We're all busy, so time management and productivity are common challenges for all of us. It seems like the challenge is never more imminent than it is first thing on a Monday morning. Here are five quick and easy steps I take every Monday morning to get myself on track, on schedule and psyched for a new week.
Get Up Earlier
For me, productivity means having time to kick off my day on my terms before everyone else in my household wakes up. Some days this is an hour or two earlier; some days, it's just 20 or 30 minutes. I use whatever time I have to dig into the day and create my plan of attack before the chaos hits.
Yes, sometimes I get up early just to take a break. Regardless of how much extra time I have in the morning, I take five minutes of it to center myself. This usually means a cup of coffee and a quick reflection on what my goals are for the day and week.
Get Email Out of the Way
Email has a tendency to take on life of its own if it's not managed carefully. So after my 5-minute break, email is the first thing I tackle. I delete, sort, reply and flag important messages for closer attention later in the day.
Make a Short List
I create a short, high-priority list of items that MUST be completed that day. My goal is typically five or less items pulled from my project management app, notes and emails. It's vital that this short list includes items I can realistically complete during the day and not a brain dump of the 5,528,967 things I wish I had time to do.
Chunk the Day
Armed with my short list, I plan to work in chunks during the day by grouping similar tasks, staying focused for short periods of time and taking breaks in between. This can be an effective way to work in productive bursts without losing focus and time when distractions hit (and they always do!).
And that's it. Those are the five steps I take on Monday morning to ease into my week and become as productive as possible. What tricks do you have to get your day off on the right foot?
Photo (c) VanHeber