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TGIM (or, what begins well, ends well).

WE ALL KNOW what TGIF means--it's the end of a work week, we're ready for a break, and it's time to relax and enjoy the weekend. of course, weekends are most enjoyable if there's been a good week preceding it, and a good week in selling benefits depends on getting off to a good start, having a good Monday. Let's consider how to get off to a good start.

First, my Monday starts over the weekend. On Friday afternoon I pack my briefcase with three types of material. First, any reading I might want to do at home is tossed into the bag. This can be studies from LIMRA or Eastbridge, the most recent issue of Benefits Selling, competitor data--anything I plan to read goes home with me, to be reviewed during football games (not to neglect football, but have you ever noticed how few minutes in a game are actually devoted to playing football? If you develop the ability, as I have, to go back and forth between a game and an article, you can get hours of reading done during a single contest just by reading during timeouts). Second, I bring my task list from the previous week. Third, I bring my calendar for the coming week. Of course, these last two items are on my iPad and not on paper.

There are two keys to weekend work that builds a good Monday. The first is to enjoy the weekend. If you must do work on a weekend, try to complete it on Saturday morning. You need time off to recharge your batteries. Second, keep the actual work to a minimum. The reason you review your to do list and upcoming calendar on the weekend is to have yourself organized when you walk in the door on Monday.

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I always reconsider the list of carry-overs from the past week. Were some of the items carried over because they're not that important? Then don't put them on next week's list. Were some major items that didn't get enough attention? Carry them over and budget time to complete them. After considering the carryovers, look at the week and plan for customer meetings, travel, milestone meetings and staff sessions. I put my list for the week into priority order by day. Then I prepare my list to discuss with the team at our Monday morning meeting. Finally, I always look at my contact list, because I almost always find the name of someone I should plan to call during the upcoming week--and I add that to my list.

So you walk in the door on Monday morning, freshly armed with a plan for the week. What else makes for a great Monday? One of the best business traditions is a Monday morning team meeting. Nothing gets the week off to a great start like putting heads together with your associates, reviewing issues, asking for advice on big opportunities and bringing everyone up to date on activity plans. Everyone can leave the meeting ready to get things done, and getting things done is the final step. Accomplishments on Monday make the whole week run well, so my weekly plan always includes one task I'll be able to complete before day's end. Knowing this helps me walk into the office thinking, TGIM.

Monday blues

COMEDIAN STEVEN WRIGHT SAID:

"Monday is an awful way to spend 177th of your life"--think how much better life is when you can TGIM.

Although we say we hate Mondays, U.S. scientists have dispelled the "miserable Monday" myth. Research suggests Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are equally loathed. People are happier as they approach the weekend, lending support to the concept of "that Friday feeling."

Not surprisingly, people report more enjoyment and happiness and less stress or worry on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays compared with the rest of the I week.

Marty Traynor is vice president, voluntary benefits and group products, at Mutual of Omaha. He may be reached at marty. traynor@mutualofomaha.com.

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Title Annotation:competitive advantage
Author:Traynor, Marty
Publication:Benefits Selling
Date:Dec 1, 2012
Words:674
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