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ep.39: How To Create A Great Week

A woman planning and fulfilled

Are you tired of feeling like your weeks are slipping away without accomplishing what truly matters to you?

In this empowering episode, Mande guides you through the process of creating your own "Great Week." By asking yourself honest questions and prioritizing your values, you'll learn how to design a week that leaves you feeling productive, relaxed, and fulfilled.

What you'll discover:

  • Identifying the activities and relationships you want to make more time for

  • Categorizing your non-negotiable responsibilities and weekly tasks

  • Strategies for plugging activities into your weekly schedule

  • The power of creating space for relaxation and unexpected events

  • Evaluating and adjusting your plan to maintain a sense of balance

"When I followed my great week plan, I was surprised at how relaxed, productive, and fulfilled I felt." - Mande

Throughout this episode, you'll gain practical tools and insights to help you take control of your time and create a life that aligns with your goals. Mande's approach, based on her personal experiences and the transformative effects of designing her own "Great Week," offers a fresh perspective on achieving success without sacrificing well-being.

Useful Links Mentioned:

Free "Create Your Great Week" Workbook:

Whether you're looking to increase productivity, find more time for your passions, or simply create a more balanced lifestyle, this episode provides a step-by-step guide to designing your ideal week. Subscribe for more inspiring stories and practical strategies to thrive with ADHD.

Share your experiences and successes with us in the comments or on our social media channels. We're excited to support you on your journey to creating a life you love!

Remember: You have the power to create a week that leaves you feeling energized, accomplished, and fulfilled. By being intentional with your time and prioritizing what matters most, you'll be amazed at the transformation that awaits.

Listen to the Episode:

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Click here to read the transcript:

Okay. As promised, this week, I mentioned last episode. If you guys were listening to that one already or if you have listened to that one already, I mentioned that I was going to give you my process for creating the perfect week.

Now you'll notice this is episode 39 How to Create a Great Week. And the reason for that, I kind of told the story of when I was asking myself the questions to create this week when it said the perfect week. It was a lot of pressure and when I crossed that out and put Great Week, it was a lot easier to do the process.

So perfect week, ideal week, great week. Whatever words you need to use to make this happen, use what works for you. It even kind of held me back in creating this episode when I was calling it the Perfect Week. So Great Week works well for me. Now, this is not just your average time management video. Yes, we are going through how to plan your week.

Absolutely. But this is adding in a lot of key components that you might be missing. Now if you don't plan your week right now, this is a great start. Okay. You are going to have first things first, most important things, the things that match your values in your time management system. If you have tried to manage your time in such a way of, you know, weekly planning or monthly planning or daily planning and you have failed.

Welcome to the party. We have all tried and failed and tried and failed until we finally got it right. Okay. It took me a good two years of consistently planning my time to finally follow the system the way I wanted to follow the system. And now this is an iteration of that because that system that I had really wasn't balanced enough for me.

I had mentioned in the last episode that I had turned up the business intensity too much and turned down the family and connection and taking care of myself. I turned that intensity way down. So I'm going to ask you several really important questions. I'm going to take you through the steps here and ask you these important questions that I want you to really take your time and think about.

This is something that you can take in print the workbook it has all the questions in it and look at the questions after listening to this episode and then really just walk away and take some time to think about them. This isn't something I want you to just sit down and knock out. I want you to make sure that you are really thinking these questions through.

So the workbook you're going to be able to get it at Now don't worry about the other stuff that's in there. All my free resources are in there. Just worry about the I think it's called How to Create a Great Week workbook or something like that. Just worry about that for now.

And that's where all these questions are going to be. So let's start with step one. Ask the important questions. So first thing you're going to ask yourself is what are you missing in your life or not finding enough time for? What are you missing in your life or not finding enough time for what matters to you most? Whenever I'm working with clients and I get them down to these are the things that matter to you most.

It is so much easier for them to prioritize. A lot of times when people come to me and they're like, I can't prioritize, it's because they don't know what matters. So everything seems important and this changes as time goes on. This may be something you want to ask yourself again after 90 days after, you know, six months, you might want to reevaluate this once a year, but ask yourself those questions.

