You’re getting better and better at using the Full Focus Planner to help you organize your life and achieve more. But every week when you start your weekly preview, you feel unsure how to use “that” page, the one with a blank box for each day of the week. What exactly is it for? How can you maximize it to accomplish your goals?
In this episode, Courtney, Verbs, and Blake zoom in on the page people ask about most often: the weekly overview page. They discuss 3 lenses to consider as you decide how best to tailor it to your needs. Because there is no “one size fits all,” but there are all kinds of ways to leverage this page as you prepare for the week and set yourself up for success.
In this episode, you’ll discover—
- How to set mini-milestones toward your Weekly Big 3
- 4 ways to track the execution of your routines
- The value of setting healthy expectations for the week ahead
- How to get in sync with your spouse on a weekly basis
Verbs: Welcome to another episode of Focus on This, the most productive podcast on the Internet, so you can banish distractions, get the right stuff done, and finally start loving Mondays. I’m Verbs, here with Courtney Baker and Blake Stratton. Happy Monday to you guys.
Blake: Uh-oh, uh-oh. This is already a serious episode. Courtney has her glasses on, which can only mean one thing: filtering out the blue light so she can stay focused on the sepia tones of productivity.
Courtney: Well, hopefully you all listened to last week’s episode and you know that this month we are all about answering your questions. So I’m getting serious. I have my glasses on. I have my water here. I’m ready. My game face is on.
Blake: I love it. So what are we doing? Do we have a theme for this question episode or should we talk about Courtney’s glasses fashion?
Courtney: We should talk about my glasses. We could talk about what we’re watching on TV. We could do the opposite of the most productive podcast.
Blake: The least productive podcast on the Internet. Subscribe now. Tell your friends.
Verbs: “Don’t focus on this.” We are now two weeks into our FAQ series for May. Every few months, a similar post turns up in our Full Focus Facebook community, and it typically says something like this: “What do you use this page for?” and it has a photo of a page from the Weekly Preview. Do you guys know what I’m talking about?
Courtney: Well, I was going to say the index, but you said it’s the Weekly Preview. So it’s not the index.
Verbs: Not the index.
Courtney: Not the Rolling Quarters.
Verbs: Not the Rolling Quarters.
Blake: It’s got to be the calendar-looking thing, where there are boxes with all of the days of the week in it.
Verbs: Blake, you are correct, sir. It’s that Step 4: Weekly Overview. It has a box for each day of the week. There are so many ways this page can be used, and we’re going to talk a little bit about that today. But what was the original intention for this page?
Courtney: This page originally was created to give you a thousand-foot view of your week. It’s kind of like your week-at-a-glance. For me, personally, I use it for things that are out of the ordinary. That’s how I think about it. But it’s really meant to be tailored to your needs. Everyone is different here. So, I don’t know. Blake, how do you use that page?
Blake: For me, it’s the big due dates and appointments I’ll put on a specific day. Whatever you said, those sort of out of the ordinary things… If it’s out of my typical rhythm of what would happen anyway, then I want to have some extra visibility into it, which could be, “Hey, there’s a big presentation this day” or, “Hey, we’re flying to Chicago on Thursday.” I’ll just put that in there.
Courtney: Again, this isn’t a “one size fits all.” Today is kind of a different episode. We are going to help you brainstorm some ways you could use this, because, again, that’s just the way Blake and I use it. There are a whole bunch of different ways. The way we’re going to do that brainstorm is actually by talking through some different lenses on how you might want to approach that page.
Verbs: Aha. There’s the reason for the glasses.
Courtney: Yes. I’m ready.
Verbs: I get it.
Blake: Let me say, before we dive into these, we got a lot of this stuff from you listeners. We saw examples of it in the group we have on Facebook. So, if you’re not already in the group, you’ve got to get in the group.
Courtney: That group is so much fun. I get in there all the time and just sneak in and leave some comments. We’re all the time asking for questions, asking for… Sometimes I’m just spying on what our community is responding to other questions, because you all are smart. Well, first of all, if you’re listening to this podcast about productivity…
Blake: I mean, come on.
Courtney: Gold star.
Blake: Between us, you’re smarter than your friends. We know it. You wouldn’t say it. We’ll say it for you.
Courtney: What you get in that community is a whole bunch of smart people like you. I’m telling you, I’m all the time learning stuff in that community. It’s awesome.
Verbs: So, the first lens is goal progress. Walk us through how you can utilize that page for the purpose of progressing.
