Monday mornings can be tough. Some weeks, no amount of coffee or loud music can get you jump-started and out of your funk. Don’t despair – there is hope! Did you know that establishing better Monday morning habits can help to increase your productivity and set you up for success?
This makes perfect sense when you think about it. Monday morning habits help you look at the week ahead and get you organized. They reduce multitasking (known to reduce productivity) and get you to use a more focused and strategic method of thinking.
Once you establish a Monday morning habit, you also eliminate the time you spend spinning your wheels as you try and decide what to focus on throughout each workday. You will identify priorities, decide which ones to delegate and which ones need your attention, and in what order.
Monday Morning Habits for Successful Executives (and Anyone Else, Actually!)
WAKE UP EARLIER
Try setting your alarm for 15 or 30 minutes earlier. Allowing yourself to start your day without feeling rushed and stressed will put you in a better mindset, feeling more positive and more able to focus.
We all know how tempting it is to hit that snooze button in the morning. What you don’t know, however, is that hitting the snooze button may actually affect your productivity that day. Sleep experts repeatedly advise clients to stop snoozing in the morning for a variety of reasons.
Researchers state snoozing can extend sleep inertia – that foggy in-between brain that isn’t asleep but isn’t totally awake – and affective productivity all day.
Other researchers say that because you can’t complete another sleep cycle you are not any more rested from one or many snooze button cycles. Set your alarm for your final “must get up” deadline and you will benefit much more from the extra sleep gained during what was previously “snooze time.”
FOCUS ON A REWARD
What can you reward yourself with for getting out of bed earlier and without hitting that snooze button? Hot coffee that you put on timer the night before so it’s waiting for you? A walk with your significant other or your pup? Reading the morning paper before you head to the office?
Choose something that will motivate you to swing those feet out of bed the first time your alarm goes off.
ADD A MORNING ACTIVITY THAT CENTERS YOU
This will differ for each person. Some like exercise: go for a run or take the dog for a walk. Others prefer meditation.
ORGANIZE AND PRIORITIZE YOUR TASKS FOR THE WEEK
Once you’re at the office, develop a morning routine to start your work week that will maximize your productivity and effectiveness.
- Clear your head: Jot down all the ideas, worries, and plans that have been swirling in your mind all weekend. This helps get those thoughts out of your head and prevents them from being distractions as you plan your week.
- Consolidate any notes, post-its, and flagged emails from the previous week into one task list. It can be paper or electronic. If you’re an app person, consider one of these top-rated to-do apps reviewed in CNET’s Best to-do List Apps for Managing Tasks on Any Platform.
- Look over what commitments you have this week on your calendar and jot down any preparations you need to do on your task list.
- Review your long-term goals. Make sure there are no tasks you need to add to the week to support progress toward those goals.
- Go through your task list and assign importance to each task. Develop a system to use, such as A=this week, B=next week, C=long term, or A=urgent, B=this week, C=revisit next week.
- Go through tasks that have been coded for completion this week. Delegate those that you can. Add the rest to your calendar.
- Each week, start with this task list on Monday morning. Cross out completed tasks, then proceed to Step 1 to start planning for the new week.
Ready? Set? Go! Start Your New Monday Morning Habits and Watch Your Productivity Soar
So you think some of these may work? There is only one way to find out. Next Monday, get up a little earlier and try making your new task list. Note what worked well, and what you struggled with. Refine your new Monday morning habits and enjoy each success as it happens – you have earned it!
Need Extra Help Getting Control of Your Out-of-Control Task List?
Are you looking for an experienced professional to manage the parts of your business you no longer have time to focus on?
Robin Kramer is an Online Business Manager that has been working with small businesses for 23 years. She can help you analyze your overwhelming to-do list to identify what tasks need your executive expertise, and which ones she can manage for you to free your valuable time.
To learn more about Robin’s skills and how she could help your business, contact her for a free consultation today.