What are you missing in your life or not finding enough time for? And what matters to you most? For me, this was time with family, time for exercise, time to do organization projects around my home, time for learning, protected time for creation in my business, time for hobbies and fun like these things just were not. They were in my week, but they were getting kind of pushed around and I'll talk about that a little bit later.

Also, I said, Time for learning already. I got that one, but I needed all these things to be on my calendar and for them to be protected. And that's where I was talking about. They get kind of pushed around because I would put things on my calendar, but I would mark myself available so that people could schedule consultations with me whenever they wanted so that clients could schedule meetings with me when they had more options for when they could do that.

I was trying to make myself like overly available and that just wasn't working because what would happen is these things would get pushed. And as things got pushed, either there was no place for them to go or when it came time to like, do something fun, I had all these other things that got pushed that I needed to do instead.

Okay, so that's step one. Ask the important questions and we're going to continue to ask questions. But I wanted to make this like memorable and simplified for you. But step two is non-negotiable responsibilities. So what are your non-negotiable responsibilities? These would be things like appointments for yourself or your family. This would be your work. If you have like a 9 to 5 and you have committed a certain amount of time to your employer, those are non-negotiable, right?

You might want to create non-negotiables for yourself. For example, exercise is might be a non-negotiable for you. What are the non-negotiables in your life and even in the workbook give you a calendar view like a month for you as well as I'll show you a little bit later.

when do we get to step four? I'll bring that up for you. But right now, you know, asking the important questions, what are your non-negotiables? And in the notes section in the workbook, I want you to start writing what these things are, okay? Because you're going to plug these things in in this order, and then what are the weekly activities?

So this would be what are the weekly tasks that you have? For me, these were things like family dinner, maybe extra cooking, or you might call it meal prep, cleaning, laundry, basically the things that you would like to do daily, but nothing of serious consequence is going to happen if you don't do them daily. So you see how this is kind of separate from then the non non-negotiable things.

If you miss an appointment, there could be a fee. Now you've got to reschedule the appointment. I've even had clients get dropped from doctors because they've missed too many appointments. There could be serious consequences for things like this. Another non-negotiable that just came to mind would be like paying bills. If you don't pay your bills, there are fees, there are consequences.

Right? Your weekly tasks are the things that nothing is going to catch fire if you don't do them right. Yes. Our goal is to have family dinner every day. Do we have it every day? We usually kind of skip it on weekends and then we'll miss once or twice during the week sometimes. But it's something we like to do except for is plug it all in.

Okay. Let me share my screen here.

you can see part of the workbook. And this is the month view that I showed you that I mentioned, I should say.

And I made everything I actually could correct that My assistant made everything she did, and she did a great job with this. Per my instruction, where you can fill it in, you can fill in the month, you could fill in the days. None of that stress or guilt about having missed April or having started having to start midway, You can start anywhere you want.

The reason I gave you the month view is because if you have appointments or something like that, you are going to need to take that into consideration for your week view. And also you might need to take into consideration holidays and birthdays and things like that. Okay, so here is your week for you. Hopefully you can see that if not, I will have it put up on the screen.

But I didn't think about this for the podcast, so let me verbally explain this while hopefully you're visually seeing it on YouTube, but on one side is the notes section, and that's where you're going to start writing all these things as you're answering these questions. What are your non-negotiables? What are your weekly tasks? What matters to you? You have a whole different section that you can write that in.

But the reason I want you to write it over here on the side, when you get down to the nitty gritty of like what those things are laundry dishes, exercise time with family, you know, things like that, Then I want you to start plugging it into your week view. And what this is set up as is for you to have a full view if you have the two pieces of paper side by side of Sunday through Saturday.

Now you can get very specific by putting in the month and the dates here if you want. But what we're really doing here is creating like an ideal week. What are your weeks going to look like? Most of the time we really are creatures of habit. Most of us are not going to have a different week, week to week, but you might have weeks that are are special and are busier than others or you have something in particular planned.

This is just going to be your regular. I don't want to say boring, but that's the wrong word to use. This is just going to be like a regular week. If you had a week where you had no interruptions, nothing came up, what would you want that to look like? Okay,

so what you're going to do is, as I said, you're going to write on the side in the notes, all of the things that specifically need to go into your week. And then you're going to start plugging in these things in your week.

