Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting revved up for 'the daily grind'

It's Monday! First day of the week--shouldn't we all be up and about first thing in the morning? With energy! gumption! pizzaz! POWER!

Not all Mondays are so powered up. Actually, most Mondays are sluggish--people call the condition "Monday blues," which I presume gives rise to concepts like "weekend hangover" and cartoon characters like the Sourpuss in Patrick McDonnell's Mutts Comics.

But just because Mondays get bad rap from other people doesn't mean you should treat your Mondays the same way! Start the week right; get up on time and put on a smile--and this small thing determines the success of the week ahead. Here are things I find helpful in getting good work done during those first hours of the work week:
  1. Make a routine and stick to it. You know how some cars won't start and run well without a warm up? It's the same with people. So make a routine that acts as a warm up for you. Here's what I do: a) Do something to look fresh and awake--put on makeup! b) Clean the office desk by clearing away the things you don't need and wiping dust off computer. c) Make a to-do list and promise to accomplish everything in it that very day.
  2. No to "Just 5 minutes"! Sometimes, we feel we need a break. Maybe just a few games of Angry Birds, or 5 minutes on Facebook. Just posting one little thing on Twitter. But those five minutes can easily turn to 20 or 30! Next time you get the urge for a 5-minute break, do something that ends naturally like getting a drink of water, eating a banana, or picking out some easy thing to do from your to-do list (like calling somebody to set a meeting?) and accomplishing it first just to break the monotony. If you do this, you can be sure the "just 5 minutes" will really be just 5 minutes--and you can finish more things.
  3. Watch the clock. Counting the minutes may be a bad habit, especially if you're just waiting till the go-home bell rings and you're off the hook trying to look busy. But if you really make yourself busy, if you really set yourself to finish the tasks for the day, you'll need to watch the clock differently! Try to accomplish your list before 5pm or 5:30pm (or whatever time you're supposed to be finished) so that the few minutes you have left before the bell rings can be used to plan ahead.
  4. Don't forget to pray! Without this, your work will just be that: work. But if you pray and offer all the work you do for the people you love, then the work becomes something special. Plus, if you keep this in mind, you then won't be able to bear leaving that work poorly accomplished--after all, you don't give gifts that are second-rate! :-)
Happy Monday!

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