Friday – How to Be Productive: A daily plan for a more efficient and relaxed week.

This week, I’m discussing how to increase your productivity.

It’s Friday! You made it through the week.

Your main goal today is to wrap up your urgent matters for the week. After following the system, everything you need to get done today is already on your list. Just follow the usual practice of checking your list once in the morning and again post-lunch to stay on track.

Before you leave for the weekend: write up your to do list for next week. Put it somewhere you can access it on Sunday. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Remember, you will spend time on Sunday cleaning it up. But having it down in writing helps you to mentally close out this week and give yourself a pat on the back for getting so many tasks accomplished. In the worst case, it will also alert you to any task you forgot about. As always, think about future case needs and how future you will be feeling if you leave a project to another week.

Then on Sunday, you will open up your list, make any necessary tweaks, and head into Monday with a plan in place.

So that’s it! This may look like a lot to do when you see it all in writing, but in practice, putting your list together should be a quick and painless process. Staying on top of your daily and weekly tasks will help you plan your week, assess your schedule if new work pops up, and help you feel a sense of control even if, as a junior lawyer, you don’t actually have that much control over what work is assigned to you.

Let’s quickly recap the week:

Sunday: Update your to do list for the week. Organize it by priority. Break up projects into individual tasks and plan ahead for interim deadlines.

Every day: Check your list in the morning, after lunch, and in the evening to make sure you’re staying on target and getting things done.  This should take just a few minutes at a time.

Wednesday: Update your list with the end of the week in mind, making sure you include any projects you need to wrap up by Friday.

Friday: Before you head home for the weekend, update your list for next week, to be checked and finalized on Sunday.

Pic Credit: Glenn Carstens Peters (via Unsplash)