Taking An Hour (or Two) to Plan the Week Ahead.

that's a photo of a calendar app on a phone

Every Sunday, a recurring to-do pops up on my calendar: “Prep for this week’s meetings.” It’s the single most important thing I do all week.

Some weeks — and this is one of them — my week is packed with meetings. I always leave a little gap between calls, but sometimes it’s as short as 15 minutes. There are stretches where I’ll have up to five hours of calls in a row. It can be exhausting, and by the end of the week, I’m often amazed that I can even remember my own name.

That’s why that Sunday prep is so important. For every client, I have a Google Doc with notes from our previous calls for me to review. I go through every meeting and jot down notes for the upcoming call. I also send emails out to my clients, checking in about the agenda for the call. Sometimes, going through my prep takes 20 or 30 minutes. Sometimes, if I’ve got a particularly busy week, it might take two hours.

But it means that when I get to the end of the week, and I’m on hour four of a long stretch of calls, and I only have 15 minutes before the next call, I can open that Google Doc and quickly remind myself of what I need to know. My clients are depending on me, and they expect me to show up ready to talk about their issues. “Sorry, what were we supposed to talk about today?” isn’t an option when someone’s paying for time with me.

Sure, spending a chunk of my Sunday doing prep isn’t always fun. But it always pays off — and it means that I’m always ready to talk, no matter how busy the week might get.


That photo of a calendar comes via Behnam Norouzi and Unsplash.