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Things People Do On Monday Mornings That Make Them Highly Successful

Things People Do On Monday Mornings That Make Them Highly Successful

Ah, Monday morning. It’s nobody’s favorite time of the week. It’s when we all have to stumble out of bed and face a brand new week, grumbling about needing coffee and being too tired to function. We’ve all been there. But just because that Monday morning alarm clock is a rude awakening (literally), that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of those early hours. Here are 16 things people do to start their weeks right. Next Monday morning, give these a go.

1. They don’t hit snooze.

Everyone loves the snooze button. Whoever invented snooze should be given a Nobel Prize. However, though we all like that chance to catch a few extra Z’s, repeatedly hitting the snooze button ultimately does more harm than good. Do your best to get up right when your alarm goes off. That way, you’ll be ready to face the day more quickly. This will give you more energy in the long run than the constant cycle of waking up and going back to sleep that the snooze button forces us into.

2. They exercise.

The best way to have energy throughout the day is to get moving early. Many people prefer exercising first thing in the morning because it gives them a reason to get out of bed quickly and wakes them up more effectively. Exercise in the morning can also help with the Monday blues, as exercise is proven to improve your mood and boost your confidence.

3. They eat right.

It’s like the cereal commercials all tell us: it’s important to start the day with a balanced breakfast. Successful people are more likely to stay successful when they have the nutrition they need to get the week off to a good start. Make sure your breakfast includes protein to help you stay full longer, thus minimizing distractions or grumpiness that might come from being hungry an hour later.

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4. They leave behind a clean house.

Monday can get hectic, so it can be tempting to leave things laying around the house or let those dirty dishes soak in the sink all day. However, there’s an even bigger possibility you won’t want to take care of any of that stuff when you get home, either. Clean up after yourself. It’ll only take a few minutes, and you’ll thank yourself once you return later in the day.

5. They make a game plan for the week.

Most people have a daily routine or schedule. However, things can vary from week to week. Whether you need to plan out a project for the coming week, or simply pencil in a lunch meeting for Thursday, do it first thing Monday morning. That way, you’ll get yourself on track as soon as the day starts.

6. They get to work early.

…or at least on time. The habits you form on Monday morning can form your whole week, so make them good ones. Arrive early to work to really get things going and avoid the headache of rushing in to a meeting 10 minutes late because of traffic.

7. They get organized.

What better way to start the week than by straightening up your work space? You’ll be more productive if your desk is decluttered and everything is put away in its rightful place. Once you get organized, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the day (and week) ahead.

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8. They attend to small things first.

If you have a number of small tasks you can get out of the way first thing, go for it. Respond to a few emails, make copies, whatever you need to do. Once these things are out of the way, you’ll be able to be more focused on the bigger tasks ahead.

9. They get their inbox under control.

Speaking of emails, make sure your inbox isn’t too crazy. Empty your spam folder, delete unnecessary things, organize your emails by putting them into different folders. The last thing you want to do is spend a long time searching through your inbox for something, when you could easily organize your inbox and find that email as soon as you need it.

10. They greet everyone.

Success is as much about skill and hard work as it is about making good connections with people. Saying a simple “hello” or “good morning” to everyone you pass on your way to your desk can make a big impression on people in the long run.

11. They make a to-do list.

To-do lists are great. They keep you on track and hold you accountable for getting all of the work done. Make one on your computer, one on your phone, one on a sticky note on your desk — that way, you’ll know what you need to get done and in what order. Remember to cross things off as they get done.

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12. They imagine success.

Picture yourself succeeding at whatever you have to do this week. Visualizing success can help you reach it. It’s a good motivator.

13. They take on big problems.

Once you’ve sorted out some of the smaller things on your to-do list, move on to the big problems. They might take longer than you expect, so getting to them first thing in the week will help ensure you’ll get them done on time.

14. They stay positive.

Even when things get tough, successful people don’t let it get them down. Getting discouraged at the beginning of the week will only make the rest of the week that much harder. Keep your chin up and power through.

15. They focus on the task at hand.

It’s easy to get distracted, so rid your work-space of anything you know will cause you to be less productive. Try to begin working when you know you won’t be interrupted with something else. Highly successful people can only be successful if they get their work done, so make sure you’re able to do the same.

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16. They aren’t afraid to say “no.”

There’s only so much one person can do. If you come into work on Monday morning and start getting requests right and left, only agree to as many as you can handle.

Featured photo credit: Sean McGrath via flickr.com

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Published on January 16, 2019

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

  • Are you a great strategist?
  • Are you an effective planner?
  • Is Project Management your strength?
  • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
  • Are you the ideas person?
  • Is Implementation your strength?

Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

4. Take Time for Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

You can take the time to think about:

  • What’s the purpose of the project?
  • How Important is it?
  • When does it need to be delivered by?
  • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
  • What are the KPIs?
  • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
  • Who is working on this project?
  • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
  • What tolerances can I add in?
  • What are the review stages?
  • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

5. Focus on Priorities

Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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    The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

    If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

    If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

    6. Take Time Out

    To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

    If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

    Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

    In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

    Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

    7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

    Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

    I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

    Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

    If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

    8. Stop Multitasking

    Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

    So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

    When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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    If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

    9. Work in Blocks of Time

    To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

    I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

    Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

    Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

    Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

    Then take another 10-minute break.

    Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

    By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

    10. Get Rid of Distractions

    Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

    “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

    Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

    If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

    11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

    You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

    Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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    Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

    12. Take a Time Audit

    Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

    Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

    You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

    Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

    Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

    At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

    If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

    13. Protect Your Confidence

    It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

    When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

    Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

    When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

    Final Words

    A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

    The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

    If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

    Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

    Reference

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