Oh Mondays. As much we dread you, you do present the chance for a fresh start. Every Monday is the opportunity to grab a new week by the horns and make the most of it. But how? There are some strategies that can help you be productive and get the most out of your workday.

apt34_5 ways to be productiveStart your day with something creative. It can be very easy to feel like you need to dive into your to-do list first thing. Or open your inbox. But that can dictate your entire day. Suddenly, you’re no longer proactively attacking projects but instead reacting to the demands of others. Instead, carve out an hour at the start of your day to work on a creative idea, make progress on a larger project or work towards a deadline.

Have a to-do list, but with no more than 3 MUST-do’s. It’s always a good idea to have your priorities written down, but then you can cut that list down even more. A massive t0-do list can actually be a bit paralyzing. Instead, write down the 2-3 things you must accomplish today. Even better – write them down the night before – that way they’re off your mind, helping you sleep better. You’d be amazed at the sense of accomplish you feel once you’ve checked those 2-3 critical things off your list. Everything else after that is an added bonus.

Don’t let email take over. Your inbox can quickly turn into a death spiral. If you’re obsessed with getting it to zero or feel like every message requires an immediate response it’s nearly impossible to get into a flow. Instead of jumping at every ping, instead carve out certain times of day to check and respond to email. It could be 15 minutes every hour or maybe once in the morning, once after lunch, once before you end your day. Whatever your plan – have one. Otherwise your inbox ends up running your life.

Just say no to social media. Similarly, social media is a black hole that will drain your energy and steal your time. So just don’t do it. There’s no need to be on Facebook during the day. Instagram, while great is really just a distraction. And don’t even get me started on Snapchat. But people’s stories last for 24 hours so you can wait until the evening to indulge. If you really want to get work done, staying off social networks is your best bet.

Give yourself space to explore (but not procrastinate.) Structure your day to allow for a little discovery. Perhaps after you’ve worked on your big project, done your first round of email checking and have completed one (or even two!) of the key items on your to-do list, give yourself a little time for inspiration. The key word here is a little. Set a timer for 15, maybe 20 minutes, and use that time to check out Pinterest, look through a magazine, peruse other blogs. Whatever it is that helps you feel inspired. But when that time goes off, it’s time to get back to the task at hand. No rabbit holes.

Practice these techniques for a few days and you’ll be amazed at what you get done!

For more work related tips & tricks and behind the scenes of the business of blogging, CLICK HERE.

image via domino

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