Mondays are notoriously difficult, at least for me, so I decided to share every Monday a short idea, tip, approach, shortcut, that will make the week start on a lighter / more productive note.
Today it’s about finishing an important task in the first two hours of the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s work related, if it’s a chore around the house, a commitment to a member of your family, or to your partner – the important thing is that the task is relevant enough and it has a clear end. So, before starting anything that might seem urgent, or important, every Monday try to finish first something that will take no more than 2 hours. If you can do this very early in the morning, let’s say, between 7 and 9 AM, great, but even if you start during your regular schedule, it’s worth focusing on just one thing, finishing it, and then get back to the rest of the tasks.
This works in two ways.
The first one is obvious: it boosts your self esteem and makes you more optimistic about cracking out the pile of stuff that’s usually staying on your desk at the beginning of the week.
The second one is more subtle: it keeps you away from the potential chaos or overload of the beginning of the week. If you block everything out for the first two hours, you delay a little bit the impact. It wasn’t uncommon for me, back when I was managing my own company, to try putting up fires in the first part of Mondays, because tasks accumulated over the weekend and they were ready to explode, only to find out, after I solved everything, that the entire Monday was gone. And at the end of it I was left with this annoying feeling of frustration and unaccomplishment (I don’t really know if “unaccomplishment” is a real word, but that’s how I felt, like I unaccomplished stuff).
Try to isolate yourself for a couple of hours behind a relevant task, that will be finished completely at the end of this two hours block, so when it’s time to look back at your agenda, and start tackling other tasks, not only you will still have time to manage whatever it is to be managed, but you will be in a better mood (you already crossed something off of your list) and you’re free from unaccomplishment.