A 10 Step Checklist to Start Your Week Right

Most people charge into their week without planning.

Without even knowing where they are going or what they need to get done.

Sound familiar?

Start Your Week Checklist

Everyone wants to be more organized and have less life friction during their work week.

However, most do not want to spend hours and hours managing their workload.

Here is a simple 10-step Checklist to help you start your week:

  1. Calendar – Checking your calendar should always be one of the first things you do. What appointments and deadlines are sneaking up on you? Not just this week but in the next two.
  2. Todo List – Your todo list should always have your back, but you have to look at it. Review your list before you start work so that you can determine your priorities for the day and week.
  3. Review Last Week’s Notes - Too many people charge forward without first taking a look back. Like your todo list, if you never look at your notes they can’t help you. Always review your notes from the previous week. Otherwise, you risk overlooking undocumented tasks, promised deliverables and other loose ends.
  4. Plan – Making a plan for your week can help avoid conflicts, overlaps, and other confusion. Use your calendar to not only schedule your time, but to block out your work.
  5. Prepare – Planning is good, but preparing is better. This is the extra effort that many don’t do. Planning your day is good, you know where you need to be. However, did you prepare for that meeting? Or gather the supplies for that client presentation? Ensure you do your homework.
  6. Get Something Done Early - Do an important or simple task right away. Many choose to follow Brian Tracy’s advice of “eating the frog” early. In other words, do something first that you don’t want to do. Either way, by getting a task done right away, you will build productivity momentum that will carry you forward.
  7. Do Something Your Weren’t Going to Do –  Always add one thing from your Someday/Maybe list to your todo list. Otherwise, that list grows infinitely and becomes a Someday/Never list. Always do one thing that you weren’t going to do.
  8. Attack that Email – This one is going to bother some. Get into my email before I start my day? Yes. This is doubly important if you left your inbox full of stuff at the end of the previous week. Get your inbox cleaned up. Get emails filed and tasks added to your list. This is a perfect time to respond to emails or send delegated tasks. Your messages will be at the top of everyone’s inbox when they start their week.
  9. Clean Up Your Desk – A clean desk makes for a more productive workspace. Always dedicate 5-10 minutes at the start of your week to tidy up your workspace.
  10. Positive Attitude – The last and perhaps most important thing to prepare before starting your week is your attitude. It alone will determine much of what you accomplish. Even if you have an arduous path ahead, put on your positive attitude.

A Little Preparation

It doesn’t take much effort to get your week started on the right path.

A little bit of preparation can make all the difference in your week.

Do a few of these checklist items and you will be ahead of the pack.

Do them all, and you will amaze your family and co-workers.

And best yet, do them everyday…

Question: How do you start your week? Please share your list in the comments below.

No time for time management? Check out my online course designed to jump start your productivity! Take it online on your time and pace. As well, get direct access to me for advice and questions. Get details or enroll now by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • raunom

    I have to disagree with point #8. This distracts you from getting the things done early on that day. So in my opinion you should get organized and have some critical tasks completed before you dig into the biggest time waster: email. 
     
    Otherwise awesome points and good post. Thanks for sharing!

    • TMNinja

       @raunom I hear you… email can be a huge timesink.
       
      However, if you get in and get out, there can be tremendous benefits to hitting it early.
       
      You can clean-up and priority items and send out any messages that you need to get in motion. This is particularly important for delegated tasks. I find that if you wait too long to touch email… that those delegated tasks have then “sat and waited” for too long.
       

  • MichaelBowers

    I agree that is is critical to get the week off on the right foot by getting organized early on Monday. Looking forward helps you make the best decisions on how to spend your time. I also agree with your email take. Get in and get it cleaned up them move on. Don’t stay in the email box forever,,,act, delete, move on.

    • TMNinja

       @MichaelBowers Michael, yes, agree with the get in/cleanup/get out of email.
       
      My intention here is to catch anything important and to get delegated messages on their way early in the day. 

  • TMNinja

    @travelwithchris Thx, Chris! How are things up the road there in Nashville?

    • Travelwithchris

      @tmninja On a golf scale, Nashville’s day would be a 10, but working and waiting for the Ninja’s tips on multitasking from a golf cart!

    • Fernandog5965aj

      @TMNinja long want though What someone And been than our via via better gonna for Ive @market_walmart

  • peacebird1987

    @TMNinja great tips :) I thought I lost u in my feed but it was ur new avatar that I didn’t recognize …have a good day

  • Ed Zdanowski

    I start planning my week on friday afternoon about an hour before quitting time.  Since I started doing that, I have been able to hit the ground running and find my productivity has improved.

    • raunom

       @Ed Zdanowski I totally agree with you on this one. Then on Monday you can go straight to it :)

      • TMNinja

         @raunom  @Ed Zdanowski Exactly!
         
        A good close-out of the previous week, always makes for a good start to the next one! :)

  • HomemakersDaily

    Plan my week on Sunday afternoon or evening.  Record all appointments on my daily pages and everything I need to do on specific days. 

    • TMNinja

       @HomemakersDaily Sounds like an early and great start to the week! ;)

  • rhogroupee

    @davekrause Thanks for the RT earlier! Hope your Monday rocked (or is still rocking).

    • davekrause

      @rhogroupee YW on the RT! My Monday did rock and is still rockin’!

  • TimoKiander

    Craig,
     
    There is another benefit of checking your e-mail first thing in the morning – especially if you have been away (for example on a vacation) for some time: You have some catching up to do and the best way to do it to go through your e-mails.
     
    I did the mistake of working first on couple of tasks after getting back to work – only to realize that those tasks weren’t necessary to do (I learned this after checking my mail).
     
    So there is a place for opening your e-mail first thing in the morning.
     
    Cheers,
    Timo

  • Harriettnykasp

    @Meg_Jarrell but day for them was miss she something us how We need better in why down too @walmartgg

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com/ Loren Pinilis

    I think a lot of your points are totally valid – but I prefer doing many of them at the end of my day rather than the beginning. For instance, cleaning my desk and planning. It helps me to relax about my work and enjoy my evenings, and then I love the feeling of starting fresh in the morning.

  • wolbobby

    @WOLCharlie so you DO admit you’re a #ninja! I knew it.

    • WOLCharlie

      @wolbobby Fine, you got me. :-)

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  • http://twitter.com/JSanchezSD Jonathan Sanchez

    With a to-do-list for the week but inconsistent.  These tips will help me get on track.  thanks. 

  • http://twitter.com/JSanchezSD Jonathan Sanchez

    With a to-do-list for the week but inconsistent.  These tips will help me get on track.  thanks. 

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  • Guest

    The perfect way to start my week is by going to church meeting, where all my thoughts are to be organized!

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