And I found doing this on paper so helpful. Now I use a digital calendar personally, but I also have a planner sitting next to me where I have my month view. I think the month of video on Google is terrible. I really don't like it. Maybe I'm using it wrong. I don't know. Everything just looks really squished together, especially since I'm referring to it a lot on my phone.

One trick for that and I don't know about Apple products, maybe you guys already have this, but I put a little widget on the homescreen of my phone so that I can easily look at my calendar when I get done with one thing, I can just look at my calendar and go to the next thing about doing this on paper was helpful.

I think it was helpful to slow down, to take time to think. I made sure I had a pencil. I'm looking over here at my my cup of pens and pencils and things, but I made sure I used pencil. I also grabbed highlighters and in different colors had different things. So one color would be business, one color would be like maybe self-care, one color might be family time, one color might be you'd like, you know, chores or tasks, that kind of thing.

And putting the different colors was helpful, too, because if I had, you know, a whole bunch of one color and very little of another, maybe things aren't quite as balanced as I'd like them to be. And it was very easy for me to see where is the white space in my week now as you are plugging these things in?

Actually, that's step five. I'm getting ahead of myself. All right, So you're plugging these things in with pencil. Go ahead and use your highlighter. You can always erase it and move things around. And don't worry that it's highlighted. Yes, we're creating a perfect week, but we are not trying to be perfect as we're doing it right. And step five is create space and evaluate.

So looking at this week, now that you've plugged everything in, what it can are how much white space do you see in your calendar? And what I wanted to do is have at minimum, an hour, but an hour to 3 hours of white space in my calendar daily so that I had room to just breathe. I had room.

If something popped up, I had room to move things if I needed to. And seeing that white space was super helpful. But as you're looking at your week, how do you feel? If you were feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it could be that there's too many things on your calendar, but it also could be that you're questioning your capability to do these things.

So kind of check in with yourself and notice like what? What is really going on? Are you thinking there's no way I can do these things now that is saying that you have the white space that I asked you to create, Right? If you have that white space, you have room to breathe. It's not too much. If you have no white space, you might be correct.

That might be too many things. Can you combine things together? So an example of that is I have an hour of learning, I think every day. Some of the things I did like my organization projects I did like three times a week, but I have an hour of learning every day during my hour of learning, unless I doing something, know, writing or doing something on a computer, I can combine that with like walking on my treadmill.

And so I'm taking care of myself and I am doing an hour of learning. So and that hour of learning for me, how many of you have courses that you just never got to? That's what that was for me. That's what was missing where it was like I just could not find the time to sit down and do those things.

And so that's been really, really great. So is it too crowded? Do you feel overwhelmed by what you have to do? Can you reduce, delegate or combine? We were talking about the combining, right. But can you make it last time in a week? Can you make it less times in a week? For example, I said the organization was three times a week.

I could also make the organization less time if I wanted. I give myself an hour because it's something I haven't been able to get to for a long time and I'm enjoying it. But I do find that I get specific about exactly what I'm going to organize and I get through it. I look at the clock and it's only been 15 minutes, but I give myself an hour, so I just move on to the next thing.

And I like that. I prefer that, but I don't have to do that. I could reduce it down to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, right. Can you give the job to somebody else? Can you train somebody in your home to do the job? Can you can your kids do it inside? Can you hired out an example of this when I was creating my great week was my husband had learned to make this really great stir fry that the kids were enjoying.

Well, one of them anyway, I enjoyed he enjoyed it. It was really easy to do. So I discovered I don't I don't need to cook as much as I thought he needed to cook. I could just let him take one day a week. He has other skills too, as far as using a smoker and things like that.

So I didn't need to cook as much as I thought I needed to cook. Are there things that you've said yes to that you realize now, looking at your time, need to be a know you? Okay, I might be. Maybe you volunteered for something. I have a client right now that we were just having a conversation last week about him saying yes to certain things on the calendar, saying yes to a day in time to meet with them or something like that, when really what he should have said was, let me check my calendar.

And he just had a thought error that that person was going to think that they weren't important if he didn't say yes. But actually he was never saying no. He was just saying yes against what his own plans were. But he, in the end, making the change that he's going to make, which would be let me check my calendar for good time.

He's never going to actually say no. He's just going to say yes at a time that is appropriate for him. So it could be that, too. Maybe you don't need to say no. Maybe you just need to say yes at a time that's more appropriate for you. So here is where I want you to make sure that white space is there for you.

