How to get your week off to a great start
—and keep your productivity high .
Some days it is very hard to get motivated at all. You don’t want to get out of bed, much less attack that list of jobs you hate doing that has been hanging over your head for weeks now.
And its only the first day of the week, how will you get through the rest of it?
Sometimes you have to be easy on yourself; we all have days like this.
I think we often feel unsettled at the beginning of the week because our rhythm has been disturbed by time spent with friends and family and we don’t want to return to reality.
Also if you don’t have a sense of focus, something to get your teeth into, a new project or a deadline, a presentation or meeting , then motivation can be somewhat lacking. So it helps you to get started of you have a focus. Maybe decide at the end of the week on a focus for the beginning of next week?
Or maybe you will not be in the mood for a big challenge and would prefer to clear up some things that just need a few finishing touches.
Who knows why we want to do different things on different days, but we do. Maybe it is the phases of the moon, our own internal metabolism, and other factors such as the mood of people around you, what you did at the weekend.
Whatever the reason, sometimes you just want to keep a low profile and straighten a few things up, other days you want to re-order the world.
Best to play to your strengths if you have the luxury of arranging your own work schedule. If you don’t have that luxury then you probably have the safety net of a schedule to follow, so don’t encounter this particular problem.
I like to have a plan for the week that is fairly flexible, and includes some tidying up, but also a new challenge or project. This allows me to tackle what I feel ready for each day. Then I can mix them up during the week according to mood and circumstances, depending on whatever else needs to be fitted in.
There is always the mindless job of getting on top of your email, that usually makes you feel in control, and often presents a few issues that need attending to if you are looking for inspiration as to where to start.
I find ending the week with a list of “things to do” serves several purposes. First it conserves all the energy and impetus you often have as you wrap the week up, it saves you thinking through where you were up to on everything. Also it helps you to focus at the beginning of the week, and eases you in without too much strain on your brain!!
And what if you hit a brick wall during the week? Can’t think how to solve a problem, every potential solution presents another problem .You can’t even remember what you are trying to achieve ……
Walk away, leave it. Your mind will work on the problem and present solutions to you while you are doing something more productive. Even if it is just catching up with colleagues, call it multi tasking!!
Maybe you need to take a break –either 10 minutes to yourself, or perhaps you need something more heavy duty like a fortnight in the sun? It is well understood that long hours do not always result in good quality work. The thought process is not designed to be continuous. Sometimes you need to get inspiration from the world around you.
Maybe, try working in intense bursts, punctuated by breaks, in cycles repeated through the day. If you are lucky enough to work from home, it is easy to schedule a short break every hour or so — switch the washing machine on, empty the dishwasher, or plan the evening meal.
This is not the displacement activity some undisciplined people indulge in, when they never get round to any work, they can always find something else to do. |
Rather this is a tool to give your brain a chance to do something different, you will be surprised how creative your brain is when you fire it up and then give it a little time to do its work.