It’s Monday—the day that many of us begin our workweek—and I’m already tired.
I don’t know about you, but my days off are often just as packed with activity my workdays, which can leave me feeling sluggish at the start of the week.
Don’t get me wrong: I love days off just as much as the next guy (maybe more).
But a weekend full of soccer games, outdoor play, cooking, cleaning, and late night movies can lead to diminished concentration and motivation when Monday morning rolls around.
If this sounds familiar, it’s no wonder you’re dreading the alarm clock that signals the start of another hectic day ahead!
The typical work environment can be best described in one word: REACTIVE.
With so many distractions pulling your attention in different directions, it can be difficult to focus and be productive. This is the “norm” in most work environments, so it is essential to develop the ability to concentrate and rest your mind in one place.
Effective leadership requires not only that you lead others, but that you know how to lead yourself and your own energy to get the best results.
So how can you ramp up your energy, boost your concentration, and set the tone for a productive week? Try these 3 tips.
(P.S. these will work ANY day of the week, so no excuses!)
1. Make a plan.
Give yourself the time and permission to slow down and prepare to work productively.
I coach leaders to do a “brain dump” of everything they have on their plate for the week, just to get it out of their heads and into plain sight. From there, delegate what you can to others and prioritize the rest, selecting your top priorities to focus on for the week.
Remember, your energy follows your intention, so be clear on what you need to do (and why) to get the best results!
2. Reset and get grounded.
Your awareness and attention are the most powerful tools you possess.
To begin to guide your attention and concentration, just try closing your eyes and listening to the various sounds around you: the fan blowing, others typing or talking in the background, or birds chirping outside.
I recommend taking a few minutes at the start of your day to tune in to yourself before you begin anything else.
- Check in with your physical body and feel any discomfort that might be there and let it relax.
- Check in with your mind, paying attention to any thoughts, worries, planning, or restlessness release them.
Many leaders carry thoughts and emotions from one situation to the next which can [negatively] impact their interactions. Create space to reset between meetings to get your energy in the right place to optimally focus in the next situation.
(Need help? Try using Speedy Meetings to give yourself a buffer or have your assistant protect time to chill for a few.)
There are often situations at work that cause you to feel angry, anxious or worried. When this happens, you breathe more shallowly, decreasing the amount of oxygen in your system.
When you’re frustrated, taking a few deep breaths really can help you calm down and make better decisions.
It’s not rocket science, but breathing is essential, and research shows that most of us are doing it wrong.
The average person takes about 12-20 breaths per minute, which is faster than what’s recommended for optimal health. Learning to control your breathing can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve digestion.
TIP: Guided meditation on the go! Buddhify includes varying lengths of meditations for all sorts of situations.
Work doesn’t have to be so reactive. (I promise! You don’t have to “do it like everyone else.”)
When you take control of your energy and attention you will be surprised how productive and motivated you feel to hit the ground running again tomorrow!