Blake: The first thing that comes to mind with this goal progress is if you are wanting to track something, like a habit goal, for instance, you could use that page as a streak tracker. Even though we have the streak tracker back on the goal detail pages, maybe you want more space, a more robust version than that, or maybe it’s just convenient to have it a couple of pages back from the day you’re on. We’ve seen people reflect on the day before. They won’t fill it out during the Weekly Preview, but during the week they’ll go back to that page and jot notes on “Here’s what happened Monday; here’s what happened Tuesday,” tracking the progress on a habit goal.
Courtney: Another way… This is also past reflection. You can write down goal wins throughout the week and then use that to review in your next Weekly Preview. I think that’s really helpful, because I’m so focused on the here and now, sometimes when I get to my Weekly Preview, if I haven’t been intentional about that, I’m like, “What happened?” I’m so futuristic it’s hard for me to do that.
Another one is writing down (I love this one) deadlines for your Weekly Big 3. Guys, this is one… It’s sometimes hard to remember to look at the Weekly Big 3 each day. It’s kind of like you set it for the week, and then you get in the middle of the week, and you’re like, “What is my Weekly Big 3?” I do love… We’ve had a couple of promotions where we’ve done these Weekly Big 3 sticky notes you can use to help keep them more visible. But this is another way of taking that Weekly Big 3 and figuring out what the deadline is for those.
Let’s say your Weekly Big 3 is to write a strategy for a new product you’re launching. So, this might be… On Monday, you might need to brainstorm. The deadline for that might be to brainstorm what is going to be in the strategy. On Wednesday, you’re going to set up a meeting with some other people to talk through your ideas, and then on Friday, you’re going to have the strategy complete. It’s just an idea of how to break down a Weekly Big 3 into deadlines throughout the week.
Blake: Beautiful. To sum up this lens, you can use that page not just to write down events or deadlines but to leverage that as a tool to track your progress on your goals, either after you accomplish something, like a habit goal, or to sort of plan out your progress in mini milestones throughout the week.
Verbs: So, that was the first lens: goal progress. The second lens is routine follow-through.
Courtney: These we’re about to go through… All of them were generated from you all, and there are some really great ideas. The first one is similar to what we talked about with the goal tracking, but it’s going in and writing gratitude reflection throughout the week to review during your Weekly Preview.
So, kind of that same idea. You know, on Monday, something awesome happened that you’re really grateful for. Write that in on the Monday block. Then when you get to your Weekly Preview, you’ll actually remember those things you were grateful for, if you’re like me, again, and have trouble recalling the week before. Blake, you’re going to love this next one we got sent in. This is your kind of idea.
Blake: Give it to me.
Courtney: Writing brief emotion check-ins throughout the week to review during your Weekly Preview. So, kind of doing an emotional check-in. Actually, our last episode they had that question about a goal for emotions, and this is a good one: doing a daily emotional check-in with yourself. There’s the feelings wheel you could use. Doing that emotional check-in every day would be a great habit goal. You could track that in that… What are we calling that section of the Weekly Preview? I keep searching for a name of that page.
Verbs & Blake: Weekly Overview.
Courtney: Oh, sorry. You could log that in your Weekly Overview. Another thing you do is just tracking and celebrating the days you completed all of your daily rituals. We’ve talked a lot recently about your rituals and how important they are. It’s a great way to track when those were all flowing and working well.
Blake: I would say, kind of the inverse of this versus tracking what has been happening with your routines or your rituals or your emotions is to use this as another space to plan something that doesn’t currently have a convenient spot in your life. For example, you want to plan all of your meals, and it’s easier when you’re thinking through all of the tasks you have to do this next week and what’s going on to go ahead and use those calendar-looking spots in the planner as a place to write “Monday, here’s what’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for that day,” and just do that every day. Similarly, you could do the same thing if you’re trying to switch up where you exercise or what you do.
Courtney: Or, Blake, if you’re a Peloton user, they tell you every week to plan out what your workout is for the week, and every time they say that on Peloton, I’m like, “I need to message them and let them know everybody who uses Peloton needs a Full Focus Planner, because they would be crushing their Peloton goals.”
Blake: Listen, Miss Chief Marketing Officer. I see a brand partnership on the horizon.
Courtney: There you go.
Verbs: Break it down.
Courtney: Branded Full Focus Planner for Peloton.
Blake: Just saying, not saying. A Full Focus Peloton.
Courtney: Amazing. Next level.
Blake: It writes itself. The copy writes itself, people. Let’s make it happen.
Courtney: The idea is to simplify execution or to increase the visibility of the routines you value. Again, a lot of ideas here of using this second lens of routine follow-through. A question that might help you spur this along is “Is there a way I could use this page to encourage the routines I care about?”
