The weekends are a time for relaxation and rejuvenation before another workweek starts. Taking time away from work helps with creativity, your mental health, and various other aspects of your well-being.

The weekends are also the time that high achievers and peak performers use to ensure growth and expansion in all facets of their lives for the upcoming week.

They're not working around the clock to achieve this or using a secret life hack. Instead, they're setting aside one hour during the weekend to map out the upcoming week.

High achievers recognize that as their ambitions grow, their potential to fall into the busywork trap grows. Knowing this, they consider time management and organizational ability a must-have skill set to reach a high level of success.

When you fail to plan your week ahead, it's the same as aimlessly wandering in a forest without a compass. You're going to be less efficient, and it'll take you much longer to get to your destination. But blocking off one hour during the weekend equips you with a compass, making you more efficient and less stressed and improving your overall well-being.

Here's the four-step approach to planning your upcoming week.

1. Review the previous week.

You can't move forward until you know where you're going. And you can't know where you are going until you take an accurate assessment of where you stand.

Think of this step as performing an audit on yourself.

Did you accomplish everything that you set out to? Did you get your workouts in? What about your business metrics? How were your sleep and eating?

For the noes on the list, think about why you fell short. With nutrition, what triggered you into making poor food choices? Was it stress, work, environment, traffic, cravings, or something else?

Looking at your productivity goals, what do you see as the root cause of falling short? Was it Facebook, environment, time management, or something else?

When you understand the root causes and triggers to your shortcomings, you can develop and equip yourself to be prepared for that in the upcoming week.

2. Get all of your ideas out of your head.

Write all your personal and professional goals that you want to accomplish without any limits. After you empty your brain of ideas, review those ideas and pick your MVGs (Most Valuable Goals).

These are your big rocks that will provide the most growth and expansion for your personal and professional lives. Remember, you can accomplish anything you want, just not all at the same time. Limit yourself to a couple from each aspect.

3. Input your activities onto your calendar.

Use a calendar such as Google Calendar and color-code the different activities as you're plugging them into your schedule.

Start off by placing your time blocks for work, since that's constant and will take up a big portion of the week.

The next thing to place on your list is sleep. After that, fill in your time for exercising. And finally, pencil in the weekly social and miscellaneous events that are important to you or that you have to attend.

You'll notice that you still have decent chunks of empty space, and that is your free time to do whatever you want guilt-free.

4. Decide on your daily actions.

It's great to have big and ambitious goals for the week, but how will you accomplish them? The last step consists of identifying and committing to the actions that lead to your desired results.

If you want to strength-train four times this week, what actions do you personally need to commit to?

Is it taking clothes to change into after work, lifting mid-afternoon, or having your clothes staring at you upon waking up to remove the excuses and limit your reliance on willpower?

When it comes to business, do you want to write more outreach emails, make more sales calls, or anything else? Think about how many hours it will take to make those calls. Can you have your research all in one document to help with efficiency? Should you plan to do it in the morning when you're fresh and more creative?

Your weekly schedule is completely customizable; it's more important to set aside that one hour on Sunday evenings to focus and set yourself up for success in the upcoming week.

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Published on: Jul 21, 2017