The weeks fly by, don’t they?
Before you know it, a new month arrives and new challenges surface.
Tracking your time is essential for achieving your small and big goals. But with the realities of life, we often need some help in this arena.
So with each passing week, if you are not making progress on your goals, what can you do differently to bridge the gap between your current reality and where you want to be?
Enter the weekly desk pad! A tool you can use to stay focused on the week at hand, because it’s way to easy to get distracted by urgent tasks and new demands each day. Protecting your time for all you want to accomplish is more important though - there are 7 days in a week, what will you do to maximize that time?
How to use a weekly desk pad
To help you incorporate a weekly desk pad into your routine, follow a few simple setup strategies.
1. Prep your week in advance by setting up your weekly desk pad.
Start by setting aside time when it works for you, whether that’s Sunday night, Monday morning first thing, or Friday afternoon; make it a routine or a habit that you do each week. By planning in advance, you can be more thoughtful and less prone to making decisions on the fly, which are often more impulsive and not based on all the information you need.
If you need to, set a timer and spend 15 minutes just on this task.
Think about your big picture goals, your most important ongoing projects, and what outside requests or obligations you have to fulfill. What things are non-negotiable? Where are there time-sensitive meetings or deadlines? Where can you have longer chunks of deep, focused work?
Fill these things in, and then think about anything else you need to accomplish. Are there habits you want to incorporate, like going to the gym each morning or drinking enough water each day? Are there to-do’s left over from last week that need to get scheduled for this week?
Grab your planner, weekly desk pad, favorite pens, pencils, or washi tape and coordinate all your most important information -- and make it look pretty too, if that helps you feel motivated!
2. Review last week’s weekly desk pad page to see just how much you got done.
Honestly evaluate how you spent your time last week and whether or not you made progress on the things that are important to you. These can be long term goals, both professional and career oriented ones, but also personal development goals, like life/family events or self care. Ask yourself:
- How could you do better next week?
- Did you use all the features the desk pad had to offer?
- Did you acknowledge your goals and track your habits as soon as you did them?
- Have your weekly goals been carrying you closer to your long term goals?
- Can you use weekly goals to achieve little things that will improve your efficiency or time management?
- Do you need to make adjustments to your weekly goals to move forward on your long term goals?
If you use a planner, make sure you’re not duplicating work or missing anything. Keeping a weekly desk pad should be like an extension of your planner, helping you focus on this week in an overview, visual way. It shouldn’t feel like a ton of extra work or like you need to constantly refer back to your planner to be on track! Consider if there are places that you can streamline your process.
3. Set SMART goals that are easy to track and achieve.
Weekly goals are an excellent way to break down bigger goals into more manageable pieces. They’re also great for when you want to set short term challenges for yourself or need to get things done fast. If you have lots of ideas, prioritize them based on what is time sensitive or important for you to make progress on, just don’t make too many.
Some examples of short term goals are:
- Book vendors for holiday party
- Locate 5 new hiking routes to try this spring
- Revamp your nighttime routine
Once you’ve finalized your weekly goals, identify your deadlines and reminder days for each of them. For example, if a big presentation is due on Friday, set an appointment to finalize it on Thursday so you have a chance to catch any missing pieces while there’s still time.
4. Reflect and reward yourself for accomplishing the things you wanted to on your weekly desk pad.
This will help you stay motivated and energized to continue doing those things that make you stronger and more productive. Use a smiley face on successful days, treat yourself to a fancy coffee, or indulge in a treat when you get to the end of an especially productive week!
5. Keep your desk pad out and on display.
The point of having a weekly desk pad is to use it where it is readily visible and easy to access; you want to be able to reference what you’ve written down on it as well as add or adjust it as necessary. It should not be tucked into a drawer or hidden under other papers; let it shine and stand out on your desk so that you can stay accountable to what you write down and never miss a beat.
If you find that you’re not referring to your desk pad throughout the week, consider if there is a better place for it to live. You might like to keep it under your laptop for quick reference, or on the edge of your desk where it won’t get covered up by papers and desk accessories.
Our weekly desk pad recommendations
Here are our favorite weekly desk pads:
- Ink+Volt Weekly Deskpad is a roomy, highly functional weekly planner. In addition to big blocks for each day of the week, it also includes a daily habit tracker, a parking lot for future to-do’s, and slots for your goals to keep your daily productivity focused on the most important work.
- Wild Rose Weekly Deskpad is a bright, bold weekly planner for your desk that makes even your most everyday plans look more exceptional.
- Pink Floral Weekly Deskpad has soft, pastel colors and a simple weekly overview with bright flowers around the border.
- Shanghai Garden Weekly Deskpad gives you plenty of space for your weekly to-do’s, with a lively bright orange floral and bird design.