Verbs: That was the second lens: routine follow-through. The third lens is event tracking. This is probably one that most people may resort to, just to track what’s coming up.
Courtney: We kind of already hit on this a little bit, because we both use it like that.
Blake: Exactly. When we say event tracking, we’re talking about deadlines, big meetings, personal appointments, whatever is something of note that’s out of the normal, typical routine that you want to put in there. If you want to have a theme or a particular focus, just like your Peloton plan from the last step, you could do something similar with “What friends do I want to see this week?” or “What are my social engagements?” If you have a desire to improve a certain area of your life, you could focus that. Really, you’re just using this to write down the important stuff, the appointments and things you have going on that you do not want to miss or be caught off guard by when they show up.
Courtney: Again, these could end up being Daily Big 3 items. Just like the last one, we have a question that might spur your thinking. The question would be, “Is there a way I could use this page to track the events that matter most to me?” The question I ask myself is, “What events do I need to pay attention to to not have chaos in my life?”
Nick: Does anybody have anything interesting on their Weekly Overview page for this week?
Courtney: Hold on.
Blake: Alaina is going to dance class tonight.
Nick: You don’t have to wait for Courtney.
Blake: Let’s just make sure to keep the audio of Courtney flipping through.
Nick: Yeah, I like it. That’s why don’t wait for her. You just go.
Courtney: An obvious one for me this week was that we were going to be recording podcast today, that I was going to be here with you. That’s abnormal. But I also had things like my daughter has a doctor’s appointment on late Friday afternoon. That feels like a recipe for missing a doctor’s appointment if it wasn’t on my calendar. It’s like, “What do you need to remember to do at the very end of the day on Friday? Take your daughter to the doctor.”
Blake: For me, personally, when I use this page for deadlines and stuff, I’m not counting on this page during the week. I’ll clarify that. Honestly, I do this to prepare myself for an accurate Weekly Big 3 and for connection with people who I may need to communicate logistics to. I use that page to write stuff out, because in writing some appointments and things out, it slows my brain down to go, “Okay. What do I really have capacity for? What do I have capacity to accomplish?” Because depending on my capacity, I may need to eliminate not the important stuff, but the nonessential stuff that isn’t critical for me to accomplish that week.
So, I would just put that for people. Like, “Wait. You’re tracking all of your events in your planner?” I have all of my events in my digital calendar. It gives me reminders. My phone buzzes, and that’s how I remember to show up somewhere, but this is for my preview time when I’m getting an overview to help me have a healthy expectation and prep for my week ahead, just to get in the right head space. So, I just want to bring some clarity to that.
Courtney: I think that’s a good point. I mentioned “What things do I need to know so my life isn’t chaos?” What I really mean is “What things do I need to talk to my husband, Chase, about to make sure we’re on the same page?”
Courtney: Those are the things… It’s almost like I need to write it down, and if I could take a picture of it and send it to him, like, “Hey, these are the things out of the ordinary. That doctor’s appointment on Friday… We’ve got to sync up there.”
Verbs: I think there’s something about looking at a page that has the days of the week all on the same page right in front of you. I use them in the classic brain dump sense, saying, “Okay. Here’s what’s coming up,” and like you just mentioned, Courtney, make sure I’m in sync with my wife. We’re just now starting out this whole soccer thing with our kids. We have three little ones. All of them are on three separate soccer teams, which is three separate practices, three separate games on Saturday. I wish someone would have warned me fully about these things.
Courtney: That sounds exciting.
Verbs: It is. Oh, plus, somehow I got dragged into being the coach for one of my sons’ teams. So, with all of that swirling around, it’s that much more important that we’re able to sync up just by looking at it and doing a brain dump and saying, “Hey, practice is these days and games are on these days” so we have a good at-a-glance view of all of that.
Nick: Did you play soccer growing up, Verbs?
Verbs: I think maybe two seasons at the YMCA. That’s the extent.
Nick: Are you using break dancing moves as their warm-ups and stuff or are you relating soccer, like, “Guys, it’s this move”?
Verbs: Not yet. Actually, you know what? I did take the warm-up from the break dancing app exercise, and I did implement that last week for our warm-up with the kids.
Nick: Walt Whitman says that we contain multitudes. I know you do, Verbs. But this break dancing thing really does seem to have something for everybody. It’s soccer. Your kids’ lives are impacted, and we’re only… I don’t know how far away we are from the Verbs break dancing video.
Verbs: Oh. What do you mean video?
