- Do your preparations for the upcoming week on a Sunday. Usually Sundays are pretty quite so you will have plenty of time to get things ready for the week ahead.
- Use paper. I'm biased towards a paper-based calendar (both the big one on the wall so the family can keep track of where I am and a monthly/weekly version I carry in my briefcase). Also, you will need a sheet of paper or notebook for your "to do" list.
- I make one giant "to do" list for the week then check things off as they are completed. At the top of each week's list are the morning rituals that I do each day (tidy house, glass of green tea, stretch, weights, pray, read Daily Word, check all phone messages, check and respond to all email, update all websites, update all blogs, eat breakfast, take vitamins).
- Next I list: all meetings/events I need to attend, any projects that are due, any other work-related things I need to do, all calls, all correspondence, errands, finances (bills to pay, financial 'to do's'), anything I need to do for others, and any social engagements (birthdays, lunches with associates, etc).
- At the bottom of the list, I write down daily goals in the following categories: daily exercise goals (ie: Monday swim, Tuesday karate, etc), daily business improvement goal, daily preparedness goals, and daily personal goals (I've got a list of 101 things I want to accomplish).
- After the list is finished, I check a variety of things: is there any prep work I can do right now to be ready for things I need to do during the upcoming week (print meeting agendas, MapQuest directions to meetings, etc); is my daily carry bag fully stocked (sometimes throughout the course of a week, things get used and need to be replaced); are my clothes ready for the week (pressed, back from the cleaners, shoes polished, etc); what is my transportation plan for the week (is the car's gas tank filled, have I made arrangements to car pool to various meetings, what days will I ride public transportation or ride my bike); is my tech stuff ready to go (cell phones charged, iPod charged, travel laptop files backed up from my desk laptop, digital camera charged); is my weekly menu planned (I usually write out a basic menu--breakfast, lunch and dinner--for the week in order to make sure we don't end up eating out due to lack of planning); finally,I clean out my briefcase and restock any missing supplies.
That's basically it for preparing for the upcoming week. It may sound overly "listy" but I have found that if I don't write down what I want to accomplish, I will either forget things or put off doing things that need to get done.