Monday’s have a bad reputation for being crappy, but the truth is they’re bright, sunny and full of potential. If you want to make the most of the start of your week, here are my favourite productivity tips.
Being productive at work can be a real challenge, especially on a Monday where you just had the weekend off to enjoy life and (hopefully) forget about work.
But this Monday can be your best one yet with these exceptional productivity tips. Add one, or all of them, into your daily routine and see what amazing things you can pull off on the first day of your week!
Actually eat breakfast
Your first step to having a more productive Monday is eating a good hearty breakfast. If you’re not fed properly, you’re not going to have a great workday.
It seems weird to add eating to a list of productivity tips, but food really does fuel your brain. If you want to have a productive day and get lots done, you absolutely need to eat a good breakfast!
Declutter your desk
When it comes to the best productivity tips around, the first thing you should do when you get into the office in the morning (even if “the office” is your living room) is declutter your desk.
Decluttering your desk simply means cleaning off the surface—no one is expecting you to clean your desk spotless, just move the clutter off to give yourself some breathing and working space.
A cluttered desk makes for an unproductive environment. And starting off right means starting with a clean desk so you can do your best work!
Write down your to-do list
If you’re looking for productivity tips to keep you on track and make sure you have a great day, then making a to-do list should be top-of-mind.
When it comes to creating your to-do list, make sure it’s reasonable. Write down everything you need to do, then stop and figure out if you can actually do everything on the list. Chances are you can’t.
When you come to the “this is too much” realization, be critical and start taking off things that you know can wait. If you build a huge to-do list and can’t cross everything off then you’ll inevitably demotivate yourself, even if you’ve had an amazing day.
So build a to-do list, keep it realistic and burn through that bad boy!
Cut your distractions
I’m looking at you, social media.
If you find you’re struggling to get things done, one of the best productivity tips I can give you is to cut your distractions. This tip goes hand-in-hand with our next one on taking frequent breaks.
Distractions come in all shapes and forms, but social media tends to be one of the biggest. It’s so easy to just switch tabs to Facebook or open up the Twitter App on your phone.
Something that can really help you stay on track is a focus app or something to block out unproductive websites.
Take breaks to stay on track
No one is a workhorse. Seriously, you’re not. You may be putting in 10-to-14 hour days (especially if you’re self-employed) but it’s not productive or feasible for you to expect yourself to work straight through.
If you’re looking to be more productive, I highly recommend taking frequent breaks. As a general rule, while you can work for around 90-minutes without losing focus you should consider taking around a 15-minute break for every hour that you clock.
When it comes to talking productivity tips, this is one that I can really get behind. And taking a break doesn’t have to mean getting yourself totally off track—it can mean taking a quick walk around the block, reading a chapter of the book you’re working on or even internet browsing!
Manage your meetings
Meetings are often a waste of time. If they’re not a waste of time entirely, they tend to get out of hand and end up wasting a big deal of time. With that in mind, one of the great productivity tips to start your week off right is to manage your meetings.
Managing your meetings means a few things—making sure that your discussion actually requires a meeting (if it can be done via a simple email then skip it), keeping your meeting on track (it helps to have an agenda) and pulling in the reins when it starts to go off-topic.
When it comes to managing meetings, I recommend setting a solid timeline—most discussions can take place in 15 minutes, and anything over an hour is WAY too long. Finally, it helps to be open about keeping your meeting on track with any other parties.
Start with the worst
A great piece of advice for staying productive is starting with the worst task. Whether this is the toughest, most frustrating or just boring, it helps to get the worst thing done.
Starting with your least favourite tasks is one of my favourite productivity tips. Not only will you feel a sense of relief you might also be more energized to work harder considering you’ve gotten that out of the way.
With your worst task out of the way, you’re ready to work through the day!
Multi-tasking is incredibly unproductive. Seriously, very few people can actually accomplish it and we need to stop trying.
If you want to stay productive, stick to one task at a time. If you find yourself veering off into unfocused territory, then switch tasks and focus on that one only.
The goal of this productivity tip is one thing at a time!
Exercise for more energy
Contrary to what you might think, exercise actually gives you a burst of energy. If you’re looking for productivity tips to start your week off right, I would highly recommend adding a little activity to your routine.
If you’re feeling like you need a pick-me-up to make you more productive, exercise is a good choice. The best way I find to do it is to sprinkle it in throughout.
I am not talking about a big weightlifting session or anything. A quick walk around the block, do some desk lunges or even some sit-ups. Just something that expends a little energy and gets you back on track.
Avoid meetings if possible
I don’t know about you, but most meetings are a huge waste of time. There are too many people there, too much to talk about that doesn’t need to be talked about and they go way too long.
This is especially the case for the dreaded “update meetings” where people spend 20 minutes talking about something that can be typed up in a two-sentence email. I get people wanting to catch up after the weekend, but there’s a place and time.
When it comes down to it, if you can avoid the meeting do. If you can’t, try to restrict your meetings to the afternoon and leave your morning clear for you!
What are your best productivity tips to make Monday amazing? Share them in the comments below!