It’s Monday morning, you log on to ready for the week ahead. You’re telling yourself that this week you WILL get through your never ending “things to do” list.
You’ll be on it, super productive and motivated. But, secretly, you know you won’t get through it all. A little bit of you dies inside at the thought of trying (again!)
Why? Because NO ONE ever does! We set ourselves up to fail. We overwhelm our brains, bouncing from task to task, setting unrealistic expectations and then berating ourselves when inevitably we fall short.
Sound familiar? Read on, there is another way.
A brain friendly, research informed strategy that I created for my Work Happy Club members and each Monday morning they keep coming back. Why? Because it works, let me share it with you!
- Look in the rear-view mirror.
“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way” they say.
I agree in many ways, forward momentum is totally the way to achieve your goals. But if we don’t pause and reflect, we miss the opportunity to notice the good stuff. We miss the opportunity to feel accomplished. We also plough on doing what we’ve always done – whether it works or doesn’t.
I’ve not got time for that?
What if I told you that I allow just 2 mins for this review in my 20 min Goal Getter session.
What 3 things did I achieve last week. How did I achieve them?
What didn’t go to plan last week, what was hard? What can I learn from that?
What do I need to just let go?
- Tap into the feels
How do I want to feel this week?
Jump off the hamster wheel long enough to consider what you want from this week ahead. We all naturally “future focus” – we count down to the weekend, holidays, even retirement but THIS IS IT.
This week is one of your c.4000 weeks on this planet. How will you make it count?
How do I want to feel this week? How will I achieve this?
- What is my #1 Thing?
This is the key to feeling accomplished. We need to root out the significant stuff from all the noise and clutter that fills our “things to do” list.
What is the one, single most important thing that you need to do? (you can do this monthly/weekly/daily, even hourly!)
Why is it significant? What will achieving it mean to you, your job, your business, life in general?
How will you feel when you have accomplished it?
Now break it down. Make it as easy and enjoyable as possible.
- Work in sprints, not marathons.
If you’re in the office, look around you. Studies show that today’s workforce are only thinking about what they are actually doing, 50% of the time. Yep, for the other 50% we are daydreaming.
Our minds have meandered off on auto-pilot thinking about anything but the task in hand. Retaining attention is the work of the frontal cortex a super energy-hungry part of the brain. During the workday, it is working damn hard to keep you on task, prioritise, problem solve and regulate your emotions.
Your brain needs a rest. Create space for intentional mind wandering. Work in sprints, not marathons.
Can you chunk up your day into a series of sprints?
30-45 mins of distraction free, focused work…then reward yourself with a cuppa in the sunshine or walk around the block and give that brain the rest it needs to re-charge and tap into creative or solutions thinking!
- Word up!
There is a lot of clutter in our thoughts, things to do, reactions to events, our brain is an incredibly busy place.
So, let’s give it something to keep coming back to. This simple way of anchoring the brain on an intention has so much empirical grounding – whether seen as spiritual or a psychological intervention, creating a mantra or intention will help you brain anchor it’s focus on what is important.
What is your word of the week? What is your intention for this week?
Write it down, stick it on your bathroom mirror, your laptop screen – where ever you will see it most frequently.
I lead a 20 minute session, on Zoom, every Monday at 9.15am GMT where I guide The Work Happy Club members through this process to kick start their week with full intention and focus.
If you fancy joining us to see what it is all about, I am opening up the sessions for you to come along, donating 100% of the £4 fee to MIND.