Give it an hour or two once a week and it will give you greater peace of mind in return.
Let me share my trick with you. At the end of each week I schedule a final meeting, an event I call my “Weekly Review” — usually from 4pm to 6pm. No guests — this time is deliberately set aside for me and my checklist.
During these two hours I try to close out the current week. For example, I reply to all unanswered email from this week — which may sometimes mean that I send a reply that I am unable to fully solve the issue at hand and that I’ll get back to it at the beginning of the new week.
I plan business trips, buy tickets and book accomodation for next week. Check the state of my business (CRM, accounting, etc.) and plan some leisure activities (e.g. going to the gym, piano lessons). I put all those events in my Google Calendar because:
If something is scheduled in your calendar it’s more likely to happen.
As this list is a process I can fine tune it — add additional steps to make it more precise and possibly to delegate some part of it to an assistant (e.g. Freelance Business section).
I really like the last step “Update Your life in weeks”. I have printed the template mentioned in this article and keep it next to my computer. Each week I check one of the boxes that represents one week of my life. It has helped me greatly to value my time.
And when the last box is checked off, my work is done and the weekend starts ;-)