A Simple way to Organize your Week

How to organize your weekManaging time well is a necessity for any leader. Here is a process that I often use to help leaders think through weekly planning. Follow these four steps toward a more organized week.

Step 1: Break your week into 21 time-blocks.

Look at each day as three blocks of time. 8am-12pm, 1pm-5pm, and 6pm-10pm with 1 hour meal breaks in between. These time-blocks are more of an art than a science so feel free to adjust times to your personality, lifestyle, etc.

Ideal Week Worksheet

Time-blocking is one of the simplest and most effective ways toward productivity. With time-blocking, rather than jumping from task to task every few minutes, focus on one priority for a longer time.

Step 2: Determine how many time blocks you are going to work in an ideal week.

There are 21 time-blocks in a given week. How many will you work?

    • 10 time-blocks (not including any breakfast, lunch, or dinner meetings) is a 40 hour work week.
    • 11 time-blocks is a 44 hour work week.
    • 12 time-blocks is a 48 hour work week.

You get the picture. If you are completely in charge of your own schedule then, you get to choose how many time-blocks you work weekly. If there is an expectation in your employment context, then choose based on that context.

Step 3: Commit to working no more than two time-blocks in a row.

Stay with me here, workaholics! Working 6 time-blocks in a row is a recipe for a meltdown. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t work more than two time-blocks in a row. Before protesting, at least be attentive to this idea. If you must work more than two time-blocks in a row, try not to do it more than once or twice per week.

Related: How to take control of your crazy schedule

Step 4: Take three time-blocks in a row off every week. (Sabbath)

Brothers and Sisters, you need to get some rest. God worked, and God rested. God taught his people to work and to rest. Take 24 hours every week away from all aspects of your work. Be present to your family. Watch a movie. Talk a walk or a bike ride. However you rest, rest.

One last thought. This exercise has to be regularly revisited. I recommend no less than once per quarter. Happy Planning

What are your thoughts on this? Please comment and add your insight!

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Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.

  1. Working in time block is really helpful. Thanks Brian!

    Two comments regarding setting goals for the blocks of time: 1) I’m more creative in the morning. So, look at which blocks you’ll do what. For me: mornings, for writing. Afternoons, for admin, emailing, non-creative work. 2) I find that 4 hours is too long for me. Having 2 goals during the block works for me. If I have no goals during a block of time I tend to just bounce around from this to that, not getting anything important done.

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    1. Great feedback Keith! I have had several people tell me that they like two hour time blocks. Here is another post I wrote on this topic: Think in the morning, talk in the afternoon. http://brianhoward.com/how-to-get-home-from-work-earlier/

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  3. I understand working in blocks, but how do you do this when you are performing individual tasks each week that might only take a hour a piece? How do you group them into time blocks? Do you have certain category titles for each block of time?

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    1. Jared, big question! I just sent you an email with some thoughts.

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      1. I have a similar issue. Can you send me what you suggested to Jared or post here?

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    A Simple way to Organize your Week – Brian Howard

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  6. Thanks a lot for this great article! I’m one of those who always puts more on her plate than she can manage and therefor work a lot in one day and then feel burned out the next. So I like your concept and I want to try it out this week! I have only one question remaining: You said “don’t work two time block in a row”. Does this also include f.e. I shouldn’t work Monday evening and Tuesday morning? Or does it only count for one day? Thanks a lot! All the best, Sandra

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