Time management Mondays: The start-of-the-week push

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Mondays! This may be the post-holiday weekend talking, but I find, increasingly, when I sit down to work on Mondays, that I spend too much time figuring out what work I should be doing and not enough time doing it.

This task of prioritization is something I used to do on Sunday nights, but for various reasons, it’s not something I find I am generally able to do, or do well, in my post-baby existence. So I need to get more disciplined about doing it the week before, which is tricky, because things can shift over the weekend, with new emails that arrive representing new tasks or potential hierarchical reorderings. But I suspect much of that is just noise, and if I waited till Monday afternoon to incorporate those things into my overall priorities list, nothing much would suffer.

Otherwise, I reach Monday afternoon and start to despair because I still don’t have a clear view of what the week will look like.

Readers, how do you manage the Monday madness?

4 thoughts on “Time management Mondays: The start-of-the-week push

  1. Yes, I agree, multiple sessions.

    While I plan each morning and review every night, they are short quick sessions (5min at most).

    During my intensive weekly review (30min) on Friday afternoons I start shaping the coming week. While my intensive planning session in on Monday morning super early before most everyone else wakes up, I have a tendency to attempt to commit to complete everything by Monday afternoon. I’ll frequently rearrange everything during that early morning session but as I’m not great at balancing the priorities throughout the week, by deciding the week before not to make everything due on Monday … there’s a more even pace to the week. It’s something I’m actively working on improving.

    For me, meal planning (and grocery shopping) occurs most often on Thursday morning and that also ends up a mini review/planning session…

    Good luck!

  2. I highly recommend using Evernote along with the Getting Things Done system. It dramatically speeds up your planning as long as you are keeping up with it all week long. Once you start to realize that it is really simple to add a quick note with a to-do item attached, then you will find yourself using it more and more.

    Also check out http://www.thesecretweapon.org/ to help you integrate GTD with Evernote.

  3. What I want is a good way to note what I need to do over the week without fretting about all of it on Sunday night. I worry I will forget something, even though I use a planner and keep a to-do list. My lists, though, are hard to prioritize because everything seems important on Monday morning. Not all of it needs doing right away, but it’s easy to forget that.

  4. Two planning sessions. Work on Fridays at 4ish, and Family on Sunday whenever I can squeeze it in.

    The Friday planning session is the more critical one. It allows me to walk away from work over the weekend and (almost) not think about it. I also am on-call to remote in on many weekends, and so I need to prepare to bring home details for anything what I might need to do over the weekend if I’m called. If Friday doesn’t happen, Sunday almost never happens because I’m still stuck thinking about work on Sat/Sun.

    The Sunday planning is a bit more havey-cavey. Sometimes it’s just the 20 minutes in the car while DH drives us back and forth to the grocery stores – on the way there I look at the week to decide how many meals to buy for, and then plan out what I’m going to do with what I bought on the way home. Both require reviewing the calendar so I don’t plan intensive meals on heavy days, or waste food when we won’t be home. In summer I review the weather to decide if its a grill night or not. Hubby doesn’t like grilling in the rain – don’t know why 🙂 And I avoid using the oven unless I know it’s going to be below 70 degrees. Just the action of planning the meals tends to bring to the surface whatever else needs to get done.

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