Monday, February 16, 2009

Mondays Are For Ambition

Mondays are great days. You have the whole week in front of you - 5 whole days in which to accomplish many good things.

I love Mondays.

Mondays are when you can tackle that project that's going to take several days because, hey, no weekend to derail your thought. You can put the petty things off a couple days because you can do that and it'll still get done this week. Mondays are for ambition.

The trick, then, is how to preserve that ambition. How do you get in and actually do all these things you think you can do?

I don't claim to have all the answers, but here's what works for me:
  • Take Monday morning to clear the decks. I happen to have a Monday morning meeting, so I get that out of the way. I look at automated tests from the weekend. I put things that came up over the weekend into the appropriate buckets.* All this takes me through noonish.
  • Start on Monday. Monday afternoon I block a big chunk of time out on my calendar for projects. I tell everyone no interruptions unless the building is burning down for four hours on Monday afternoons. Email goes off, IM goes off, I put my headphones in. This is project time - let's do something with that ambition.
  • Wrap up the day with little stuff. I reserve an hour at the end of the day for little stuff that has accumulated. This last hour is when I'll answer emails, deal with crises not involving burning buildings, etc. If I don't take this hour I find I spend the previous four hours worrying that I'm going to miss something and make Tuesday suck. Giving myself time to deal with it on Monday frees me to focus before I have to deal with whatever it is.
There's no rocket science hear, but I do love when you can start a week with getting something substantial done. Use the ambitious Monday!

* My buckets for prioritizing tasks are labelled "now!", "should happen soon", "that's nice" and "eh".

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