How to Kickstart Your Workweek
The weekend is over, and those too-hard tasks that you couldn’t get around to last week are still sitting on your to-do list. You can either procrastinate, or you could implement a few simple tactics to help you power through your Monday with a sense of accomplishment, which will see you through for the rest of the week.
Plan and prepare
Dedicate some time in the morning (before you open up your emails) to writing out a detailed to-do list. If you have big projects to complete, it might help to break them up into achievable blocks. Write down tasks in order of priority, and try and steer clear of multi-tasking. This can disrupt your focus and may delay you from reaching your deadlines.
The devil is in the detail
The more detail you provide in your to-do list, the more efficient you’ll become at working through it. More detail doesn’t necessarily mean longer lists. Just use words that will prompt your memory, so you won’t need to trawl through your emails to remember what “Tuesday’s proposal” means.
While I can plan every minute of my day, that doesn’t mean I’ll always be able to stick to it. Schedule in time for unexpected interruptions, even just half an hour. This way you remain in control of your day and have a say over how much time you’re willing to spend on something. And on the rare occasion where nothing comes up, I use this half an hour to focus on administrative tasks or even to take some time out.
Eat a live frog in the morning
I’ve already written about how I create to-do lists that I actually complete, which you can re-visit here. On a Monday, this is especially important. To attain a real sense of achievement that will keep your spirits high for the rest of the week, try and tackle the more complex projects first thing in the morning. They require more brain power and more energy, which you’re likely to have in abundance earlier on in the day. While it’s tempting to attend to the smaller tasks first, you’re only setting yourself up for failure later on in the day.
Schedule in breaks
Taking regular breaks are actually more beneficial for maintaining your focus than working non-stop throughout the day. Schedule in these timeout sessions. Go for a walk to get a coffee, take a half-hour lunch break, or spend some time reading the news. Re-energise your mind and return to your work with a renewed focus.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
And if you can, delegate some of your work to team members. Not only will this give you time to focus on bigger tasks, but it will give your team opportunities to develop their strengths and increase their sense of accountability.