If you’ve already attended one of the free Monday Hour One workshops, you’re well on your way to an incredible Monday Hour One practice.
Remember: You can learn to be on or off, not in that awkward in-between, “dim” place.
Here are my answers to the most frequently asked Monday Hour One questions:
Do I need to do this on Monday morning?
Nope. You can do it any time, but I do recommend that you choose a date and time and stick to it.
How much should I time block?
The short answer: You’ll have to experiment with this for yourself.
The longer answer: I’m not about hustling 24/7 (in fact, I firmly believe you should schedule down time first), but I actually do think that you can likely handle more than you think you can.
When you remove the constant stress of having to choose what to do in the moment, you just get to work. It’s so much more efficient, which means you can often take on more.
What should I do about small tasks? What about big ones?
I always ask, “Would Future Me who is doing this work block know exactly what to do?”
How should I handle recurring things?
I keep a running list of recurring things I know I want to schedule every week. (Morning pages, meditation, groceries, etc.)
Decision fatigue happens, so if scheduling recurring things at the same time each week frees up your brain space and creative energy, why not?
Many people think this is constraining, but I think of it like this: The more I plan, the more energy I have available for what I truly want to accomplish.
When you hit a “flow state” in a task, do you extend the task or stop at the end of your allotted time and go on to the next task on your list?
I love this question. People who have experienced “flow”—that place where you’re so engaged that you lose track of time—tend to crave it. We also tend to see it as a fleeting thing that we can’t quite pin down.
Here’s my philosophy: I want to be able to produce a flow state on demand. This puts me back in control, instead of being at the whim of flow.
So, at the end of my scheduled block, I move on, knowing that I can tap into flow at (almost) any time.
I use my guide for how to get into a deep work state in 15 minutes to channel flow on demand.
What do I do about unexpected interruptions?
Start here: Ask yourself to get honest about what percent of “unexpected interruptions” are truly unexpected.
I asked a client this question recently, and she admitted that she could likely anticipate about 95% of the things she had previously been calling unexpected.
Then ask yourself to come up with strategies both for handling every interruption that you can anticipate, and for the interruptions that you couldn’t have anticipated.
I love the “Accept, reject, counteroffer” method: When someone interrupts you, take back your power by making an active choice on whether to accept, reject, or counteroffer their request.
Pro tip: Be sure to schedule in overflow time, to accommodate things that will inevitably pop up. (Be sure to check in with yourself to make sure that it’s actually a priority.)
How should I process new incoming tasks throughout the week?
I recommend adding them to one running list—I keep mine in a Google Doc.
This reassures your brain that you’ve got it covered and won’t forget.
If you think it needs to get done this week, pause to make sure you like that decision.
How do I get back on track if I fall off?
Notice how you think and talk about it:
- “My whole day is shot.”
- “Everything got derailed.”
- “Life just happens.”
- “I just didn’t get to any of it.”
- “Everything just snowballed.”
These kinds of thoughts do two things: Make things outside of your control, and conflate a ton of different moments into one big problem.
Track back to the first turning point. Where is the first place that you got off plan, and why?
Remember: Every single moment is a decision. Pick one decision to understand more fully.
I’m struggling with the concept of stating something will take a certain amount of time—then sticking to it.
You will get this wrong, a bunch of times. Let’s all agree on that 🙂
Now, here are a few ideas:
- Break down tasks into the smallest possible action steps, like “Open Google Doc.” This helps you understand the task, and all of its pieces.
- Once you’ve done that, ask yourself what obstacles might crop up between you and finishing the task. Strategize for those.
- Pay attention to why you didn’t wrap up the task when you said you would. Were you thinking it’s not yet perfect? Did you allow yourself to get distracted? Did you not truly understand the task enough to start with? Were you afraid that if you walked away, all of your good ideas would disappear?
- Bring in Oprah: If she promised you a million dollars if you got it done in the time you allocated, would you get it done?
What if I have to turn down cool opportunities?
UGH. You might have to. I struggle here, too. Here are the thoughts that I choose to think:
- “Saying no to the good makes space for the great.”
- “I’ve never run out of good ideas or opportunities. They’re a renewable resource.”
- “Trying everything means nothing gets done spectacularly.”
- “Every opportunity I turn down opens up space for someone else.”
- “I can say no now, and yes later.”