If you haven’t seen Office Space, do it. I’ll wait.
OK, now that you’ve seen the movie you’ll get the “someone has a case of the Mondays” reference. People always ask me why my Twitter stream on Mondays appears to be so negative. The answer lies in the fact that I structure my weeks so that they move from very heavy on meetings at the start to very light by the end. I do that for a lot of reasons, but the biggest is so I earn time to think and reflect at the end of the week. My boss, John Harwood, gave me some great advice when I started in my current position … he told to make sure I leave time for thinking. Not just a little time here and there, but real time. I’ve listened to him and I usually find a way to keep my meetings to an absolute minimum on Fridays. I leave them for community activities like the BS Breakfast and ETS Talk. I leave them open so I can control what goes on the calendar … it makes it easy to have “pop in meetings” with different people or reserve a slot to slide something important into.
But back to Mondays. This week is not too unlike a typical Monday and you can see that I feel as though I earn my Friday time by getting as much done early in the week as possible. I am always a bit stressed on Sunday evenings looking at the week to come, but I can usually start to feel really good about it all by the time I get to Tuesday. Monday is the day I work the hardest to address administrative responsibilities. It gets me ready to deal with what is to come and to report on what happened the previous week. As you can see by the screen capture below, I’m not kidding about the density of Monday … but, it is done for a real reason. As I sit and stare at my calendar I wonder if other people do something similar? Do you stack a certain part of your week so you can spare some time to think? Do you take time to think in a systematic way? Or am I just crazy?