Whatever you're comfortable with. Now, some of us with ADHD, myself included, can get really uncomfortable with time to do nothing. Okay? This is not necessarily time to do nothing, but it can be. And I think an episode that's going to be coming in the future is expanding our capacity for discomfort. And sometimes you need the opportunity to practice doing nothing.

And so creating that space is can do that for you Some days, some days creating that space is going to save you from not getting to things that you wanted to get to because something came up. One thing I noticed when I was practicing this week for the first week was because I had created that space of 2 hours in the day.

Minimum is what I was looking for when my husband would ask me to, like, help, you know, take the car down to the dealership or something like that. It was a piano problem, whereas before it would have been, Well, I really don't have time to do that. Sorry, but creating that space makes time for things that pop up next time for things that take longer than expected.

And you may find that things take less time than expected and that could help you create space as well. Are there things that if you did them more regularly, would take less time? So an example of this would be I had a tendency to just not do the dishes on the weekend. I know some people would think that's totally gross, but we were just relaxing.

I just let them wait until Monday. And when I would do that, I noticed that my Mondays wouldn't go as expected. So my morning routine of like taking 30 minutes to clean up, that would include like doing the dishes, picking up the house and putting in some laundry. But that 30 minutes was not enough time because now I had extra dishes.

I noticed this before I had. We always come up with these ADHD coping skills even without seeking seeking help. Right. But this was years before I knew anything about coaching. But what I would do is procrastinate on doing the laundry and then do the laundry all in one go, which was miserable, which is why I procrastinated on doing it.

But I would just do the laundry basically all day in my pajamas and

would take the laundry after it had dried and like dump it on the couch. And then I would have this mountain of laundry and it would take hours to go through and fold it.

And now it's wrinkled and maybe it has to be like, steamed or, you know, something like that ironed, whatever. So it would take so much more time. Well, then I discovered that if I just put in a load every day, a couple loads every day, it actually took me a couple of minutes to put it in, a couple of minutes to switch it.

Maybe, maybe, maybe 2 minutes. I'm not even sure. But I timed how long it took me to fold that load and it took me 6 minutes. So we're talking 10 minutes. If I do it on a daily basis or hours of misery. If I waited a week or two weeks to do it. So are there things like that in your schedule where, okay, if you just did it on a regular basis, it would be quicker.

It would be easier. And if you're not timing things, that's how you discovered the thing about the laundry. I started timing it. Any of my clients that are working with time awareness issues, we are always timing things. That's how I discovered the dishes were not a miserable experience was I timed it and I went, it takes like 10 minutes to load the dishwasher, maybe sometimes less.

It's not really that terrible. So timing things can be really helpful. But I found with my business tasks as well, I have a creation hour every I think every day of the week and creation hours for things like this. And if I use my creation hour to do my writing or to do my creating or to use my ideas to, you know, have things created for you guys, then if I use that on a daily basis, I'm getting so much more done.

And that's what I found with this week and that's why I'm sharing it with you, is I just could not believe how calm and relaxed I was, which was wonderful. But I also couldn't believe how productive I was in the process. That's what was crazy. So, yes, this is this is a little different than your average time management.

The questions are so critical. Do not skip them. All right. That's that's what makes the difference between the plans that you've tried in the past. Okay. Also, don't get hung up. Even though I was calling it the perfect week. Don't get hung up in this being perfect. Don't make it take a lot of time. If you're having if you're struggling with a question, walk away from it.

Go do something else. Come back to it another time. And if it takes you a week to put together a perfect week, great. What I don't want to happen is for you to spend a whole lot of time making a plan and then as soon as something goes wrong, you're not following the plan and feeling like you wasted your time.

We don't want that. Okay? So don't spend a whole lot of time on it. But at the same time, kind of kind of contradicting myself a little bit at the same time. Take the time and space you need to think, okay. And that's really what this week did for me as well, is it created all kinds of space for me to think about topics I found myself continually, like running back to my desk and writing something down for like a future episode or things like that.

So I told you what it was like following the plan. One weird thing that happened that I want to warn you about, because this could happen with you, is there was the discomfort of being comfortable. I'm going to say it again. There was the discomfort of the peace and the calm and the feeling productive that came. You will think those would all be wonderful things, right?

