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I have always been focused on achievement. I’m a “goals first” guy and I generate lists that help me do my best. A to-do list gives me a sense of control and makes me feel productive when I get work done. Every time I get to cross off a to-do, a little shot of adrenaline is mine. It keeps me motivated and focused on the next job to be done.

We had a dinner party at our house last Thursday and one of the guests asked me how I could run Aha! and my wife could be the VP of Marketing for Medallia, have active kids, and still host an event during the week for 40 people. She wondered if we ever slept. I said that we were just like everyone else, except that we were ultra productive. We really are not special — just focused.

I love my job, but you don’t need to wait until you are in a dream role to have aspirations and daily to-do lists. You have a plan, knock out the work, cross off the tasks, and repeat in order to get the dream job.

I have never shared my approach to being productive until now. And it all starts on Monday, which if you squint your eyes and block out your frustrations, is the most important day of the week. It’s the day of renewal.

Here are the 10 things that I try to do every Monday. Some Mondays I do not get through all of them, but this approach has proven to be very effective for me.

  1. Go to bed early Sunday night and get at least 8 hours of sleep
  2. Don’t excercise but take a short walk (I work out almost every other day, so this is my day off)
  3. Say to myself “Here we go” Monday morning to symbolize that I am jumping into another busy week
  4. Review the company growth goals for the week
  5. Review my list of goals for the week
  6. Review each team member’s goals for the week
  7. Check in with each team member to see how their weekend was
  8. Identify which customers need my attention
  9. Plan one fun thing to do the upcoming weekend
  10. Take a moment to remind myself how fortunate I am to be starting another week

The list could be much longer because I do other things like email and meetings, but these are the go-to tasks that have helped me accelerate my own career and the businesses that I have helped build.

Even when I am distracted or overwhelmed with what’s going on, these 10 actions keep me grounded in what matters most. They set the stage for a productive and happy week.

Do you have any tricks for Mondays?