How To Be More Productive
How do you feel when Monday morning rolls around? Are you ready for the week ahead or do you struggle to get going? I have realised that I start off with lots of energy at the beginning of the week and it tails off by Thursday/Friday. I noticed that I’m more creative and productive after the weekend and for the past few months I have blocked off Monday’s in my calendar to work on my blog posts and other writing. And leaving the less taxing stuff until later in the week. And it turns out I’m not alone.
Which is the most productive day of the week?
A new study found that Monday morning is the most productive time and day of the week for employees.
Having a couple of days off from work over the weekend allows us to recharge our batteries. If you are able to take a proper break and disconnect from work it allows the brain to recalibrate. Especially the pre-frontal context (the part of the brain that does a lot of thinking and decision making) benefits from the rest, leaving you ready for the week ahead. For example, a quiet walk in nature helps your brain restore itself. Therefore, people feel motivated and productive at the beginning of the working week.
Four tips to have a productive Monday
1. Plan out your day in advance
Be clear on what work needs to be done so that you can get straight into ticking those tasks off.
2. Schedule the big tasks
Schedule the big tasks that require creativity, mental energy and decision-making skills for Monday mornings so that you complete them when you are refreshed and focused. You will complete them faster and more efficiently.
3. Turn off all notifications and distractions
Turn off all notifications and distractions and work on only one task at a time until that task is completed. Scoring big jobs off your to-do list is a great motivator.
4. Use effective time management techniques
Use effective time management techniques such as the Pomodoro technique (see below). Time block your work in your calendar. This means booking out chunks of time where you can complete tasks. I put in my regular appointments, school run, and family time then block off time to complete my weekly work tasks or when I have a project to complete.
And what are some things to avoid on Monday mornings in order to maximize this productivity window?
It’s easy to get distracted by emails and small tasks. Leave them until the end of the day or later in the week when you have less energy and focus most of your energy on completing your main tasks.
Don’t deviate from your schedule or put things off. Stay on track and keep focused.
Don’t get distracted by colleagues. It’s great to catch up with each other but wait until lunchtime.
Don’t multitask. Close any unnecessary tabs on your computer, put away your mobile phone and ask to not be disturbed.
Bonus Tips for a productive Monday
Set realistic work goals
Often your daily to-do list is actually quite unrealistic leading to you focusing on what you didn’t achieve rather than seeing what you did accomplish. Set 2-3 main goals per day and tick them off. This will motivate and encourage you each day as you will feel productive and accomplished.
And focus on completing the big goals first
It’s easy to get distracted by emails and small tasks. Leave them til the end when you have less energy and focus most of your energy on completing your main tasks.
A useful and well-researched time management technique that helps you get into the flow of work, instill a sense of urgency and set realistic time blocks is the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco Cirillo and named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used as a student, the technique uses a timer to break down work into 25-minute intervals separated by 5-minute breaks. This helps you focus on the task at hand and be more productive.
By harnessing the rest from the weekend and the renewed energy, you can turn Monday mornings into a productive and meaningful start to the week.
Happiness Evangelist, Life Coach, Best-Selling Author and Speaker with over 30 years of experience, helping you to live a happy and fulfilling life.
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