The Secret to a Better Monday Morning for Managers

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It is 8:00 a.m. on a Monday morning. You have just gotten settled into the office, opened your email, and already have had a few employees stop by to see you. Your first of many back-to-back meetings begins at 9:00, and your to-do list is continuing to grow by the minute with every email, phone call, and impromptu employee visit.

As you begin to realize how busy this week will be, your stress level quickly rises and your high hopes of getting last week’s tasks knocked out early are immediately extinguished. Further, the following thoughts come to the forefront of your mind: 

  • When will I have time to connect with my people? 
  • Will they know that I appreciate the work they do, even if I’m not around to tell them so? 
  • When will I have time to catch up on miscellaneous items and complete major tasks?

Unfortunately, this is the reality of a typical Monday morning for most managers. This begs the question: As a manager, how can you set yourself up for a great week on Monday so that you will be able to knock out your to-do list, complete sundry tasks, and most importantly, make sure that your people are well taken care of?
Recently, I published a blog post called “The Morning Routine of a Ground Floor Leader.” I outlined a strategy that you could leverage to get your morning off to a great start by spending a few minutes with your people to let them know that you care about their well-being. The first component of this routine is to set aside 30 minutes to get settled, answer emails, and prepare yourself for the week. However, if you want to get your week off to a great start, I would encourage you to make time during this 30-minute window to create a weekly productivity plan on Monday morning.

If you are looking for some resources on how to get organized and be more productive, Andrew Heim’s Productivity Sheet is a great place to start. This resource includes space for you to categorize your tasks for the week into four major areas and make a checklist for each one. If you are someone who is striving to be a Ground Floor Leader, I would encourage you to begin by starting with these categories:

  • People I Need to Thank: Who needs your support and appreciation this week? If you are looking to get more out of your people, consider the ROI of taking the time to create handwritten Thank You notes.
  • Touch Point Meetings I Need to Schedule: Are there any employees you need to connect with? If you aren’t already having touch point meetings, consider reasons why they are crucially important.
  • Major Tasks I Need to Complete: What major tasks are critical to get done and need to go to the top of your priority list?
  • Miscellaneous Items I Need to Address: Are there any extra items you need to get done that seem to always be at the bottom of your to-do list? Write these items down and make a plan to get them done.

If you can make a plan to start your Monday off with an intentional routine, you are sure to have a more successful week. Looking for more resources on how to create a morning routine? Check out Andrew Heim’s FREE e-book on how to have a great morning each and every day.

About the Author
Dan Schwartz is a university relations specialist with BKD CPAs and Advisors. In his role, Dan plays an active role in developing brand awareness through recruitment marketing, sourcing strategies, social media campaigns, report generation, and support of the university relations team. Dan has published articles, books, videos, and podcasts related to career development and leadership development. He is the author of TD at Work: Managing as a Ground Floor Leader, Winning Strategies: Achieving Success in the Classroom, Career and Life and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing a Job You'll Love.
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