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07 Nov

Compose your ideal week


Datum: 2012-11-07 11:00

How does your per­fect week look? Prob­a­bly not like those 5 days you spend every year on a sun­ny beach in a warm place, even if this image might spon­ta­neous­ly come to mind when asked such a ques­tion. But do not let this get you down, such a lifestyle can get tired after a while as well. 

What I am refer­ring to is the per­fect workweek.

I am guess­ing that it involves some work­ing on your own and a whole lot of work­ing with oth­ers in one way or anoth­er, moments when the tem­po is high, and some when there is time and space for reflection.

You can let a jig­saw-puz­zle illus­trate the work of get­ting all the pieces of life to fit togeth­er, but I also like the metaphor a good friend of mine with an artis­tic past used the oth­er day when we met for lunch. He described the week and all the activ­i­ties we do dur­ing it as a composition.

By com­bin­ing dif­fer­ent com­po­nents in care­ful­ly select­ed pro­por­tions, the week becomes bal­anced just like a well-com­posed pho­to­graph, piece of music or artwork.

Be an everyday-visionary

Cre­ate your very own norm-week, that is, design your ide­al week and strive to match real­i­ty with the norm.

Of course we can allow our weeks to just unfold ran­dom­ly and par­ry events as they come your way, but the like­li­hood of hav­ing a smooth, effi­cient and enjoy­able work­day increas­es if we regain con­trol of the paint­brush and make con­scious deci­sions on how we want our weeks to pan out.

Do this

Try this to allow for your desired norm-week to emerge.

  1. Think about what com­po­nents your ide­al week con­sist of and write them down on a piece of paper.
    • Do you leave one day every week free from meetings?
    • Do you find it eas­i­er to work with a par­tic­u­lar type of tasks in the morning?
    • Do you check your e‑mail a spe­cif­ic time every day?
    • Do you call of work ear­ly on Fri­day afternoons?
    • Do you eat lunch alone one day every week? Or, eat lunch with a friend (not work-relat­ed) at least once a week?
    • Do you have time set aside for reflection?
    • When do you pre­fer to make sales-calls?
    • When do you leave the door to your office open? When is it closed?
  2. If you use a dig­i­tal cal­en­dar (such as Out­look, Google Cal­en­dar or iCal), cre­ate a new cal­en­dar and name it some­thing along the lines of My Ide­al Week”.

    If you use a phys­i­cal cal­en­dar, you can print out a work-sheet such as the one you can find here.

  3. In the new cal­en­dar, cre­ate blocks of time con­tain­ing the com­po­nents you just chose to be includ­ed in your ide­al week. You cre­ate these in the same way as you would sched­ule a meet­ing. Make them recur­ring, so that they are repeat­ed every week.
  4. While we are at it, we can extend this think­ing to include how you plan your moths as well. Do you want one or sev­er­al days every month reserved for focus­ing on a par­tic­u­lar type of task, work on a par­tic­u­lar project or work remote­ly from home? Add this into your Ide­al Week”- cal­en­dar as well.
  5. When you are done com­pos­ing your ide­al week, set the set­tings so that you will see the Ide­al Week”-calendar as well as your actu­al cal­en­dar at the same time.
  6. When you make plans for the weeks to come, take a look at your ide­al cal­en­dar as you plan and sched­ule new activ­i­ties, sug­gest times for appoint­ments, decide if you should say yes or no to sug­ges­tions for meet­ing-times you receive, and so on.

    If you think it becomes con­fus­ing to see the Ide­al Week” at all times, change the set­tings so that you only see it when you are adding new plans to your calendar.

Make your own kind of music…”

If you set the stan­dard for how you want your weeks to turn out, they will do so more to your lik­ing and less as a result of default and oth­er people’s plans. By cre­at­ing the con­di­tions for being able to work as effi­cient­ly as pos­si­ble, you will have time to do more of the things you want to do and which you prioritize.

If you strive to live accord­ing to your ide­al week, your work-rhythm will grad­u­al­ly change into what you would pre­fer it to be. It might feel dif­fi­cult at first to get activ­i­ties to add up as your would want them to, but as the weeks go by and your per­sist in your efforts to change the struc­ture of your weeks, it will become eas­i­er and feel more natural.

It is like learn­ing to draw or paint. When we are chil­dren we prac­tice draw­ing in col­or­ing books, and with time we become ful­ly fledged artists who can cre­ate out­side the box.

What is your way?

What sorts of attempts have you made to cre­ate a life-rhythm you are com­fort­able with? Leave a com­ment to tell us about your experiences!

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