Annalisa Parent’s Monday Morning

Garfield hates Mondays and most (not all!) people with day jobs frequently agree with him. But for us girls bosses Monday is another start of a week doing what we love. So how do you start your week with a bang and make sure you get a ton done? Each week an awesome girl boss will share her Monday Morning habits to inspire you. This week Annalisa Parent shares hers!

Annalisa HeadshotCan you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?

HI! My name is Annalisa Parent of Date With The Muse, LLC. I am a writing coach. I help writers start, finish and bring to publication writing in all genres.

How do you start your Monday Morning? And what time do you get up?

Monday is an early morning for me, though I let the time be flexible. I am always writing by 9 AM, so on Mondays I get up well before that.

I plan out my week, align the individual tasks for the week with my monthly and quarterly goals.

What is your favourite way to plan out your week?

I keep a running tally of to-dos in google tasks. That allows me to brain dump, when I am doing task A, but task B pops into my head. Monday morning is my time to prioritize all of those tasks, and place them on a day of the week  for actual completion.  Deadlines are SO crucial to getting things done. Plus this is a time for me to be really realistic about what can be done and what the real scope of any given project is. (I am a specialist in biting off more than I can chew.)

Do you have a Monday Morning ritual? Is it different compared to other days of the (working) week?

Just as mentioned. In addition to that ritual: Every day around 3 pm, I get the sleepies. I give myself an hour for journaling, reflecting, reading business books (which is where a lot of my to do tasks and ideas come from) or just dozing off if I need it.

How did your week planning change over the years?

This is my first year as a full time entrepreneur. It’s nice to have more time to focus on the business and not have a job on the side. That said, sometimes tasks can fill as much time as you give them, so that’s hard.

I’ve always been a planner and had a very structured calendar.  The challenge in transitioning to full time entrepreneur has been setting my own priorities and bringing projects to completion.

IMG_3635What planning system do you use? And do you prefer paper or digital?

I am SUCH a paper person. But it’s just not practical–I can’t find what I need when I want it or I have to do lists that cover several sheets of paper. I force myself to go digital for practicality’s sake, but it’s not my preference.  The one concession I allow myself is that my daily task list is paper. There’s something gratifying about crossing things off.

One unique thing I do is keep a DONE list. Do you ever have those days where you feel like you spend the whole day chasing loose threads and got NOTHING done? I keep a done list so I can say “Oh yeah, I did some stuff today.” It also allows me to look back and see how well I am keeping to my priorities.

I just keep it as a narrow column in my journal that I keep anyway. Maybe my grandkids will look back and say “Why did she keep a running tally of how often she did laundry and sent invoices?” 😉

Which planning app or program is something you can not live without?

Journal. Hands down. Must write and reflect. We run around so much, but the thinking is an important part, remembering the why, evaluating if this to-do is still relevant, and just dumping my brain at the end of the day.

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What is the most important planning lesson you’ve learned?

It will ALWAYS take 86,000 times longer to finish than you think.

Can you share your number one planning tip?

Stay on top of it. Planning is a discipline. It’s like the bills–if you let them pile up, you are NOT going to want to attack that monster stack (Yup, I’ve done that.) But if you have a relationship with your goals, and think of planning time as part of that relationship, things go a little more smoothly.

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Where can we find you, your website and your social media accounts?

You can find my website over at www.DateWithTheMuse.com or on Twitter, Facebook or Medium: Chair & Pen: Musings on Writing and the Writing Life.

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