Advertising
Advertising

How Successful People Plan Their Week

How Successful People Plan Their Week

Achieving success requires a set of weekly habits and practices. By implementing these ideas consistently, you will become proactive and set yourself apart from people who simply drag themselves through each day. As you read this article, ask yourself which ideas you could put into action this week. Reading an article about success is a start but it is not enough to achieve your goals.

1. They Complete A Weekly Review

It is easy to be swept away by the stress of daily living. That’s why successful people use the Weekly Review to put their work and life back into perspective. Once you learn how to do a Weekly Review, you can master this success habit in a matter of weeks. At first, use the Weekly Review to review your calendar, email accounts and other information sources. Over time, you may want to add further steps to your Weekly Review. Once you establish the habit, an effective Weekly Review will take about an hour to complete.

2. They Review Big Goals

Successful people are excited by their goals. They not only have a bucket list – they take action to achieve those goals on a weekly basis. In order to keep your motivation at a high level, it is vital to set challenging goals. For example, author Jack Canfield recently published his 101 Lifetime Goals which included go on a safari in Africa, give a university commencement address and sell 1 million books. To make the process easier on yourself, choose 2-4 big goals from the list for the year and work through them.

Advertising

Need Inspiration To Create Your Big Goals?

50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

How To Create and Manage Your Bucket List

Advertising

3. They Plan Your Family Requirements With A Family Meeting

Successful people understand that family life matters. After all, what’s the point of making a fortune if you are alone and miserable? When it comes to running their week, successful people take note of their family responsibilities. That means sorting out school schedules, reviewing upcoming travel and planning dates with their spouse. In fact, you may even want to have a “family meeting” once a week to coordinate plans and make sure nothing important is forgotten.

4. They Put Their Priorities On The Calendar

Successful people live through their calendars. At first glance, a calendar may not appear to be a powerful tool However, successful people realize that a blank calendar represents a major opportunity to make progress. For example, I set aside time on my calendar for reviews, following up on management requests and writing projects. It may feel a little odd to create a “meeting with yourself” at first but it is well worth it, especially when you look back on all that you have achieved.

5. Plan Your Leisure and Relaxation

Successful people are driven to achieve demanding goals and take care of their responsibilities. They also realize that leisure and relaxation matter – without these activities, life will feel like an a never ending to-do list. Many high achieving people have hobbies and sometimes work so much that they forget to pursue them. For example, those who enjoy wine may do a Google search for upcoming wine tastings in their city and register for an event that suits their calendar.

Advertising

6. They Think Through The Weekend

Weekends are important for successful people looking to refresh and recharge after a difficult week. Author Laura Vanderkam explored this topic at length in her book “What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend.” It all starts with a proactive attitude – a good and refreshing weekend does not simply happen. Planning one or two “anchor events” (e.g. go to a sports game or visit an interesting restaurant) is a great way to make sure you have a pleasant activity to look forward to.

7. They Plan Fitness

Fitness is a great element to living a successful and full life. In fact, entrepreneur Michael Hyatt recently discussed the mental and physical benefits of strength training. Fitness is an excellent way to reduce stress and maintain high energy levels. Many successful people have an established morning routine where they fit in an exercise session before they start work. Cutting exercise is rarely a wise decision for those who care about their long term success.

8. They Practice Gratitude Each Day

Successful people often reflect on their success and the wonderful aspects of life. Simply acknowledging all the good things in life is a key insight that authors Tony Robbins and James Altucher practice to maintain a clear mind and a happy attitude. One highly effective way to practice gratitude is to use the Five Minute Journal. Writing about what you are grateful for is a great way to end the day.

Advertising

9. They Schedule Time For Follow Up

Successful people know that reminders and follow up are essential habits to get work done. Like it or not, sending a single email is rarely enough to get a job done in the corporate world. Successful people often schedule 15-30 minutes on their calendar at least once per week to follow up on requests, problems and other important matters. For guidance on following up professionally, use the following resource: 7 Tactics of Following Up Without Being Annoying. The follow up skill also applies outside of the business world – following up on vacation plans, orders and planning important events such as wedding anniversaries.

10. They Know The Limits of Planning

As successful people approach their week, they understand the limits of planning. From time to time, emergencies will happen. You may walk into the office on Monday morning and learn that an important customer is angry about a late delivery. That’s why flexibility remains important. Fortunately, planning and taking a proactive approach to work tends to minimize the number of problems and emergencies you will face in life.

Featured photo credit: Large Clock/AndreaTasselli via pixabay.com

More by this author

Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

8 Free Online Courses for People Who Love to Learn 10 Ways Successful People Achieve Their Goals 10 Signs You Have Created a Good Work-Life Balance Young Woman Reading Book 15 Inspiring Books Every Leader Should Not Miss 20 Life Hacks Put To The Test 20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

Trending in Work

1 10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable 2 Top 5 Easy-to-Use Accounting Software for Small Businesses 3 10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business 4 16 Young And Successful Entrepreneurs Who Prove That Age Is Nothing but a Number 5 How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

Advertising

2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

Advertising

It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

Advertising

7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

Advertising

10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Read Next