Nick: Blake, didn’t he say he was going to make a video? Am I making this up?
Courtney: Yeah, I heard it.
Verbs: But wait, I did. I’ve been posting, y’all. Come on now. I’ve been posting.
Nick: Oh. Okay.
Courtney: Wait. Where have you been posting? On the Insta?
Verbs: On the Insta. The Gram.
Courtney: You have.
Verbs: I’m on there struggling. So, the good news is there are dozens of ways to use that Weekly Overview page during your Weekly Preview. When you consider the page through the lenses of goal progress, routine follow-through, and event tracking, you can find the use that works best for you. Courtney, Blake, any final thoughts for our Focus on This listeners?
Courtney: Well, first, Verbs, I need you not to just post things in your Instagram feed. I need you to post them to Instagram Stories so I will see them, because that’s the only place I look. I don’t look at posts anymore.
Verbs: See, this is where I’m starting to feel like I’m getting old, figuring out that whole Stories thing.
Courtney: Listen. This is true. This is a fact for you: 50 percent of people only look at Stories, and 50 percent look at posts. So it’s a split. There you go. You’ve got to go to Stories. Okay. Final thoughts. I know we’ve recently talked about how great our community is, but so much of this content is from you all, and I think it’s so good, so useful to think of how we can use these tools to best suit us, because we’re all different. We all have different circumstances. I love this thought process of thinking through this in different lenses of what might be most beneficial for you.
Blake: Do what makes you happy, people. You’re the boss of the Full Focus Planner. “If it makes you happy…” You’re welcome, America.
Verbs: We know a lot of you support this show and are excellent at leaving reviews. If you have not had a chance to help support the show by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts, please make sure you make your way over there and drop one in for us.
Courtney: Seriously, guys. When you leave a written review, it’s really helpful for the show. It helps people find the show. We are so thankful for all of the five-star reviews you all have left. Actually, Blake, why don’t you just scroll through and find one for us.
Blake: So many great reviews here. I love just looking through these. It helps my self-esteem. I know, Courtney, you’ve mentioned to me when you needed a boost… Here’s one. This is going to be great, I’m sure. Oh, it has a title: “A Missed Opportunity for Michael Hyatt.” I think that might be a typo, but let’s read on. “This is not at the level of his other podcast. The hosts take FOREVER to get to the point.”
I want to keep going with this review, but, first, I want to tell you guys what I had for breakfast this morning. Okay? I had a cup of coffee, and a funny thing happened with this cup of coffee. It was so hot I spit it out and it got all over my shirt. But back to the review. “It seems like two to three people hanging out, having fun, more than a serious podcast.” Now that can’t be…
Courtney: Not true.
Blake: I mean, Verbs has told me directly, “Blake, I am not having fun right now.” Right? You’ve said that.
Verbs: Multiple times.
Blake: “The last episode I listened to took them 10 minutes to get started on the topic, for example. I love the concept of younger hosts…” I think he’s talking about me.
Blake: “…talking about this stuff, and also a looser format and feel, as Michael can come off as old school and rigid…” I’ve been saying that for a long time.
Verbs: First of all, he says that as if old school is a bad thing.
Blake: “…which, in general, doesn’t work for a younger audience.” Actually, let me debunk that. Have you guys seen Michael’s Instagram game lately? The guy is stylin’.
Courtney: Yes. He’s got that beard.
Blake: I mean, hello, GQ magazine. I’m like, “Bro…” “These guys are too loose and all over the place, which is ironic, considering the podcast is supposed to be about focus.” Yes. Thank you. It’s a literary… This is a tool. Our producer Nick knows about this. He has a master’s degree. Irony is a powerful tool, and it’s a teaching tool. And this has been a teaching moment for us about how to proofread the review before you choose to read it to encourage people to review.
Courtney: Next time.
Blake: “I wish Michael would bring back his solo podcast.” Well, Mister Clever, maybe we can make that a goal, one of our Big 3 for the next quarter. But until then, stay focused.
Courtney: Stay focused.
Blake: Am I right? Am I right, guys?
Verbs: Stay focused.
Courtney: Actually, for real, thank you. We love your reviews. If you don’t agree with Mister Clever, we would love for you to leave a review. Is that okay? Can we ask for that?
Blake: To be fair, if you agree with him, I get a kick out of reading all of the reviews, so you can leave a review. As long as you leave a five-star rating, you can write whatever you want. That’s fine.
Verbs: Thank you for joining us on Focus on This. This is the most productive podcast on the Internet. We’ll be here once again next week with another great episode. Until then…
All: Stay focused!