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The Ideal Week: A Blueprint for Productivity and Fulfillment

  • July 18, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks and responsibilities vying for our attention. Finding a balance between work, personal life, and self-care seems like an elusive dream.

That's where the concept of the "Ideal Week" comes into play. Developed by productivity expert Michael Hyatt, the Ideal Week is a powerful tool that helps you regain control over your time, optimize your productivity, and create a life that aligns with your values and goals.

In this article, we'll delve into the problems the Ideal Week solves, what it entails, provide examples of what an Ideal Week might look like, and explore practical strategies for implementing it in your life.

The Problems the Ideal Week Solves

1) Overwhelm and lack of direction

Many people struggle with juggling multiple commitments, deadlines, and responsibilities without a clear roadmap. This leads to a constant feeling of overwhelm and a lack of focus. The Ideal Week provides a structured framework that ensures you allocate time to your most important tasks and priorities, eliminating the chaos and bringing clarity to your days.

2) Misaligned priorities

Without intentional planning, it's easy to find ourselves caught up in urgent but unimportant tasks, neglecting the activities that truly matter to us. The Ideal Week forces us to identify our core values and priorities and align our time accordingly, ensuring that we devote ample attention to what truly matters.

3) Burnout and neglecting self-care

Many individuals find themselves constantly sacrificing self-care and personal time in favor of work or other commitments. The Ideal Week carves out dedicated blocks of time for rest, rejuvenation, and activities that nourish the mind, body, and soul. By prioritizing self-care, you can prevent burnout and improve your overall well-being.

What is the Ideal Week?

The Ideal Week is a template that allows you to proactively design your week according to your desired outcomes, values, and priorities. It involves creating a visual representation of your week, divided into blocks of time dedicated to specific categories of activities. This intentional planning ensures that you allocate time for work, personal life, self-care, and other essential areas, creating a well-rounded and fulfilling life.

It also allows you to be more efficient with your time and efforts by batching similar tasks together that require the same mental faculties. Have you ever tried to jump from something analytical to creative and notice it takes you a long time to focus on the new task? That's because these areas require different parts of the brain to process the work. By completing similar tasks on the same day or within the same few hour block, you can capitalize on completing all related work when you are in the right head space to complete it.

Designing Your Ideal Week

1) Define your priorities

Identify your core values and the areas of life that require your attention. This could include work, relationships, health, personal growth, or hobbies. Think about what fills your cup. When you feel most balanced, where are you spending your time? When you feel scattered and out of alignment, what's missing? 

2) Visualize your week

Create a visual representation of your ideal week. You can use this Ideal Week template, create a spreadsheet, design a new calendar in your workspace, or just sketch it on any blank sheet of paper. Think about each day like a container that can only hold a few activities.

You can create a block for each hour or think about your day in sections - morning, afternoon and evening

3) Set boundaries

Choose a consistent start and stop time for your work day. Maybe you start at 8:30 am and shut down by 5 pm. Make sure to block all time outside of these as unavailable for work activities. Or you might dedicate one night per week to work-related activities like networking, so maybe Thursdays work can run until 8 pm.

Establish non-negotiable time slots for your non-work priorities, such as family time, exercise, or personal projects. For example, you might reserve 6 to 6:30 am for a daily workout, or block out 8:30 to 10:30 am on Sundays for faith-based activities. Do you want to join a kickball league or pick up your kids from school each day? Great. What time do you need to shut down work to make sure those personal priorities have space to happen.

Communicate these boundaries your family, your partner and your colleagues to protect your scheduled activities. The more you communicate and hold these boundaries, the more likely the folks around you will honor them as well.

4) Create and categorize your tasks

Create a brain dump of all of the kinds of tasks you do in a week. This should include everything from prospecting, answering email, holding team meetings, creating proposals, reviewing a team member's work and everything in between. 

Once you have a big list, you can start grouping them into categories by the head space you need to be in to tackle that task. For example, internal meetings, feedback and correspondence make sense to group together as you're helping your team grow and prioritize tasks to get to the goals you've set. Business development tasks like prospecting, creating proposals, or networking take a more external focus, so you might group these together to allow your brain to stay focused on potential clients and solving their pain points. 

