Everyone I know approaches Monday morning with a certain amount of dread. It seems that no matter how old we are or where we are in our careers, weekends still reign supreme as our favorite days of the week. There’s nothing wrong with this except that it makes Monday all the harder.

This used to be the way I approached my week. Do all I could to soak up my Saturday and Sunday only to be filled with a sinking feeling as Sunday evening approached. I say used to because not long ago, one of my mentors shared with me a secret that has made Monday my favorite day of the week.

No, I didn’t rearrange my schedule to have Monday off, and I haven’t completely lost my mind. I simply found the recipe that makes my work week easier and much more fun.

Every Monday morning I take a long hard look at what I need to accomplish that week. I look at my calendar, my project list, my task lists and my goals. It takes about ten minutes to get my head around everything that needs to be done. When I’ve completed getting all of this out of my head and on to paper, I ask myself one question: What’s the one thing on this list that I can do that will make the rest of this easier?

And then I do it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s tempting to do the little and easy things first. Wasting energy like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. But by avoiding this temptation, I do three critical things.

1.    I build self confidence knowing that I had the discipline to do the hardest thing first.

2.    I ease my mind knowing that everything I do from this moment forward will be easier.

3.    I accomplish a lot more important tasks with the rest of my time.

There is so much power in this little simple question that I have found to be the recipe for making my work more productive and enjoyable.  It’s focusing, it’s clarifying and it’s easy to do.

In order to make it work however, you have to capture everything important to you. You have to create a master list of projects and know the actions steps for each of them. You have to keep your calendar updated and you have to allow time, first thing Monday, for accomplishing that major task instead of mindlessly scrolling Facebook hoping it turns to Friday again.

But if you do the work, get everything out of your head and onto paper, ask yourself the question and avoid the temptation to do the easy first, you too can come to enjoy Monday as much as I do.

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