Wondering how to write a weekly work plan? We’ve got just the thing.

Start with a brain dump

Your brain is calculating a lot of things to do – tasks to complete, tasks to keep in mind for later, people to follow up with, one-time tasks, etc. Plus, you also have a lot to do in your life outside of work (someone has to buy groceries and clean up kitty litter, right?).

Take a blank piece of paper and write down everything you can think of to do. It’s not just something you have to do for work or now, everything. Get everything out of your head and get on the page.

Set a deadline

Go to your new list and indicate when each item is due. Be honest with yourself about this. There may be things that you think you need to do today or tomorrow, but ask yourself: are they really necessary?

If so, write it down. And if you have a little time, don’t force yourself to do it faster than necessary. On the other hand, don’t leave everything to the last minute. You may be tempted to go one way or the other. Either you do everything at once because it will help you to get a score, or you think you have more time than you have and end up rushing to the end. In both cases, you are setting yourself up for failure and causing unnecessary stress.

For long-term tasks that don’t have a deadline, do one of two things: give them a good “start” date to make sure they finally show up, or you can start a list that the speed of important tasks is low, – having different projects and pages.

Add it to your calendar

After you list the due date for each, put everything on your calendar. This is where having a project management system can come in handy. Don’t worry about things that won’t happen next week. Just keep them on a big to-do list that you can refer to each week as you plan. For the tasks to be done this week, write them down by the date they are due, and indicate how much time you will need for each.

This will help you account for other meetings you may have and ensure you have enough time to do everything you have planned for the day. Treat each task as you would a meeting with another person. You wouldn’t know it, would you? Like money, try to figure out how much time you will need for each item. If editing a note usually takes 30 minutes, for example, take 45. You want to schedule extra time if you’re late or taking longer than expected for some reason.

Avoid overloading your schedule. Leave every space every day. This will give you the flexibility you need to make changes to emergency calls, sick days, work restrictions, etc.

Pick a regular day and time to do the planning

It should be a recurring task in your schedule. You can do this at the end of each week to prepare for the next one, or you can do this at the beginning. So add it to your schedule at a time when you think it’s easier to stick to it (or at least easier than most other times).

Set reminders and/or alarms

If you’re putting it on a digital calendar, set up a reminder feature, such as a notification that pops up on your phone or an email trigger (or both). As you make it a habit, use technology to put this task at the forefront of your mind each week. Another good option is to set frequent reminders on your phone, especially if you use a notebook.

Tell others

Once you define a goal for someone, it will become more realistic and will help increase your earnings. So, tell someone you hang out with all the time – your best friend, your spouse, your favorite co-worker, your boss. Again, choose the one that works for you. Even if they don’t ask you again, just tell them out loud to stick with it.

Use a weekly work plan to increase your productivity

It’s an easy trick to use. It will help you be more productive every week (and every day). So, starting next week, dedicate five to twenty minutes each week to organizing your schedule.