Welcome to a new Monday Moving Forward post, a series which is published, you guessed, every Monday. In these articles, I explore ways to start the week on a positive note, and avoid the notorious dread created by the contrast between the weekend and the first day of work.
Today, let’s talk about letting go of the previous week properly. As you can imagine, this is a more or less continuous task, not necessarily something that you do only Monday. But the end result of this approach should be that Mondays started on this note are “larger”, more comfortable and optimistic.
There are many ways to “let go” of something, and letting go of the previous week may feel confusing. What I actually mean by that is a way of negotiating commitments in such a way that clear boundaries are created between the current week and the next one. If tasks or projects can be done in a certain time window, try not to go over that, without a clear assessment. It’s ok to miss deadlines, the key is to take note of this, and don’t let it pile up. Don’t postpone something without actually postponing it, if you know what I mean.
Letting go of the previous week properly also means making peace with whatever you didn’t do, or do, or intended to do. Allow that time window to settle in the past, and free the way for the new one. That means clear ends to anything that actually ended. Again, there might be projects spanning way more than a week – I guess the majority of our projects span more than a week – but whatever was done, or wasn’t done, or in any way consumed from those projects, should be treated as such. Of course, you can give yourself the chance to review what’s left, or what you want to improve, but whatever that is, it would be a new task.
What happened last week, should stay in last week.
The opposite of that is a continuous effort to patch lose ends, to push forward in an uninterrupted effort, an approach which, sooner or later, will lead to burn out. I know, I’ve been there. Taking pride in working long weekends, blurring the lines between weeks (and month) in one huge stream of work, only to crash after a few months, needing at least one week to recover.
So, if you didn’t have the chance to look at things this way last week, try doing it this week. Try negotiating your commitments that they’re wither marked as done, or somehow processed and ready to be tackled next Monday. Set time boundaries and respect them.
Then try to assess how next Monday will feel.