Mondays don’t have to be the worst, most painful day of the week.
In fact, use Mondays to set the tone for your week. Monday is when you decide where you want your week to go. You set your own priorities. You remind yourself of your goals. And you put habits into motion that will get you there quickly and effectively.
Do these eight little things, and you’ll be off to the races:
1. Make a list of everything you want to get done, and group similar items together.
This theory comes from Tony Robbins. He calls it “chunking.” It is an incredibly effective productivity technique.
Make a list of everything you have to do, and then group similar to-do items together and tackle each “chunk” at a time. The reason behind it? It’s much more difficult (and time intensive) to bounce between different kinds of tasks than to get into one specific zone and crank through all the things that align with that same mindset.
2. Monday morning, get one thing done immediately.
There is nothing more satisfying than feeling like you’re already in the swing of things. And the easiest way to trigger that feeling is to get something small on your list done. Maybe you’ve been meaning to email someone back for a while—knock that off your plate. Maybe you’ve been putting off uploading a simple blog post—do that quickly and voila! It’s done.
Do something that will get your subconscious in the right mode of efficiency and productivity.
3. Make your social plans for the week in advance. You’re going to do something social this week, so plan that out now. And as absolutely best as possible, do not say yes to anything that pops up outside of those plans.
A lot of people let their schedules dictate them, instead of dictating their schedules. And a big mistake people make in terms of time management is leaving huge windows of time open for other people to fill. Don’t leave that responsibility up to someone else.
4. Pick one primary goal for the week, and measure your success on that basis.
Every week, try to pick one particular goal to have accomplished by the following Sunday.
Don’t pick something massive like, “Write a book this week.” Start with a chapter. Start with a page.
Maybe this week your primary goal will be to finally make that new hire. Or to reorganize your closet. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you get in the habit of choosing a primary goal for the week and making sure you can at least get that done.
Once that’s a habit, you can set bigger and more frequent weekly goals. Just remember to start small.
5. Do your grocery shopping for the week on Monday.
Just get it done. Failure to prepare means preparing to fail, and food is a great example.
Instead of letting your schedule dictate your eating, plan ahead. Go to the store, get what you need for the week, and maybe even make some things in bulk that you can eat between Monday and Friday.
6. Drink a cold-brew coffee.
It takes almost no time to order, and drinking it will increase your productivity exponentially. It’s a fact. Don’t like coffee? Try some tea with caffeine or some chocolate instead.
7. Don’t check your email until noon.
Just try it.
Your Monday morning will be so much more productive if you start your day by getting a difficult task done, instead of immediately falling victim to answering your inbox and wasting time piddling around in your inbox. Humans are pre-programmed to procrastinate, and checking email is a prime avenue for procrastination to thirve.
8. Set alarm reminders to take five to ten minutes to yourself every one and a half to two hours.
Whoever says being productive is all about grinding for hours on end without ever taking a break has clearly never maximized his or her productivity.
One of the best things you can do to make your Monday (or any day) more effective is intentionally stepping away from what you’re working on to clear your head.
Now, don’t be one of those people who leave their computer only to stand outside and stare at their phone. That defeats the whole purpose. Leaveyour computer. Leave your phone. Go for a walk outside, and you’ll come back ready to dive in again.