Your categories might start broad and become refined over time as you pay more attention to what brain waves you need to dial in to accomplish certain tasks. Maybe you start with something high-level, like the following: 

  • On-stage time - These are thee tasks that you get paid specifically to do. They are in your job description. For example, as an actor, this is when they are actually on the stage performing. As a business owner, this is when you're serving client or selling them your product.
  • Off-stage time - These are the tasks that support you in your growth but aren't necessarily what you're paid to do. Again, for an actor, this is any time spent preparing to be on stage, practicing lines, being in make-up and understanding their character. For a business owner, this might be reviewing finances, creating a strategic plan, hiring a team member, etc.
  • Back-stage time - This is when you're resting and rejuvenating so you can so up well for both of the above.

5) Time block similar tasks

With the categories you've created, plot out time on your calendar for when you'll tackle these each week. You might start by assigning each day of the week a theme, like off-stage on Mondays and Fridays, on-stage Tuesday - Thursday. Or you might go deeper into something like: Mondays - creative work, Tuesdays & Wednesdays - client meetings, Thursdays - internal and vendor meetings, Fridays - Administrative, planning and logistics. 

Examples of an Ideal Week

1) The Entrepreneur's Ideal Week

  • Monday to Wednesday: Mornings dedicated to strategic planning and business development. Afternoons allocated to client meetings and team collaborations.
  • Thursday: Focus on personal growth and skill development. Attend workshops, read industry-related books, and engage in networking activities.
  • Friday: Reserved for creative work, exploring new ideas, and working on long-term projects. Wrap up the week with a reflection session.

2) The Team Leader's Ideal Week

  • Monday: Review team goals, set weekly priorities, hold office hours to collaborate with team members to provide guidance and address any challenges
  • Tuesday: Internal meetings in the morning, including team meeting and cross-departmental meetings, Reserve afternoons and evening for networking and industry events
  • Wednesday: One-on-ones in morning, afternoons reserved for strategic planning
  • Thursday: Reserved for any client or vendor meetings, block 2 hours in the afternoon for personal development
  • Friday: Project update meetings in mornings, Afternoon reserved for reflection, goal review, and brainstorming to enhance team efficiencies and performance.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Dedicated to personal time, hobbies, family, and relaxation

Implementing and Optimizing the Ideal Week

Once you have your ideal week created, keep it in front of you - print it or create another calendar in your workspace and leave it turned on. Then, as you start planning the coming weeks and month, start intentionally scheduling around the guidelines you've created. It might take you a month to get into some semblance of your themed days and that's okay. 

Value your progress over perfection. Does your ideal week happen every week? No! Maybe it happens only 60% of the time. Life is dynamic, and surprises pop up. The goal isn't to mirror this but to create a guideline for how you design your time that honors your values and intentionally creates space for the kind of life you want to design. 

You'll flex and adapt as you start learning what works for you and what doesn't. Maybe your team decides to have a meeting-free focus day on Wednesdays, so every has time for deep work. You might have to shift a few things to accommodate when clients are taking meetings. Or to take off early on summer Fridays. This structure isn't meant to be rigid, so flex to what works for your life and is relevant in this season you're in. 

Once you find a rhythm that starts making sense, I recommend you still assess your Ideal Week at the beginning of each quarter and make any necessary adjustments. Ask yourself what's working well and what could be optimized. What is changing in the coming quarter that would require a shift in your schedule? Continuous refinement will ensure your Ideal Week remains aligned with your evolving goals and values.


The Ideal Week is an extremely powerful framework you can leverage to take control of your time and align your calendar with a life of purpose and fulfillment. By intentionally designing your week and allocating time to your most important activities, you can regain balance, eliminate overwhelm, and achieve greater productivity. Embrace the power of the Ideal Week, and watch as it transforms your life, allowing you to live with intention, joy, and a sense of accomplishment.

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