. Ask yourself “Am I on board with my productive outputs? Am I clear about my outcome? What worked last week? If it doesn’t work, what can I do instead?”
Sundays I should say, is more of a thinking process rather than just a “planning whatever tasks for the week” thing. You get what I mean?
You must spend 1 to 2 hours every Sunday just to reflect and think strategically for the upcoming week. Make it your non-negotiable.
And when you’re done, you’ll feel unchained, ready to fight and excited to start the week because you achieved CLARITY. Clarity is power.
And power is the ability to take action.
Most people would want a summary or a step-by-step guide. If you’re one of them, here’s a summary for you my friend.
Sundays should be dedicated to self-evaluation and strategic planning. Only two things.
1. Self-Evaluation (Weekly Review):
Duration: 1 hour at most
Score yourself in these 5 areas of your life from 1 to 10 (10 as feeling the best, 1 feeling “No, it was so bad”): Health, Wealth, Friends/Family, Learning and Mental/Emotional Well-Being.
Describe why that number. Write down what you can improve and apply for next week.
Next is writing down 2 things that worked and 2 things that didn’t for your business or career. How can you do better next week?
2. Strategic Planning
Duration: 15 to 30 Minutes
- Remember your top goal for year 2020.
- Identify the 3 most productive outputs.
- And finally, design Monday to Saturday (the upcoming week) specifically with an aim to make progress and move forward.
Okay! Let’s wrap this up…
When you lack intention towards the following week, that is simply the death of staying focused.
You already failed.
But perhaps the single reason why we get distracted throughout the week, is because you don’t see your goals more often. We really need to think at that angle.
Are you deliberately seeing your goals every day? Every day? Sometimes, I do forget to look at my goals, and you know what, it sabotages the whole day. You can just easily fall to binge watching on YouTube or Netflix. It’s easier.
So that’s the message of this blog post. Track your habits and goals every single week.
Self-evaluate and become strategic on planning your week.
And get started ;)