one girl band // making the most of your working week

Monday morning arrives. You've got a gazillon unread emails, weekend orders needing to be packed and invoices to chase. Where on earth do you start? For me, the easiest, most productive way of getting the best of out of crazy busy weeks is creating a weekly schedule. Setting aside certain tasks for each day of the week can help with burn out or boredom, and allows you to carry out each task with the same amount of attention as the previous one.

This can be tricky, however. Tuesdays are for blogging, but what if a client needs a proof before 5pm that day? Wednesday is your easy day, but a stockist might need a large wholesale order quickly. Obviously, we can't predict the little hiccups in our schedule, but that's the beauty of having a small business. It can be unpredictable and can turn our plans upside down, but that's why we love it.

If you jump from task to task, forgetting what you were working on when something else pops into your mind, think about creating a schedule. Say goodbye to a thousand post-it notes that litter your desk, to the to-do lists that filter through to the next day, and work at a flexible way of productivity.

plan on sunday evening
If I've been away from the studio all weekend (I avoid work as a rule), I tend to have been rolling over ideas and tasks so much that I want to get it all out on a Sunday evening. Use a large planner (like this from Naked Lunge), and write out your tasks for the week ahead in each of the days. What you want to do in the AM and what you want to do in the PM. If you find it easier, you can do two days at a time, and then come back to the planner when you know what direction your week is going in.

keep it to four tasks a day
You won't be so overwhelmed when you see you've only got four things to get done today. Of course, some tasks take longer than others, and they may need a whole day. In that case, schedule that task only for that day, and work out when others can be done. Also, making sure you keep to four tasks a day ensures room for unpredictable requests, or if you just want a little break.

have an easy day
Schedule one day in the week where you're not doing anything too time-consuming and horrid. This can be something you can do from anywhere, like 'research for blogs' or scheduling up social media content. It's also a good idea to have this for when a pal is coming to town, or if you just want a day on the sofa (this is ok to do occasionally!).

have a fun one
Having one or two tasks that you love to do will make your day a lot easier. You'll be motivated to do the dull, not-so-fun ones when you know you've got a good one coming up. Take bookkeeping for example. If you know you need to catch up on your receipts, schedule that for the morning, and then design for the rest of the day. Fun work equals a productive worker. I think. I just made that up.

order in importance
Urgent jobs will need urgent attention, so make sure they're the first task of the day. That way if you end up over-running and the less-important jobs have to wait until tomorrow, it's not the end of the world.

Having a weekly schedule really has done wonders for my work ethic. Give it a go and see how much you fly through your daily tasks!

If you're wanting a quick, no-commitment planner, download this free printable by clicking on the 'Subscribe' link below. With only the days of the week and AM/PM to share out your tasks, you can simply print out on a Sunday evening and use. You could even be a little eco-warrior and get it laminated, then use a dry-wipe marker! No commitment, no empty-diary guilt (I'm very guilty of this).

Part of the one-girl band series- a series looking at being the one-girl-band behind your small business, plus the trails and tribulations that come with being self-employed.