The beginning of a workweek is hectic for most people, and it’s no different in HR. Nothing quite throws you off your game as showing up Monday morning and unexpectedly learning that two employees have quit. Here are a few thoughts on how you can make your Mondays a little less manic.
Start preparing early
At the end of the week, take a little bit of time to clear your desk and tie up loose ends. If you’re in the middle of a project at the close of business on Friday, get yourself to a logical stopping point. Make notes of where you need to pick up when you return. Set reminders on your phone/calendar for the following week. Then, clean your desk off. Nothing makes a Monday a little more manageable than a clear surface greeting you in the morning.
Use your time over the weekend to handle things that may distract you during the week. Then, spend a little time on Sunday getting ready for the big day. If you can get through any of your emails, you will be able to hit the ground running Monday morning. Also, consider getting to work 30 minutes early to start the week. That little bit of extra time could mean the difference between beginning your day with a frown or a smile.
Make a list
I am a huge proponent of lists. I love marking things off of them. It gives me a sense of power over my work, and that feeling is magnified when things appear overwhelming. Make a To-Do List for your week. Then, take that list and break it down into manageable parts that you can accomplish on a daily basis.
One suggestion that may help you accurately schedule tasks is to keep track of how long it takes you to work through your routine duties. If you only schedule an hour to enter and review payroll, but it really takes you three hours to do it, you will be perpetually behind schedule.
Emails can be a major time suck, even when you tackle some of them the night before your workweek begins. Schedule times throughout the course of the day to address email messages rather than handling them as they come in, which takes you away from some other task you’re trying to mark off your list.
Finally, when you make your schedule, work on projects requiring the most brain power when you are at your best. If you hit the 2 p.m. slump like I do, set aside that time for one of your more mundane tasks.
Learn from your mistakes
At the end of the day, see where and how you were derailed from your list. Is there something you could do differently to make sure this doesn’t happen to you tomorrow? You may find that a few tweaks to your schedule enables you to maintain higher productivity. Don’t accept defeat. After all, Monday is never more than a week away.