Dernière mise à jour : 17 mai 2022
I used to be very anxious on Sunday nights. I would ruminate over the upcoming week and feel overwhelmed. This prevented me from enjoying my day off, and Mondays were very difficult days. Thankfully, I do not feel this way anymore, and I want to share with you my best tips to start the week right. I would love to help you replace your stress and anxiety with excitement and motivation for the week to come. Are you ready? Let me show you how implementing these 3 tricks will change your weeks!
1. IDENTIFY 3 WEEKLY PRIORITIES
Of all my best tips to start the week right, this is probably the first one that I give to all my clients. I noticed that most people set between 10 and 20 priorities per week. As Eisenhower once said, when everything is important, nothing is. It is normal to have 20 tasks per week, but not 20 priorities.
A priority is not a simple task. A priority is an important or urgent task which is related to a precise objective. I believe that setting the right priorities is the foundation of the planning. I understand that planning the whole week might seem like a huge project when you have never done it in the past, so start here: identify only 3 priorities.
But Emilie, how do I choose? Easy. Look at all the things you want to do for the upcoming week and identify the 3 most important tasks. My suggestion is to focus on the important things that you might avoid doing if you don’t highlight them as a priority. For example, if your boss asked you to complete a report by Friday, if you are professional enough, my guess is that you will submit it on time no matter what. So pick something else. Choose something related to one of your personal or professional goals. One of your long-term goals. However, if you are the kind of person who does not respect your boss’ delays, then you should definitely add this report to your top 3 ;-).
Personally, I like to set important tasks that I am tempted to delay as priorities. Then, every time I see them, clearly identified as a top priority in my planner, I desperately want to mark them as completed. So I find time in my busy week to achieve them.
As a final piece of advice, if you have never worked with 3 priorities in the past, start small and focus on small tasks instead of ambitious projects. And don’t forget, you must identify 3 priorities, not 5 ;-).
2. PLAN YOUR TASKS
When I ask people if they plan their week, most of them say they do. But when I probe a little further, they usually tell me that they only add their appointments and meetings to their schedule.
Planning only the meetings is like planning 50% of your week – or less depending on the number of meetings you have. The moment I started planning all of my tasks in my agenda, down to specific days, my productivity shifted!
So, if you are not planning your meetings yet, please do so. And if you are not planning your tasks, start right now and you will thank me later ;-).
You may say “nah, I’m ok, I have a to-do list”. To-dos are great, but they can be very discouraging when you see, at the end of every day, the number of tasks you did not complete. I want to avoid feeling hopeless (doesn’t that make sense?), so I do not use to-do lists anymore. Instead, I plan each task I wish to accomplish on a specific date. Then, when Monday rolls around, I already know what I must do. Same for Tuesday and every following day of the week.
Of all my best tips to start the week right, this one is probably the most important and the most powerful.
3. SET A POSITIVE INTENTION
Most of us start the week already convinced that we will not have enough time to get all the things done. We are stressed out, we already feel late, and we often focus on emergencies instead of spending time on what we should be doing.
The idea here is to start the week with a positive intention. When I was thinking about my best tips to start the week right, this one came naturally to me. What if you were doing your best? What if you had enough time? What if every challenge you face lead you to an important lesson?
Take a few minutes on Sunday night or on Monday morning to set that intention. You may meditate on it, or write it down in a planner or journal if you have one. This intention practice does not mean that your week will be perfect, but if you face a challenge or have a moment of discouragement, this intention might come back to you and help you through this event.
What I shared above are my best tips to start the week right. Even though I have been a professional planner for more than a decade, I have only been applying these three tips for the last 3 years. Believe me, they are worth trying if you want your productivity to shift, to find time in your week and hit Mondays with confidence.
Does this content feel right to you? If so, make sure to register to my healthy productivity newsletter where I share planning wisdom on a weekly basis. Simply enter your email address and first name in the fields below. This is the perfect follow-up to this blog post and I hope you will join me there!