Particularly in the summertime, it's hard to transition from the generally work-free tenor of the weekends, into the crunch of Mondays. But once you're at your desk, you want to be as productive as possible, and make sure the week means getting as much done as you can. So how can you make that happen?
There are a few things you can do on Mondays to make sure the week is about productivity and getting ahead, and not just all about catching up. Here are some we highly recommend.
1. Get to work early.
A super important part of your Monday is giving yourself a fighting chance. If you are late, and frazzled, and sitting down at your desk 45 minutes after you wanted to, your Monday (and likely your entire week) will keep that frenzied tone. Set your alarm a wee bit early, get to work 20 minutes before you usually do, and give yourself the gift of calmness and time. It makes such a difference.
2. Set goals.
Take a look at your week and set some goals for it. Setting 8-9 larger goals for the entire week, and 3-4 smaller goals for your Monday is a good place to start.
3. Survey the whole week.
Check out your plans for the week — both personal and professional — and get a sense of what your week looks like. Which days will you be working late? Which days do you have plans right after work? This will help you to set up your daily schedules and keep you from spending all week wondering what you have coming up.
4. Check out last week's to-do list.
Look at your to-do list from last week and see what carries over and what is now just dust in the wind. Only carry-over the things you didn't get done that are still important to you and still matter. No need to blindly recopy last week's list to this week's, some priorities might have changed.
5. Do the thing that's looming over your head.
If you're like most people, there was probably one work item that you didn't get to the week before that is still looming over your head — an e-mail you meant to send, a meeting you were meant to have, a document you didn't get the chance to look at. Instead of keeping that looming stress around for yet another week, knock it out first thing Monday. Lift that cloud.
6. Set aside time for yourself.
It can be seductive to turbo your way through work, but we all need some time to recuperate. Make sure you build that in. Monday should include a workout, a meditation practice, a walk around the block — whatever it is you need to free your mind and enable you to do the very best work you can.