Most of us start Monday morning with good intentions for a productive workweek, but it’s easy for that focus to drift away by lunchtime. Here are six tips to make the most of your Monday and the rest of your workweek.

1. Make lists and set goals

When the number of tasks for the week is overwhelming and you don’t know where to start, make a list. Writing down exactly what you need to accomplish each day of the week will help you break things down into manageable chunks. Prioritize items based on their due dates. Then, get to work. Checking off completed tasks will make you feel accomplished!

2. Take short breaks

Working for hours at a time without a mental break isn’t a great way to boost your productivity. In fact, your mental alertness decreases as time goes by. For this reason, take a short break every 60 to 90 minutes to clear your head. Listen to a favorite song, take a brisk walk or enjoy lunch away from your desk.

3. Declutter your workspace

When your desk is full of extra papers or other items that require your attention, it’s easy to lose focus. Take a little time first thing on Monday morning (if Friday afternoon was too hectic) to organize your workspace, throw out papers you no longer need, read any unopened emails and get a fresh start for the week ahead.

4. Disconnect to boost your focus

Whether a deadline is looming or you’re having trouble getting the creative juices flowing, a great way to boost your focus is to disconnect. If you’re working on your computer, close out your email, change your status on instant messenger to “do not disturb” and close extra windows. Consider turning off push notifications on social media or news apps on your smartphone, too.

5. Organize your email inbox

If you’re like most people, your email inbox can feel like a giant to-do list that never ends. Emails flooding your inbox while you are trying to accomplish other tasks can be distracting and give you that overwhelming feeling that you’ll never be able to catch up. Here are some ways to control the chaos:

  • Schedule time each day to check your inbox.
  • Unsubscribe from marketing and promotional emails you don't need.
  • Use folders to filter your incoming emails by sender or subject.
  • Use separate email accounts for work and personal correspondence.

6. Try single-tasking

We’ve all heard about multitasking. In fact, most of us do it daily when we send emails while eating lunch or respond to emails during meetings.

Mono-tasking, also known as single-tasking, is the practice of dedicating yourself to a task until it is complete. Start small, even just 15 minutes a day, until you’re able to focus completely on one single project until it’s finished. Replacing multitasking with mono-tasking can make a huge difference in your productivity and help decrease your stress.

Mondays often seem overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Taking small steps to ensure that you have a productive workweek will help keep you on track. 

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