How do I plan weekly meetings

How to plan your working week in the home office

It is often difficult to stay organized and focused when working from home, especially during a pandemic. Constant distractions, a sub-optimal workplace, stress and worries make it more important than ever to plan your work week well.

Having a weekly work schedule can help you become more productive in the home office, find the right balance between work and leisure, and reduce stress. Strategic tips from project management show you how to avoid distractions and achieve more. Here is everything you need to know to design and implement your own weekly work plans.

A successful weekly plan for maximum productivity

Weekly work plans help you keep track of things. They answer many key questions: What are the important tasks this week? Which customers need a status report from me? What are my goals and responsibilities for the next five days?

Brainstorm all of the items on your to-do list, no matter how big or small. Take stock of what really needs to be done this week. Remove anything that is not important and delegate the rest of the tasks as far as possible.

Make a note of the due date for all scheduled tasks. And while you're at it: Add self-imposed appointments for time-sensitive tasks. Put these dates in your weekly or monthly calendar to get an overview of your priorities.

Now use your gut instinct to estimate the remaining items that you have not deleted or moved to your calendar. Realistically, how much time and energy did you have this week? Do you feel more exhausted or more stressed than normal?

It pays to be completely honest with yourself in this step - this will keep your goals realistic and you will set the course for your long-term success. Nothing is worse than the feeling of being behind even before the start. Indeed, this feeling of despondency has been proven to destroy your productivity. So listen carefully to yourself and honestly assess what can and cannot be achieved in the next five days.

Create a tailor-made weekly plan

One of the most important things in planning your work week is to find a rhythm that works well for you. You're not helping anyone if you overcharge yourself in the home office and then have to surrender.

Over the course of the next week, write down what the key building blocks of each work day look like. This includes For example, when to wake up, how long it will take you and your family for the morning routine, times for confirmed meetings, digital events and meals, and when to leave.

Then fill in the gaps with the tasks on your calendar. Roughly calculate how long the individual tasks will take and be realistic here too. It is better to have a little time left at the end than to overwhelm yourself and not be able to do everything. You can include these items in your weekly schedule as 30- or 60-minute blocks of time, or as a simple to-do list for the day.

Another tip: plan a 10-minute break at least once an hour. After all, you never know whether you have to answer a time-sensitive e-mail, take the dog for a walk or simply switch off for a moment. By allowing for small buffers from the start, you will make it easier for yourself to stay on track despite such inevitable interruptions.

Then, when you've planned everything through and there is still time left, you can use some of the remaining, not fixed-scheduled tasks on your to-do list.

Check and optimize your weekly plan

Use an event or work management tool like Wrike (or a simple paper planner) to keep track of your to-do list and schedule. The important thing is that you could easily update your plan if the priorities change.

In a digital planner it is e.g. B. Much easier to reschedule a meeting than on paper. At the end of each week, take some time (around 10 to 15 minutes is enough) to evaluate what worked and what didn't before creating your next weekly plan.

Top tips for optimal weekly plans

It pays to keep the following tips in mind as you create and execute your schedule:

  • Measure the time spent on repetitive tasks so you can plan more accurately next time.
  • Identify your tasks in different colors, according to type, project and / or urgency.
  • Set an alarm clock or stopwatch for 30 minutes for every task you work on. In the event of distractions, the ticking of the clock quickly draws your attention back to the project.
  • If certain tasks are dependent on other people, you need a clear method of project management so that you know when updates, materials or other necessary items should be available for your next step.
  • Set up phases such as “In progress”, “In approval process” and “Done” in order to be able to better track tasks with several steps.

Create the best weekly plans with Wrike

Optimize your schedule with these valuable features and tips for effective project management.

  1. Try out ready-made widgets. Widgets are buttons that you can use to filter out tasks in your complex to-do list as needed. The best ready-made widgets for the home office are z. For example, “Assigned” for tasks assigned to you by colleagues or supervisors, and “My Backlog” for tasks with no due date that you have yet to complete.
  2. Organize your to-do list automatically. Wrike's My To-Dos helps you separate all assigned and self-created tasks from the rest of the to-do list. You can edit groups of tasks at the same time, display subtasks in a clear list and use full-page, user-definable templates to add further details to individual tasks.
  3. Label and update items in the list. Use custom labels to divide the entries into groups that make the most sense to you. Update the status of individual tasks and the overall project status so that you can follow your own progress at a glance.

Now you can create a weekly schedule that will maximize your productivity

An effective weekly schedule is there to translate your planning out of your head into a visual, manageable format. Register for Wrike's free trial and discover the many ways in which you can organize your upcoming work week with fully customizable dashboards, task lists and status updates and stay reliably on track.