But it's not what I was used to. All right. I did have a time management system, but the time management system that I was using, the way I was using it, leaving myself open and available, taking on too many clients was part of the problem as well. That's why the doors of Shut for coaching. If you want to get on the waitlist, you can contact me.

But just doing things like that difference in only taking like the most serious clients opened up the space for the peace and the calm. But that was different than what I had been experiencing and that was uncomfortable. And that's where I think that episode about expanding our capacity for discomfort is a really important one. I just don't want you to be surprised if this happens to you.

If you follow this week and you're like, I don't get it. This felt great. I'm getting to the things I want to get to. I'm really happy, but I feel off. This feels weird. Something's wrong. Then it could just be that it's just not what you're used to. And that's okay. You'll get used to it. You will develop that capacity for the discomfort.

Or it could just be because it's new and soon it won't be uncomfortable and you'll be productive and you'll be calm and you'll be happier. All right? And you'll be getting all the most important things in.

Okay. So it's been a lot of fun. Like I said, I hope you create your ideal week, your great week, your perfect week.

I would love to hear any other titles you guys have for this week that you are creating. And I want you to put your plan where you can see it if you're digital. Like me, What I did. I wish I had mine still, but I'm not a person that keeps around paper anymore. I like to use paper. I recommend you use paper when you do this.

But when I went through this process, I got it all plugged in on on the paper, and then I got it all put into my calendar and then I ripped it up and Third Way. So I don't have that anymore, but I do wish I had that to refer to for you guys. I could show you, show you the process of what I went through.

But like I said, I did create have this recreated for you and you can get the workbook at WW Learn to thrive with ADHD icon backslash free dash downloads and it's going to be called How to Create a Great Week workbook, I believe is the title. But yeah, go grab that, answer your questions, take your perfect week. And then what I want to say when I was learning to manage my time and this is really been kind of a progression over time, right?

I learned to manage my time and learn to follow the calendar and then I discovered, this isn't set up. Ideally for me now, and I might find that again next year. Right? But what I want to remind you is you might follow this for a week and then you might not follow it. And that's okay. That's just part of the process.

What you want to be is more concerned about being persistent and consistent consistency will come if you continue to be persistent. One of my clients reminded me of this today. It's from Jerry Seinfeld, and he used it when he was trying to develop a habit of going to the gym, and his rule was Don't miss twice. And then so Jerry Seinfeld had has that rule for like writing jokes, I think is what it was.

He had a rule for himself, a calendar where he actually marked out the days that he did his joke, writing and his rule for himself was don't miss twice. And the client said something really interesting. And we talked about the importance of persistence and in building consistency. And he said, And if I miss twice, I don't miss three times.

And the point is really just if you don't beat yourself up, if you don't make it a problem that you didn't follow, you're great week for a few days, you're going to get back at it so much sooner than you would if you chose to beat yourself up or make this mean terrible things about you, or make it mean that you're a person that can't follow a calendar, they can't manage their time.

That's not true. What my coaches reminded me of when I was learning to do this was I was building the muscle of time management. I was building the muscle a following my calendar. And when they would say that, I would go, it would make me feel so much better. That will of course, I'm going to have days that I mess up.

For some reason that just made that so much more clear. Every day is not going to be perfect. Just like when you go and have a workout. It's not always a great workout. All right. At this. It's the same with time management and with this. I hope this is helpful for those of you that were feeling like me and feeling like the intensity on some things, on the wrong things, maybe I thought at this time, at this point in my life, the intensity on some things was turned up too much and the intensity on some things that really matter to me was turned down too much.

So I hope this helps you. Let me know if you try this out. Let me know what you call it for me. I settled on a great week. I kind of go in between ideal week, but it started out the perfect week, and I don't know if I talked about where that came from. It came from Donald Miller, and he talked about being in a workshop with his wife and creating this perfect week, but he didn't talk about how he did it.

And so I had to really go through and create my own process. And this episode has just been me sharing my process with you. So I hope it's helpful if you have things that you've added to this to make it even more meaningful for you, even more helpful for you to share that with me, whether you write a review for the podcast and tell me there or comment on YouTube.

Either way, I would love to hear from you. All right. Thanks so much. See you guys next week.

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