Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com/VCTStyle
I’ve found that having a productive Monday is imperative to feeling positive about what’s possible for the remainder of the week. It’s the same feeling as when you get off to a great start a marathon or road race – it isn’t difficult to visualize a successful finish.
I’ve found that having a great Monday requires some preparation and protection. A productive Monday doesn’t just happen on it’s own. No different then preparing yourself for a big event or an important phone call, it’s all about preparation.
As a result I thought I would share with you some of the steps I take to ensuring each and every Monday is a productive and rewarding day:
1. Reflect upon your priorities. I typically spend 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon reviewing where I left off Friday; the priorities I have to tackle for the coming week; and cleaning up any general administrative work. I’ve found repeatedly that spending this time is the key to ensuring I have a clear schedule for Monday, allowing me to hit the road running, so to speak. Spend 15 to 30 minutes reflecting upon what your priorities are for the next day, and you will find savings of at least 60 to 90 minutes in productivity.
2. Challenge your priorities. I’m a natural born list maker. Writing down my priorities allows me to focus on what I have to achieve (admitedly I love ticking off another “to do” item as complete). It can be difficult however to minimize our priorities to just three. To counter this what I’ve learned to do is limit my daily priorities to five – highlighting the three that are of greatest priority. Feel free to create a list, but challenge yourself as to what your true priorities are, and do these first!
3. Small rewards. I met with a colleague last week who mentioned that he finds it impossible to spend longer than one hour on anything without taking a break. Everyone has a different attention span, and attempting to focus on completing a task for longer than what our attention span can handle is simply not productive. Rather than set time limits, I typically set breaks following the completion of tasks. If the tasks are large, I chunk them down. What’s critical however is to provide ourselves breaks; small rewards that distract our attention and allow us to feel refreshed. What rewards will you provide yourself?
Did you notice how I never once mentioned multitasking as a means to increase your productivity. To learn why, read my post on how multitasking kills productivity.
Having a productive Monday (or any other day for that matter) requires preparation, priorities and small rewards to ensure we remain on track. If you follow these 3 points, as simple as they may sound, I can guarantee your productivity will improve and you will feel better about your day.
What are you waiting for?
© Shawn Casemore 2014. All rights reserved.