Narath Carlile in Articles 4 minutes

How to finish your week feeling like you won!

or How is it already Friday?

You’re smart. You’re hardworking. You strive, constantly. You’re optimistic in your planning and your scheduling.

So how come you struggle to finish a week feeling like you nailed it?

Your default behaviors, in general, won’t help you get there - they’ll actually make you feel worse. The pressure to work on the weekend to “just catch up” will be intense.

“If only you’d planned better,” your productivity coach says. “If only you’d blocked off more time,” your deep-work book says. “If only you had been more intentional,” your intentional timer says.

Arg! Not helpful right now.

What would help right now?

You need 2 advisors - both of whom are actually with you already.

What would your “ideal loving parent” say?

  • You are where you are, that’s okay. Take a deep breath. Being okay is going to help you more than being stressed.
  • “When obstacles get in your way, the obstacles become the way.” - Marcus Aurelius
  • Let’s take stock of what you did get done (intentionally and unintentionally). Write a list. There’s no use in sugar-coating, because your mind is too smart for that, but a candid list of accomplishments and ‘hard work tackled well’ matters.
  • Okay, now what lessons did we learn? Be honest, but not brutal. Think about the possible consequences, consider probabilities, don’t catastrophize.

What would your “ideal boss or mentor” say?

  • “Okay, let’s see where we got to.” What outcomes did we achieve, and what didn’t we? How can the lessons — from what we did achieve (our strengths) and what we didn’t (our growth areas) — help us, moving forward?
  • Did you have the support and resources you needed to work optimally? If not, let’s brainstorm how we can go about getting those for you.
  • Let’s set some realistic expectations for valuable outcomes next week and reset some of our bigger expectations, based on what we know. Which of our goals do we know we can reasonably achieve, and which ones are our stretch goals?
  • How balanced do you feel overall? You can only do your best work when you have balance. What elements in your environment could we address in the week ahead so you’ll feel more balanced?
  • Did you get any professional golden time this week? We need you to take some; it’s the only way we can prepare to create real breakthroughs in the future. Make sure you plan at least 2-4 hours of golden time next week and block it off in your calendar. No excuses.

How can you win next week?

Definitely do:

  • listen to your “trusted advisors”
  • take enough time to plan well (ideally on the Friday before - this will give you the best chance to have a real weekend)
  • block your time!
  • include some flex time (when you will likely complete 50% of what you started that day ;-) )
  • and some shutdown time (give yourself the gift of your evening; your tomorrow self will be much more focused and productive too)

Something new:

  • define goals as “solid” or “stretch” and be very clear about which is which (and for your solid goals, ensure you have enough time blocked off to complete it).

Who knows, next week you might even win!

Keep flowing,

Narath