Dominate your week: Here's how...

By Gene Chizik

Want to dominate your week?

I’ve found you have to do two things before you even walk into the office on Monday morning.

You need to have a plan and a positive attitude—regardless of how your football team did this weekend!

We all have wins and losses in work and life, but it’s our attitude and energy that determine whether we let one loss or one bad day beat us again. As a head coach, I always tried to be intentional about setting the tone for everybody else after a win, but it’s especially important after a loss.

As the leader, it was my job to set the right tone as soon I walked into the door. Your body language matters. Your tone of voice matters. Your spirit and your words matter. I would often use an inspirational quote or message to set the right tone.

If you lead people, know this. It’s up to you to make sure there isn’t an environment of doom and gloom during times of adversity. It’s not just about making people feel good. It’s about motivating them when energy levels tend to be down to get the best production possible. Mediocre or self-absorbed leaders who pout and make it about themselves often underestimate the impact of their attitude on those around them. Don’t be that guy.

If you’ll be intentional about how you start your Monday, you have a lot better chance of winning the day. That goes for moms and dads, too, not just coaches and CEOs.

Get an early win

One key to dominating your week and winning every day is starting the day off by accomplishing something early. I start every day with an early morning workout. The harder the workout, the more confident I feel about the rest of my day. Success is almost guaranteed.

If you’re a dad who struggles to find quality time with your kids, start the week off right. Get up and fix them their favorite breakfast. Focus on their day when you drive them to school. Be loose and have fun. Talk about their weekend and week ahead, don’t let your mind wander to your problems. Be intentional so when the school door closes behind them, you know you’ve done it right.

It takes more than a positive attitude to dominate your week and win every day. It takes a plan. Remember my mantra from the last article: Plan your work and work your plan.

I’ve got news for all those who wake up ornery on Monday because the weekend is over. Your weekend ended Sunday night.

If you are getting ready for your week when you wake up Monday, it’s too late. You’ve already lost the day. Here’s a tip that works for me: Instead of just making sure I’ve got all my appointments on my calendar, I make sure I have blocked off times to achieve the week’s most important objectives.

Got a big meeting on Tuesday? Pencil in time to prepare on Monday.

It doesn’t matter if you are a football coach or a young professional just starting out in the real world, the same principles apply.

I approach every week as a football analyst for ESPN the same way I did as a coach: How do I win on Saturday? I do it by studying all the games coming on so I can speak intelligently about players or situations when the time comes.

I don’t just go on TV and wing it. That’s a recipe for failure. I don’t care what you do for a living. You can’t wing it and hope to win it.

It’s not always easy to have a positive attitude on Monday morning after a losing week, but it’s even harder to maintain good energy and focus when unexpected adversity strikes. It’s just like an offense rolling down the field toward the end zone when a turnover happens. How you respond as leader has a huge effect on the team’s attitude and its resilience.

You can hang your head and give up or dig in and turn it around. We can’t always control adversity, but we can always control how we respond to it.

At the end of the day, how do you decide if you won or lost the day? If you can look back when your head hits pillow and know you gave your best effort, and you can feel good about what you got done, rest easy. You won the day.

Look at the scoreboard

There’s one other tip I learned from football. In the same way football coaches watch tape of the previous week’s games to learn where to get better, take a moment on Sunday to look back at last week’s calendar. Is there anything you need to revisit? Did you achieve your goals? If not, why not?

Glancing at your calendar from the week before is like looking at a scoreboard at the end of a game. You can’t get the time back. You can’t replay the game. But you can prepare differently for the next one.

And don’t get down if you lost a day or a week. There’s 52 games in a year. If you lost one week, there are 51 others to win.

If you bring a positive attitude to your day, plan your work and work your plan, you will win a lot of games.

Pretty soon, you will be dominating every week. Good luck, and remember. Keep grinding!

Jack SmithComment