One of the most memorable scenes in Office Space is when the lead character is having a rotten start to his week and one of his coworkers asks if he’s having a “case of the Mondays.” It really is kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard.
But the question of Monday mornings and quick-start routines might be illuminating if we can determine some winning strategies. Here’s my current thinking and Monday start this week.
- Even if you don’t have to get up early, get up early. (Law of productivity: get up earlier.)
- Even if you don’t have an office or a cube to show up at, show up somewhere. (Home offices are really nice, but for me Monday mornings are for connecting and hitting strides that I will attempt to fulfill during the rest of the day, and if done well, the rest of the week.
- Set a few simple goals. (Your goals are not your todo list. Start with 3 goals for the day. If that’s too many drop back to ONE GOAL. Until you accomplish it.)
- Consult and update your appointment calendar. (This seems like a no-brainer, but often things find their way on to our calendars that are not essential to our goals. If you can’t define the purpose of an appointment on your calendar, delete it. If someone else put it there, ask them what the purpose is.)
- Be amongst your people, but don’t be distracted. (I like being around people. I have headphones that take me whereever I want to go sonically, and then it’s a matter of picking a location with good coffee and good people watching. And if I have a full agenda, a place with a good lunch as well.)
- Refocus everytime you find your mind wandering. (Sure, it’s a proven fact that daydreaming is actually a highly aroused state, but there are better times for spacing out besides Monday morning.)
- Connect and reconnect. (Who do you need to contact? Just do it. Sales connections. Send the letters/emails. Old friends pop into your mind, send’m a note. “Thinking about you.” That’s enough.)
- Don’t schedule for the entire morning. (Set a time limit. When the time is up, it’s time to get to work, whatever that work may be.)
- Pause between mental leaps. (We are so quick to change our attentions or activities. Instead of letting your rapid mind make those choices, notice when you are about to jump the rails into another task. Then… PAUSE. Make sure the new direction is toward a goal and not just a response to boredom. Then take a breath. If the choice still seems wise, then go. If you find yourself questioning your mind’s choice. Then you have reached a higher level of consciousness for a brief instant. Be grateful.) — this concept is expanded here: A Deep Breath: An Emergency Pause
That’s all I’ve got. Time’s up. I need to get on with another task/goal, and YES, it’s a good time to put a bow on it.