Ignore these two zaney characters, Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be the most productive days of the week. Of course, the day you are most productive depends on what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with. But here are some factors that lead to a productive day:
The environment in which you do your work affects how you do your work. This is why many people like to read, focus, or study in a library or other quiet place and do more active design work with music or in a busy coffee shop. Mondays are hectic and that frantic pace helps you pick up yours.
Constant interruptions kill productivity to the point where it takes up to 15 minutes to get back on track. If everybody is busy with their frenzied Mondays, they are more preoccupied with their tasks and fires and tend to leave you alone.
I personally don’t like to check or send emails over the weekend. But many people do. So on Monday morning, you are likely to see more emails than usual. There’s something about coming across an inbox full of emails that kickstarts your sense of urgency. The underlying message that hits our subconscious is ‘you are important, the work you do is important, and your skills are needed,’ all which caters to intrinsic motivation to do our good work.
The first thing I do on a Monday morning is look at my calendar for the week. How many meetings are occurring on which days? Are there some days I am not in the office at all? What days can I reasonably expect to get any real work done and how much? This is simple planning, and while ideally I’d start every day that way, realistically, it is most likely to get done on a Monday. And as anyone who has managed a project knows, the amount of planning you do on the front end usually shortens the amount of work and headaches that crop up later on. Planning focuses your attention and directs it to the most strategic priorities (as opposed to urgent!) first.
Quite possibly the biggest contributor to a productivity boost on Monday is the refreshing break you just got (as long as you didn’t work all weekend too!). Taking your mind off of a project while resting or refocusing on something else allows your brain to piece together odds and ends to the point where the problem makes more sense and is more easily solvable when you come back to it.
What is your most productive day of the week and why?