Failures are the stepping stones to success
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“Well-planned is half done” and what better day to plan than the first day of the week?
Truth be told, Mondays are hated in the professional world because of the sense of resumption they bring following a weekend break. But for me, and for everyone who loves their job, I believe Monday should be an opportunity to channel that enthusiasm into a practical strategy.
So, here’s a very practical & quick guide to turning the most criticised day of the week into the most productive one.
Goals become plans, plans become actions, and actions turn into results.
So it’s very important to set clear goals for the week. Doesn’t sound so practical huh? Here’s what to do –
- Open a fresh new Google Spreadsheet (or as my boss likes to call it – ‘Monday Morning Meeting Sheet’
- Put down all the things you need to accomplish by the end of the week (make it very realistic please, just like your partner, you should give false hopes to yourself either)
- Give them priority number and keep the first 3 the most important ones
- Put a deadline on it (the most important coz a it helps to provide a time structure)
- Make one column for the status so you know where you stand
- And one last one for comments (can be used for defining your status or describing the task in a much lengthier way)
Now that the big picture for the week is all set, it’s time to dive deep into micro managing yourself.
In the same sheet, make another workbook and name it “Daily Tasks”
- Put all days of the week on the sheet horizontally (in nerdy terms, this is called a ‘Kanban Board’ but it usually involves stage of the work, not day of the week)
- Now, go back to your ‘Task Sheet’ & start picking the tasks as per priorities and allocate the day you’ll work on for that particular task (remember – break down the tasks into as small as you can. For eg: If you need to make a presentation, you can break it further into – research, making a flow for the presentation & designing the slides)
- Divide the tasks in such a manner that neither you get overwhelmed in a day with so much to do nor do you feel bored with so little to do
Coming to the most significant of the all. None of it out of the 2 steps above matter if you don’t put that work into actions, remember, planning is just half the battle won. So here’s an additional step which will hit 2 targets with one arrow.
It’s said that for one to be unproductive in a public environment is quite difficult. So to make it a little public, and to exactly map your time, here’s what you can do –
- Everyday when you sit on your desk, spend the first 10 minutes looking at your ‘Daily Tasks’ and allocate time to it on your calendar
- Ensure you keep your calendar open to your boss / teammates, so there’s a sense of someone a public commitment to it
- For the first few weeks, you will have to put an estimated time of completion for the tasks until you’ll finally know how fast or slow you can do something
- Remember, this is a trial and error method, don’t get disheartened if you’re not being able to complete tasks within the estimated time of completion
And that’s it!
You’re 3 steps away from planning your time and week productively.
In today’s day and age where we’re constantly surounded with chaos all around, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re on the right track. Here are some more points to consider before I end
- I like to keep it simple and hence the tools I use are the most basic ones and are in the ecosystem which is used by my organisation. There are much more fancier and better tools for each of these steps and you’re free to use those if that works for you, what matters is getting shit done
- What may have worked for me might not work for you, but don’t stop experimenting and exploring new ways to being the most productive self
- REMINDER – There will be weeks where despite of having this system, you won’t be able to do justice to it and it’s fine. It’s written in ink and not stone, so being open to reiterations is very important
- Before starting with this process, it’s important for you to know where you want to head or if this plan aligns with your company’s bigger goals, so get a clear brief of things from your superior before starting
- You’re a human, not a robot, so keep some time for your own self to breathe and do quality work (or you know, for the impromptu tasks your boss asks you to do)
- And last but not the least, give it time. It might take several weeks to get your mind set to this process, but I promise you, you will do it someday