While riding a train in the early Monday morning from one city to another, I decided to write a post. After this weekend of traveling a bit around the country, I feel rejuvenated and ready to work, but it wasn’t always like this. Some Mondays felt painfully not productive, and I felt like it was setting me for a bad, unproductive week, going trough work waiting for the weekend.
But then I realised that I chose this path myself, and it used to bring me joy, and started thinking what got me off track and how to get myself back on track again. I started making guidelines to myself, hoping to live the max of my week not only 3 days that I call weekend. So here it is:
Create a plan
Whenever I travel, I found that I usually set my mind clear for an upcoming week. I wake up into Monday with brave heart and clear head. The only thing I lack is a decent plan. Having a pretty strict plan makes a transition from weekend mood to work mood so much easier. I have a planning system, so all the small or not so pleasant tasks go into Monday morning, some of them I finish before even getting home.
I believe that everyone has a week planning system, that works for them. I believe that my system needs a separate blog post so I will not talk much about it now.
Being stuck on weekend mode is something I’ve been dealing with a bit. But I learned that it comes from lacking motivation also. So having your motivation points clear keeps you excited about your work and gets you going and seeing positive things in your work not only weekend.
I like to create an actually points I want to achieve, either it’s something I want to buy, a destination I want to travel to or just a project I want to release. And I like to have my motivation points very precise, especially if it is about buying something I tend be more motivated if I actually know the price of the item I want to buy, if it’s a project I like to set up the date it needs to be released on or until.
Since I am the boss of my own, I need to control my time. Tasks, that are robotic and not very creative requires just time and not much of thinking, so I tend to do them until I finish them, others – like creating something – gets sticky and not as productive as you wish they were with more time you spend on them. So it is better to split them in parts. So you could regain distance and see objectively.
I set up periods of time I am planning to spend on each task and tend to not spend more than I planned to spend. That keeps me as productive as possible, though not switch tasks too often, unless you finish them, because switching tasks usually takes time too.
Procrastination is the killer
If you want to kick Monday in it’s behind, just deal with the ugliest tasks at the beginning. Finishing on 2-3 not so pleasant tasks before the lunch break feels amazing. I feel such a boss. And the second part of the day feels so much easier.
I think that procrastinating things, that you don’t like to do only makes them grow bigger in your head until they get from your being unpleasant to being impossible to do or start doing, so I usually set time until I do the task, and end up doing it right away instead, because why wait? Just get it over with.
Take a break
Taking a break is really important. Either it is a lunch break, or even a nap break. I mean, naps are such a kindergarten thing, but when you are tired your productivity drops, so what is the point of working at home if you can’t take a nap when you need it? I learned that taking a 45 minutes nap sometimes saves you that 45 minutes afterwards when you wake up all relaxed but yet productive. Especially when you feel tired and every task automatically feels so much harder or your quality drops.
Lunch break is important as hell too. I tend to get anxious and grumpy when I am hungry, so having a good lunch break at the good time of the day is crucial. I usually make a plan that has a planned lunch break. It also serves as my time so scroll social media and I know it might not be as good, but it helps me to take my mind off my work.
And what makes your week productive? Do you have any Monday rituals?