Monday Motivation: Juggling Priorities

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on July 13, 2020

Monday motivation, we need it, stat! There is so much going on in the world that we need a bright spot to shine light through the darkness. Here’s a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

Spinning plates

Have you ever heard the expression “spinning plates?” It’s a reference to circus acts in the past where jugglers would expertly toss plates up into the air then set them spinning on long-handled poles. Somehow, the plates continued to spin and never dropped. If you’re seeking a Monday motivation goal, you can aspire to be like David Spathaky who holds the Guinness World Record for spinning – wait for it – 108 plates at the same time. Something to aim for …

But, if you’re like the rest of us mere mortals and that’s 100 too many plates to spin, then you’re likely grappling with managing everything that is on your plate already. That’s right. Most of us have a mix of work, family, personal interests, exercise, friends, school and other obligations that routinely get stacked up on our plates. The first step, as they say, is admitting that you have a problem! I’ve reached my quota. My plate is full (overflowing, in fact) so I’m in the process of eating the stuff that I like and scraping off the stuff that I don’t.

Monday motivation tips to help you prioritize

None of us can do everything and making choices – that is, setting priorities – is a challenging skill to master. Founders of startups struggle with prioritization because every task equates to something on fire. However, even forest fires are categorized from raging inferno to smoking and sparking, so remember that when you’re trying to plan out your day. Monday motivation is all about learning new skills then finding places to apply them. Especially when the effort doesn’t feel like learning!

#1 – do the ugliest task first

This relates to one of my favorite tips from Coach Brian Tracy about procrastination. Generally, we put off whatever it is that we don’t like doing. His sage advice is to “eat that frog.” And yes, the visual that comes to mind of a slimy frog kicking all the way down your throat pretty much sums up how we feel about ugly tasks. The whole point is to get the ugliest, most pressing task done first. Once that task has been knocked out, you have mental and physical space to think about the next task.

#2 – consolidate

No, this doesn’t mean consolidate all of your pressing tasks into one monster priority (because that would make your head spin!), but it does mean spending time the night before or Sunday night or early Monday morning getting organized. Go through all your emails, texts, Slacks, and every other mode of e-Communication that people ping you on. Sort it out, pluck out the gems and the To Do’s and then list everything in one place. Scrap paper, a project management or e-workbook tool or whatever – it doesn’t matter – but you have to see everything that is due that day or that week in one place.

#3 – use a prioritization matrix

Alright, we’re probably approaching head-spinning territory here but, if you’re really stumped and every task looks like a fire that desperately needs to be put out, then consider Stephen Covey’s Prioritization Matrix from his insanely popular and helpful coaching book, “7 Habits of Highly Effectively People.” With a bit of thought (see Tip #2 above), you can figure out what must be done – if you take some time to list out everything that has to be done, organize it and evaluate each task relative to the same set of metrics to assess urgency.

If you want a simpler approach, label each task with either a “U” for “urgent” or an “I” for “important.” It won’t take long before what you have to accomplish today, or this week becomes crystal clear.

I know this is tough! Most of my days blur from one task to another but I get ridiculous amounts of tasks done each day because I organize – and prioritize – everything. The hard part that needs a little finesse is explaining why someone else’s priority, isn’t yours? That’s fodder for a future Monday motivation topic. It’s time to get your plates spinning!

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

podcast with Loralyn Mears

Have a fabulous week!

Lead image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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