How do you start your working week?
Do you find what you do on a Monday morning, or maybe even a Sunday evening, sets the tone for the rest of the week and the weeks proceeding?
Today, I wanted to share with you the three things I do every Monday morning. I’ve learned the hard way, that if you start your week off faffing about, the rest of your week doesn’t quite go according to plan and it then becomes very easy to drift through the month, especially if you lack the confidence or clarity on where you are headed.
So over the years I have experimented and worked out what I personally need to do to keep myself on track each and every week. These may not be right for you, but my hope is that by sharing them with you today, they inspire you into reviewing how you start your week and whether there are two or three key things that have to happen to ensure you remain focused and on track.
1) Overview of my business and intentions for the week ahead
I always start my week off with an overview of what is happening short and medium term in my business. I have a Big Vision and a 12-month plan but for my Monday mornings, I focus on what is due to happen over the next 4 to 6 weeks. I review what I have planned and have scheduled in my diary and then I drill down what needs to happen on one piece of paper.
This “one piece of paper” concept is important. I don’t have running to-do lists that go from week to week (these can distract and overwhelm you if you never seem to get the bottom. Read more about how to-do lists distract you here.) and I actually don’t use any fancy online scheduling tools because of the time it used to take me to maintain all the notifications, priority colour changes, etc. I’ve tried various ones but this way just doesn’t work for me.
My intentions for the week get put down on to one A4 sheet of paper, and that sheet remains on my desk until the end of the week or I have completed them all, whichever happens first. I then decide who needs to do each task or short project on that sheet of paper so I either put my initials next to or the initials of somebody else that it needs to be delegated to. So quite often a lot of the things that go down there have the letter A to it, which stands for Alexia, who is my VA and looks after my client and diary management.
This is often a fairly quick exercise taking no more than an hour or so. But sometimes I need a bit warming up; a coffee, sometimes a walk. Depending on my state and such things as where I am in my cycle (yes, tracking my menstrual cycle is important to me as it allows me to flow naturally with my energy as my hormones naturally change over the month. You can read more about marketing with your menstrual cycle here) this can be a real Lean Back energy process to help me drill down what needs happening.
2) Money Management
The second thing I do every Monday morning, is my money management. Now this sounds very grand, but it’s actually really simple. Often it takes me just 10 or 15 minutes to dive in and get this done. I go into my Xero online bookkeeping system, where I have all my bank account reconciliations to check to see what money is coming in and what money is flowing out. I check what I need to still pay for, and what invoices of mine maybe still outstanding. And I also review my revenue spreadsheet so I know how balanced I am moving towards my financial targets for the year.
This simple process gives me a real grounding about where I am financially in my business. It’s what keeps my eye on my profitability. It makes sure I don’t get carried away with all the dozens of ideas and creativity and innovation that I’m always coming up with it, to ensure they financially benchmark against where I’m going from the money side of my business.
When I didn’t do this, I could go weeks before realising that maybe I wasn’t making enough sales or I was overspending. I would often bury my head in the sand, especially when sales weren’t what they could have been, which meant I didn’t have the right energy when I showed up for my sales conversations. So now this money focus happens every single Monday morning.
3) Weekly team meeting
The third thing that I do is I have a zoom conference call with my assistant Alexia. Again, I didn’t really do this for the first eight or nine years of my business. It didn’t seem necessary when it was just the two of us. But this weekly half-hour call has made a huge difference to how we both work together. If you know me personally, or you have worked with me, you know my brain can work incredibly fast. I’m full of ideas; I’m a very creative and innovative person. And the danger of being this way is that I am always racing ahead and Alexia’s trying to keep up; trying to work out where I’m going, and what’s the latest thing I’m doing.
So now having this weekly meeting with her, we run through what’s on my weekly plan, we check in with the medium and longer term schedule of events and marketing campaigns. I share with her any latest ideas or new training events I’m putting on, including any meetings or tasks I’ve put in my diary and explain why I have put them in.
A lot of the time, she may not actually have anything to do with these ideas or appointments in my diary but it is important for her to understand, so she could see what is happening in my head, as well as be able to answer any questions my clients may ask her. Otherwise, when she’s left in the dark, which is not terribly helpful for her to be able to help me and for her to come forward to me and say “Well, I can help you do that” or “Is there anything else I can add value to it?” So this weekly half-hour meeting is really important.
These are the three things I do every Monday. I’d love to know what you do each Monday morning to start your week. Do you do the same things or do you do things differently? Or perhaps this has inspired you to put some regular tasks or appointments in your diary every Monday morning.
What’s important is that you have a regular focus to your Monday morning (or it could be Sunday evening if you prefer – whatever works best for you) that it gets you working on your business, rather then just jumping straight into all the doing your business demands of you. Having this approach will give you that focus; reviewing, and possibly resetting your sales and making sure that you know where are in your journey and bigger plans.
If you don’t have this weekly grounding of planning, scheduling, tasking, working out where the money is, and who in your team needs to do what, it’s really easy to go adrift. It’s really easy to get carried away with ideas or get lost in the confusion and drown under information and feel you have too much to do.
So what can you do on a Monday morning?
Thank you for reading. Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.