How to Use a Weekly Execution Plan

I’m not always the best at creating and keeping habits. #workinprogress However, one habit I have developed and maintained for over 12 years is completing a Weekly Execution Plan. It is the must-have tool that I use to stay on track with my personal and professional goals and priorities. And, I believe it has had a direct impact on my career growth and the overall success of the various entities under the Adam Hergenrother Companies portfolio.

We know that Force Multipliers have more responsibilities, tasks, projects, and goals than anyone to keep track of. At all times, they are managing their own priorities, as well as the priorities of their leader and the entire organization that they support. Chiefs of Staff and Executive Assistants know that the ability to stay organized and to always follow-through is absolutely essential to their success. The weekly execution plan – which features yearly, monthly, and weekly planning – will help make sure that you never miss a beat. You can download a free Weekly Execution Plan template here.

How to Fill Out the Weekly Execution Plan

The Weekly Execution Plan is broken into yearly, monthly, and weekly goals and priorities. In addition, there are four main categories: Business, Personal Financial, Personal, and Personal Brand/Training. The categories are up to you, but I have found that these work well to cover the main priorities at work and in my life.

Annual Goals

Start with your annual goals. As a Force Multiplier, your annual goals may be closely tied to the goals of the business or of your Executive. Regardless, make sure you are clear on what those are and what your contribution to those goals will be. Put those projects or goals in the Business category. I use the Personal Brand/Training category to outline any continuing education or career development I want to accomplish in the year ahead. This may be where I also put any additional income producing activities, such as coaching, or personal growth projects, like hosting a book club 10 times that year or increasing my Instagram following. This category is flexible and I would encourage you to use this one for whatever makes the most sense to you. Personal Financial and Personal are fairly self-explanatory. Do you have specific income or investment goals for the year? Are you planning to pay down debt or purchase a home? Those types of goals go into Personal Financial. Anything else that is important to you to accomplish for the year ahead go in Personal – such as a health goal, travel, family, social or volunteer goals, etc.

Monthly Goals

After your annual goals are complete, take a look at the month ahead. What needs to happen this month in order to move towards your annual goals? Again, in each category there should be specific and measurable micro-goals that move you closer to your annual goal. For example, if your goal is to pay off $18,000 of debt this year, then each month, you’ll need to be paying off $1,500. If you have an annual business goal of hiring another assistant for the Office of the CEO by Q3, then what needs to happen this month? Perhaps you finalize a job description and ad or start screening resumes. There is always something you can do each month to move you closer towards your annual goal.

Weekly Goals

The same is true for each week. When you are filling out the weekly goal section, fill out one week at a time at the start of each week. Each week’s goals and priorities should be moving you closer to your monthly goals, which will move you closer to your annual goals. If you miss a goal one week, you must move it to the following week to stay on track – hence why you fill out one week at a time, not an entire month in advance. Not to mention, priorities and projects will shift, so you’ll need to adjust your weekly plan accordingly. Again, work backwards. How much debt will need to be paid off each week to pay off $1,500 per month? $375. Or what can you do this week to set you up to make a new assistant hire? Generally, under the weekly section, I break my weekly goals into two sections: Business and Personal. Personal for the week combines my Personal, Personal Financial, and Personal Branding items as needed.

The Weekly Execution Plan is Not a To-Do List

Before we go any further, I want to mention that the Weekly Execution Plan is not a to-do list. There are great apps (Todoist, Google Tasks, Notion, Wunderlist, Trello, etc.) and legal pads that can help you keep track of your to-dos. The Weekly Execution Plan is designed for you to get clear on what the one to five most important goals are in each category, each month and week. These are the items that move your career forward, move the business forward, move your life forward, and/or directly impact the bottom line. Clarity is key and less is more. If you are not clear, go back and talk with your leadership team or Principal, or do a journaling session with yourself to get clear on your personal goals.

Weekly Planning With the Weekly Execution Plan

I hope you have planning time built into your schedule (mine is Sunday afternoons around 2pm), but if you don’t, there is no better time than the present to block an hour on the calendar! As part of my weekly planning, I review my calendar, my Principal’s calendar, and my Weekly Execution Plan. I will go over the annual and monthly goals and make sure nothing has changed and then plan my week ahead accordingly. Remember, you only need about five items max in each weekly section. These are the high priority items that will make the most impact at work on in your personal life.

After I have completed my Weekly Execution Plan, I send a copy to my Principal so he has it about 24 hours before our weekly Monday meeting. In addition, I look at each item that needs to be completed that week and block time off in my calendar to complete that project that week.

As Force Multipliers, our weeks are not consistent. But I can be consistent with utilizing the Weekly Execution Plan, so that projects are always moving forward. Furthermore, if I’m ever in doubt about what I should tackle next, I just refer back to my Weekly Execution Plan and get back to work.

How to Use the Weekly Execution Plan with Your Strategic Partner

As I mentioned above, each week I send the Weekly Execution Plan to my Principal in preparation for our weekly Monday meeting. We use the plan to guide our conversation. It allows me to share my business goals, but also to bring visibility to either my personal or career goals. I want my Principal to know how and where I want to grow. You never know when having that information may help an opportunity come my way! It also positions me better to ask for more responsibility or new opportunities, since he’s been seeing it week after week.

The Weekly Execution Plan also allows my Principal to adjust any of my projects and priorities for the week based on information that he received over the weekend or new projects that got pushed to the top of the list. If you have these weekly meetings consistently, then very little needs to be changed, but it’s always a good touch point.

In short, the Weekly Execution Plan is a great alignment tool for Principal and Force Multiplier. The Principal is clear on what the Force Multiplier is working on each week and has the ability to shift focus if needed. And it gives the Force Multiplier the chance to provide more visibility and ownership over their work. Once you’ve met and agreed on the goals and objectives for the week, you can both go forth an execute without a bunch of check-ins, questions, or back and forth.

This one tool, particularly coupled with a weekly 1:1 meeting, increases productivity for the individual and for the company. Download our free Execution Plan Template here.

Do you use a Weekly Execution Plan? What goal setting and/or weekly priority tool have you found most effective?

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