Have you ever felt like this on Monday morning?
When I am in the office, I follow a pretty strict structure in the morning. I get in early so I can get started while things are still quiet. I spend the first 15 minutes getting situated, writing out what I want/need to accomplish in my day, then ranking the projects in order of importance. Who do I need to call back? What deliverables are due today? Then, I spend the next 30 minutes or so doing research about the automotive and credit union industries. After all, my company serves both of those industries and, as its representative, it’s my job to be an expert. I spend about 30 minutes looking ahead at the next few weeks – what do I need to do to achieve my goals? Is there any prep work I need to do for my clients? Finally, I decompress for a few minutes, and then launch into the day, full steam ahead. My days and weeks are very structured for a reason. Why? The structure provides the foundation I need to excel on great days and to make it through the tougher ones.
Sometimes, no matter how good your intentions, getting started on a Monday morning can be a rough go. Perhaps it’s winding down from a busy weekend or winding up from a slow one. Maybe you have a lot on your plate for that week, and the tasks seem overwhelming. Today, I feel like I am wading through mud. My desk is piled high with a million little items that need attention, and although I have gotten a lot done, it still feels like I have struggled today to accomplish anything. Kind of a contradiction, to be sure. So what do I have to fall back on when I just can’t get going? Structure, plus a little inspiration. I looked back over my notes from the morning, cranked up the deep, funky house (sorry to my teammates), and just started pushing things forward.
My days are not much different from yours. You take stock of whatever you need to accomplish. In sales, that’s probably your leads, marketing visits and scheduled presentations or more. You research your product as you are the expert. You research your prospects and plan your next few weeks – when can you go out marketing and who do you need to follow up with. Although you may feel like you’re wading through mud too, you’re actually walking along a straight path to success when you structure your day. And your phone starts ringing.
Even when life is good (and car sales sure are good right now), there are challenges – from the annoying to the earth-shattering. Structuring your day provides a foundation for you to move things forward when the going gets a little rough – say for example, you have an unexpected complication at work or you’re feeling under the weather. It is far too easy to let things derail you, especially if they are new, you are tired, you have a ton of leads or it’s a Monday. Solid, consistent structure or processes give you something to fall back on, to help you get started. But you may need more – you need inspiration.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Perhaps you read motivational books, take a quick walk around the office or crank up the tunes like I do. It doesn’t matter where you find inspiration; it just matters that you do. We can’t expect that anyone else will find it for us. We need to take charge of our day and our life, be accountable and crank up the volume. This life is far too short to sit and wait for something to come our way. Yes, some things are out of our control, but a lot of life is in our control. Grab hold of the reins, go marketing (blast that beat) and get going. You just might find that Monday Morning Motivation* along the way.
*A special thanks goes out to Seattle’s C89.5 for the techno wake up call today! Again, sorry to everyone here at the office!