As a busy mom of two teenage boys and a small business owner, I know all to well the feeling of just wanting to hide my head under the covers and hit the snooze button a million times on a Monday morning.
Even though I love running my own business, I would be lying if I said I always make a smooth transition from the restfulness of the weekend into the start of a brand new week.
When I first left my full time teaching job to run my own business, I struggled with time management in a huge way. I floundered quite a bit at the beginning of my time as an entrepreneur because I was used to “punching a time clock” and answering to a boss that held me accountable to being to work on time, being productive and accomplishing my work objectives.
Once I started my first business, I quickly learned that the only person that was going to hold me accountable as a business owner was myself. I was the CEO of not only my business, but my life.
It was time to get things straightened out before I found myself failing in my business and heading back to the classroom to work for someone else full time.
Mondays are the key. How we approach Monday is the answer to how successful and productive our entire week will be.
Sometimes Mondays can be the least productive day of the week because it can be difficult to get back in the swing of things after being away from your work over the weekend.
Here are 10 tips on how to #crushMonday so you can get your week off to a productive start!
#1 PLAN ON SUNDAY EVENING
A productive week starts on Sunday evening. I used to wait until Monday morning to plan my week but found this caused me to wake up feeling anxious about the week ahead. When I started taking the time each Sunday evening to plan out the upcoming week, I woke up each Monday feeling refreshed and ready to jump in and #crushMonday.
Look at your calendar, upcoming projects that are due, meetings and appointments, etc and plan out what needs to happen in the next week for you to be closer to reaching your goals.
#2 PROTECT YOUR MONDAYS
In order for you to #crushMonday you must protect your time and not allow anything to get in the way if at all possible. I try my hardest to not schedule any appointments or meetings on Mondays. All family dentist and doctor’s appointments are off limits for Mondays if I can help it, and I save lunch dates with girlfriends for Fridays. My main focus for my Mondays is to get as much accomplished as I can and that means protecting my calendar.
#3 END YOUR WEEK ON THURSDAY
You might think this idea is a little crazy but hear me out. As you are planning out your week on Sunday evening, plan to have everything marked off your todo list for the week by the end of Thursday’s work day. This will give you a buffer and allow for things that pop up unexpectedly.
Friday is your day to make up for lost time due to the unexpected things that came up during the week and will allow you to get a head start on the next week’s work. For example, I like to be able to start working on next week’s blog post and scheduling social media content for the next week on Fridays.
#4 START EARLY
The sooner you get started on a Monday, the better. In order to #crushMonday and tackle the hardest things on your todo list for the week, you have to get started fast and early. We are most productive in the mornings. Become okay with being an early riser. Remember, the goal is to #crushMonday and get as much tackled on this first day of the week as possible.
#5 DO THE HARD STUFF FIRST
Brian Tracy talks about this very idea in Eat That Frog. Tackle the hardest, most pressing tasks first. Procrastinating these tasks will waste mental energy resenting them. Instead, start on them first thing Monday and get them off your list. You will feel relief and the rest of the week will feel more simple and relaxed.
#6 DO NOT DISTURB TIME
If you are a mom and run your business from home, this might be my best piece of advice for you. Schedule time, especially on Mondays as you are working to tackle the hardest things first and “eat that frog”, where you can’t be disturbed. Don’t be afraid to tape up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door.
Even if you can’t keep your kiddos out of your workspace because they are too young, protect your work time during their nap time and make it a point to get up in the morning before they do to knock out some of the things on your list. Finding time to focus on your most pressing projects is important to a productive and successful business.
#7 WORK IN INTERVALS
I call these PowerBlocks. PowerBlocks are chunks of times that are set aside to focus on one task. I have found that I am most productive when I work on one project at a time, give myself a time limit and illuminate all other distractions. After the PowerBlock time is up, I take a break to refresh and recharge my mind. I get something to drink, take the dog for a walk, read a few pages from a book, etc. It varies depending on how I am feeling. But I work hard for a designated time and then give myself time to rest. This strategy takes my productivity up a notch!
#8 CREATE A LIST OF “ONCE A DAYS”
Look at all your business tasks and make a list of the things that can be done once or twice a day. Checking email, answering messages, posting on social media, etc. all fall under the “once a day” category. There is nothing more distracting then checking email every few minutes or the ding of a brand new Facebook message coming into your inbox. Create this list and stick to only doing these things once or twice a day.
#9 COMPLETE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT
Obsessive perfectionism is the ultimate enemy of productivity, second only to laziness. Instead of trying to make everything perfect and starting several projects at once, focus on completion. Get things marked off your list and let go of the habit of trying to make them perfect. There is no such thing as perfect anyway so why even stress about it.
#10 SCHEDULE DOWN TIME
On the heals of encouraging you to start early on your Monday and get as much tackled for the week as you can on this first day, I am also going to encourage you to make a point to rest on this day as well.
I know that may sound a little counter productive, but it is just as important to not burn yourself out on this first day of the week as it is to tackle it head on. Just like you have an early start time on this Monday, I want to encourage you to also have a set stop time for the day. Take some time on Monday evening to rest and recharge so you are energized when you wake up on Tuesday to tackle the rest of the week. The last thing you want is to burn yourself out and wake up on Tuesday feeling exhausted.