This week the post tackles 8 tips for a more productive week. We’ve all had to face those dreaded Monday mornings. Hitting the snooze for the third time in the last half an hour, reluctantly rolling out of bed, staggering into the shower while your little dog is begging you for her breakfast and if you’re me, managing to hit your head on the door frame on the way to the bathroom. Urgh! You’re starting to regret saying; “Just one more episode, then I’ll go to bed.”. Darn, that Making a Murderer on Netflix is addictive! Your searching frantically for your trusted meeting outfit which you find at the bottom of your washing basket still covered in the coffee you tipped over it last time and to make matters worse, you’ve just noticed it’s pouring down outside. It’s not the best start to the day.
Is there anybody out there sighing right now because it seems so familiar? It’s alright. Everybody has been there at least once, maybe even more than once, maybe everyday? So fear not, there is a solution. All you have to do is take a beat from your lazy weekend or Friday afternoon to organize your new week and your mornings might not be so traumatic. Have a look at 8 tips for a more productive week and hopefully leaving the house with a nice bruise on your head, an empty stomach and a less than cheerful mood will be a thing of the past! Don’t worry, you can still have your lazy pyjama day wearing your big fluffy slippers whilst drooling into your Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s over Channing Tatum’s dance moves. You can even have your sit back in your game chair day shouting at strangers through massive headphones.
Tip 1: Check your outfit
Spontaneity is always appreciated when it comes to outfits. Sometimes, the best looks are the ones that have just been thrown together in all of thirty seconds but if you’re heading to work or on your way to very important meeting the last thing you want to be doing at the very last minute is staring at a dirty shirt in one hand and a wrinkled pair of trousers in the other. Planning you outfit the night before can save a heck of a lot of time and it can also save you some major stress. Check that your outfit is fit for wherever you are heading, whether you’re going to a meeting or heading into the office for a sit down working day. A good outfit day might just mean a good working day.
Tip 2: Plan your meals
We all have those days where we’re so rushed that we barely make it to the kitchen in the morning and if we do, we quickly fling open the doors to the cupboards and dump something that’s in a packet or a tin straight into the bottom of our bags, because it’s the easiest and quickest option to take. I bet some of you, come lunchtime spend a ridiculous amount on a sandwich at work or head out to the nearest takeaway? This doesn’t have to be you. All you have to do is set aside ten minutes from your Sunday and prepare yourself a healthy meal plan for the week. It’s as easy as pie. Planning healthy snacks will definitely boost your mood and productivity during long working days. You’ll do so much better on a Monday morning. Just think how good it will feel to pull out a healthy homemade lunch from your bag instead of having to spend money on something from a vending machine.
Tip 3: Get a check-list going
I’ve mentioned in a previous post my love of post-its. Make a list of all the things that need to be done on a Monday morning and write it down. Post it’s optional. Or if you’re super organised, do it last thing on a Friday. Even if it is something as small as re-naming a file on your computer or returning someones voicemail. The small things are the ones that we easily forget because we think that we’ll remember them anyway. Yet we find ourselves forgetting the most simple of tasks. It’s a nightmare. If you plan all your tasks for Monday morning and then slowly tick them off one by one as you go along, you know exactly what you’ve done and what you have left to do. It’s also super satisfying when you’ve completed them all.
Tip 4: Have a clean out
It may be a good idea to clear and organise your work space so that you don’t waste valuable working time cleaning your work area on a Monday before you can actually get any sort of real work done. We all know how cleaning a room goes. We spend ages creating a ‘clean room’ playlist on Spotify, we start to clean up, removing those crumpled up pieces of paper with discarded ideas, clearing the coffee mugs, tidying the business cards from last weeks networking events. The next thing you know, three of your all-time favourite songs come on in a row and you’ve now sang for about 10 minutes in the mirror with a hairbrush in your hands. That’s not something you want to be doing on Monday. It’s happened to us all. A clean environment will not only encourage a clean mind, but, it will also keep you focused on your Monday tasks. Get your workspace clean and organised so you don’t have to spend time doing something that should have been done yesterday.
Tip 5: Get out and be social
We’ve all had days where there is just so much work to do that we seem to cut ourselves off from the world completely and lock ourselves away for the week. We want nothing more than for the work to be over and done with. However if you work most of the week and you work alone, perhaps Sunday should be your social day. You’re allowed to have them you know. It’s perfectly normal and acceptable and actually a necessity for your sanity! Ensure that your body is getting fresh air, hydration and plenty of socialising so that your brain is working properly. Nobody wants to be cooped up in a room with nobody to talk to all day especially if that’s what you’re going to be doing all week! Make sure you see some friends and get out and see the world!
Tip 6: You’ve got mail
These days you sign up and subscribe to so many things that your poor email account just gets bombarded with thousands and thousands of emails left, right and centre. Sometimes, the most important emails that you need to see on a Monday morning are wedged between the hundreds of sale emails from every store known to man. It’s just one big mail explosion. Picture this, whilst scrolling to find the email you need for a very important meeting, you accidentally open an email that displays the latest offer that’s going on in your favourite tech or stationary store. I dare you not to get distracted. That’s not the ideal situation now is it? Something that you can do on a Sunday to ensure that emails you may need for Monday are right at the top, is sorting through them. Perhaps create folders for all your promotion emails if you want to check them out. Maybe highlight your most important emails and get rid of all that unnecessary junk. It may sound like a pain, but it’ll be worth it!
Tip 7: Schedule some social media
I must emphasise the ‘some’ here. We all know that social media is a huge and important part of running a business and in truth it could be a full time job. If you’re like me, you’ve got a great deal of other things to be doing so getting distracted by twitter posts won’t allow you to be that super productive person on Monday morning. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t rely on scheduled post to run a successful social media campaign. However, it can help take the pressure off through the week. Arrange some scheduled tweets throughout the week just to keep your content up so that if you get waylaid by an important deadline, your social media accounts don’t go silent. At least you know you’re contributing something. You can use Sprout or Hootsuite for scheduling. If you’re not a fan of that, make sure you plan a certain amount of time to spend on your social media so you don’t end up on twitter for 6 hours of your day when you should have been dealing with that deadline.
Tip 8: Think positive
Spending all of your Sunday stressing about Monday isn’t going to help you in any way at all. If anything, it will ruin your weekend. That’s not what you want or need. Be positive. Do something that you enjoy, something that relaxes you. Treat yourself to hot bubble both with some wine and that book you’ve been trying to get into. Or maybe a quiet night in with a takeaway and Netflix, there’s bound to be a movie that you haven’t seen or episodes that you need to catch up on. Spend time with friends and take your dog for a long walk. Enjoy your downtime and be happy. Once you’ve relaxed, you’ll be in a much calmer, happier and positive place to plan for Monday. It really does work. Positivity is always the best approach. Having a positive mind can easily change the way a scenario looks. Stop with the cant’s and start with the cans. You can do it!
So, there are 8 tips for a more productive week in the office or studio whether you work in an office or at home all on your lonesome. There are so many more we could talk about but that’s probably enough for now to get used to. Drag yourselves off the sofa, get these done and head out and enjoy your weekend. Tomorrow, will be so much easier if you do.