Garfield has talked about his dislike of Mondays many times over, and he’s not alone. The start of the week always feels particularly overwhelming: you could have a big project coming up, you could be looking forward to an awesome vacation that upcoming weekend, or you could just be tired of the grind. These sort of things could hinder your functioning over the course of that week, but they don’t have to: a productive week depends almost entirely on you, and how you focus your time and effort. I recently came across an article that outlined some of the best ways to utilize your time during the working week and help you have an “insanely productive week”. Here are some of the tips that the author gave:
1. Don’t plan, do: While it’s alright to make time to plan what you need to accomplish in the week or month, but when you keep coming back to the planning table, you start to lose a lot of productive hours. So stop planning, and start doing more. While you might have a task that you keep telling yourself you don’t have to do now, that task isn’t going away, and somebody (maybe you) is going to eventually have to account for it. So, instead of procrastinating, get it done.
2. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything: The difference between successful and very successful people, Warren Buffett once said, is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything. While saying yes might sound easier than saying no, every time you agree to do something for somebody that yields no result, it makes it more difficult to have a schedule that you’ll be able to control. With a controlled schedule, you’ll be able to accomplish more if you know what you have to do, when you have to do it and what you plan on accomplishing.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist: If you keep chasing perfection, then it’ll take longer to get tasks done, meaning that you’ll get behind and probably end up less productive than intended, since striving for perfection means that you’ll spend more time on a single task than required. This will cause you to lose time and possibly annoy your coworkers in the process.
4. Get everything out of your head: If you rely too heavily on your memory, it will fail you when you need it most. Instead, you should write things down. There are hundreds of options for taking notes, ranging from sticky notes to mobile apps such as Evernote, Any.do and Wunderlist. If you jot down everything that needs to get done in the week, then you’ll have a better idea of where you need to focus.
5. Review and measure your accomplishments: Just before you close the week and prepare for the upcoming week, review your achievements, as well as everything else you need to do, to see if you really got all of your work done. Celebrate your accomplishments, take note of what you postponed and learn from your mistakes, so that you’ll be able to prepare for the upcoming week.