Most of us can think of a dozen places we’d rather be instead of sitting at our desks on a Monday morning. We have emails to answer, colleagues to chase up and meetings to get through, and after a weekend away from the office it can be difficult to find the motivation to start the week with focus and drive.
Still, Monday mornings are a fresh start and the perfect opportunity to set a tone of efficiency and productivity throughout the whole week. Here are our tips to help you have your most productive week yet.
The key to having a productive week is to start with a plan, and the most productive employees always schedule their tasks and responsibilities that they have going on for the week. Of course unexpected tasks are sure to crop up throughout the week, so it is crucial to factor these in whilst you’re planning.
By planning ahead and making a to-do list, you will know exactly how much time you have to dedicate to each task. This will help to keep you on track of your workload and stop you from falling behind, or getting stuck on one task for too long.
2. Prioritize your workload and objectives
Whilst you’re creating your plan for the week, you should also take the time to prioritize which tasks are the most urgent and important. Is there a project coming to an end? Does a task need to be signed off before the end of the week?
Prioritizing your tasks means that you can manage your resources effectively, helping you to have a more productive week.
3. Say no to things you can’t commit to
It can be tempting to say “yes” to every opportunity and request that comes your way because of a desire to prove yourself and your abilities, or simply because you feel guilty for not helping a colleague out. Learning to be selective about the additional tasks and responsibilities you take on is important.
Saying “no” to non-essential requests lets you excel at your most important tasks, rather than taking on too much and performing averagely at both.
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffet.
This isn’t to say you should be unhelpful. You should always carefully consider each request and be realistic about whether you have the time to take on the extra assignment, or whether the rest of your work will suffer. If you’re confident that you have the time to meet your own deadlines along with the new one, then go ahead.
4. Work in intervals
When we have a lot on our plate, we might think that the best way to get the most work done is to knuckle down and get on with it. We often don’t stop to take breaks or even to eat lunch. Studies have consistently shown that working in intervals improves your ability to stay focused for extended periods.
Whether you use the Pomodoro Technique or work for 60 minutes straight with a break afterwards, working in intervals makes you more productive. Breaks are great for three main reasons:
- To stop us becoming unfocused
- For helping us make connections and retain information
- They help us meet our goals
Next time you’re on a roll and worried that you’ll lose momentum if you stop working, remember that you’ll accomplish more in the long run by taking a break.
5. Hold yourself accountable
When you were busy creating your weekly schedule, you should have also been setting yourself goals and objectives. At the end of each week, review your performance. Did you meet all of your goals? What about your objectives?
You should review and measure your accomplishments every week. Look back at the to-do list you made at the start of the week and note down what you had to postpone. Then, add those to the top of next week’s list. Holding yourself accountable for what you did and didn’t achieve is the best way to improve your performance.
What are your tips for having a productive week? Let us know in the comments section below.