Arguably, Monday remains the most hated day of the workweek. This is when everybody just gets a thought bubble filled with daunting tasks to finish, and even catch up on from last week, when they haven’t even taken a shower yet. More than half of the working population seems to literally drag themselves out of bed on a Monday morning and dread having to think of what they need to do until the end of the day.
This idea of Mondays bringing us down, and making us unproductive can actually be reversed by changing your routine. In three simple ways, you’ll find that Mondays are not so bad at all, especially if you start seeing the difference from what you used to do.
WRITE THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS DOWN
First things first, you may want to write down the three most important things you need to get completed on that day – possibly the three things that have been on your mind while making breakfast. There’s a reason they are inside your head all the time. They are the most important and time-critical tasks. As soon as you’re on your full on professional self, start working on them.
If these tasks require most of your attention, perhaps a problem-solving scenario, an analysis of a given data, or some creative writing that needs to meet a deadline, it’s very crucial that you get started when your ability to concentrate is at its peak. The first and last hours of the day are not very advisable as they are the hours when you’re just getting yourself in the mood, and buzzing to wrap things up respectively.
When thinking of the three most important tasks to do on a Monday, remember to keep yourself from checking your calendar and your email as they are likely to flash other tasks that may seem just as important. You might find it hard to choose what’s more important over the other.
As soon as you’re done with one task, mark it as completed If you had to work with a colleague to get it done, make it more rewarding by complimenting your working partner or treating yourself (and perhaps both) to a nice cup of coffee or something else.
BREAK THAT EMAIL ADDICTION
While it was customary for professionals to check their messages as soon as get to their desks, this part of the routine seems to have been made taboo by the dynamics of every industry. There’s a reason the pros don’t recommend checking emails first – it makes you feel overwhelmed by what needs to be done and lose your focus throughout the day.
However, you still have to check your messages though. But instead of going through every message, you are very likely to know what bit you need to check and reply to. Spend about two to three minutes scanning your inbox for the most urgent and critical emails, reply to them, start working on your priority tasks, and move on to the rest of the messages later on.
TAKE SHORT BREAKS TO REFRESH YOURSELF
The Pomodoro Technique is usually very effective for increased productivity, which Mondays are not very popular for. Small frequent breaks can help you refresh your mind and increase your concentration on the task ahead. Here’s how it traditionally works:
1. Decide on the task to be done – which you could have already done having followed the first tip.
2. Set an interval period – the number of minutes (traditionally 25) you would work on the task. Having a timer will help.
3. Work on it until your timer goes off and mark it accordingly. You can either write it down or keep things in your head if it works.
4. Take a short break – get off your seat, walk around for a couple of minutes, get a colleague to talk to you, stretch, or do anything to distract yourself from the daunting task very shortly – sort of a commercial gap when you’re watching the telly.
5. Take longer breaks on every four of the interval period you have set until the end of the day.
When working in an environment where breaks are scheduled, the Pomodoro Technique may not work as you desired. However, during the short breaks at every interval, you need not be away from your desk for long. 2-3 minutes may be enough to refresh your mind and get back to work until the longer break comes.
See, if these are likely to beat the odds of un-hating the dreaded Monday, they can also help you become more productive on any other day. What’s more important though than following these tips is to have the right attitude towards what you do. You can’t possibly force yourself into writing down tasks, checking the important emails, and taking short breaks every 20-30 minutes while completing a task if your mind and heart is not on it.
Think of what drives you to work and the rest is easy.
If you’re unhappy with what you do, or if you lack motivation, chances are you might find these tips to just drag you more to doing some work.
Set your mind and put your heart into it and start today.