Mondays. Believe it or not some people love them! Many, however, dread the sound of the alarm on a Monday morning that signals the start of yet another work week and more of the same old. Whether you love it or hate it, Mondays will keep rolling around. Here are some key ideas to help you jump start your week, and you never know maybe you could become one of those people we love to roll our eyes at: a lover of Monday!
Underpinning all of the following keys is the ability to know who you are. Do you know what it is that you don’t like about Mondays? If you can pinpoint exactly what it is then you can do something proactive to change it. Is it a mindset? Do you feel like you start already behind or with unfinished tasks from the week before? Do you feel disorganised? Is it the thought of the daily grind? Knowing yourself and what motivates, encourages and inspires you to push through or enjoy your day will go a long way to making every day, not just Mondays, feel better and more productive.
Are you motivated by music? Put together your favourite playlist. Whether it’s music that pumps you up and gets you moving or your favourite track by Chopin that leaves you feeling inspired.
Reading? Set aside some time before work or on your commute to read your favourite book or blog and feel any anxiety towards this day melt away.
Food? Looking forward to a delicious lunch you made in advance, just for your Monday or perhaps an evening meal that you have made extra special so that your Monday isn’t just about work?
Walking or a work out? Or perhaps even dressing up for work helps you feel better about being there Monday morning?
Knowing what works for you is the first key to discovering how to get your work week jumping.
As difficult as you might find Mondays bringing your best attitude will help. Being positive can overcome many of the week’s obstacles. Try to think about the things you do appreciate and enjoy about work. And do your best not to be a complainer or to listen to anyone else’s Monday morning gripes. See what happens if you create a new belief system for yourself about Mondays and they may just become more enjoyable for you and for those around you.
There is a lot of advice about how to plan your week. Some experts say to plan the following week on a Friday afternoon. Tying up any loose ends from the week before and getting a jumpstart on the next week by planning and scheduling ahead. Others say to get into work early on a Monday morning to do this or the Sunday night before. Whichever time slot works for you the idea is the same: plan. One way in which you could plan, depending on the type of work you do is to
- Review your calendar for last week, this week and next week.
- Review your project list.
- Review your “to-do” lists.
- Review your annual goals – business and personal.
- Review your inbox (paper inbox).
- Review your e-mail inbox and key folders (but try to refrain from beginning the process of responding to e-mails during your planning time).
As part of your weekly planning, identity the top three goals you’d like to achieve this coming week – what are the three MOST IMPORTANT tasks or projects you need to accomplish? For each of these top three goals, what is the very next action you need to do (or delegate to someone else)? You will most likely know in which way you need to plan for your week.
Start fully charged
Again, you are the only one who will know how to do this. Many people claim they need a weekend to recover from the work week. However, when they get there, they end up getting less sleep than during the week. Have the discipline to get the rest you need. If your tank is empty when you walk in the door Monday, it’s going to be a rough week. You may have the most satisfying weekend if you mix in a combination of: physical activity, family and friend time, scheduled activities and open time. You know better than anyone what works for you and your family—and how that might vary by season, weather and life circumstances. Crafting a restorative and fun weekend takes planning but it will also give you something to look forward to.
Another part of starting fully charged may be unplugging on the weekend. Although This may be difficult to adhere to, if you’re feeling stressed daily, it’s necessary. Between our smart phones and constantly evolving technology, it can be hard to remove yourself. But, while this is all very valuable for our society, it’s just as important for you to know when to turn it off and focus on your health. Unplugging can be as minimal as silencing your phone 30 minutes before bed and as grandiose as not opening your laptop all weekend. Regardless of which level you (and your job) choose to do, stick with it. You’ll begin to notice your shoulders relax and an essence of calm as you power down elements of your life and you will be able to head back to work Monday morning feeling more energised and ready for a new work week.
Pace Yourself (or not)
One idea is keep you Monday schedule as clear as possible. Instead of tackling the biggest and most complicated tasks early on Monday, take some time for easier, more routine stuff and as an incentive, plan something fun at work—lunch out with a colleague, splurge on a favourite coffee drink, little easy things. It doesn’t take much to perk up a mood.
Another is to achieve one big task. Aim to tackle and complete one major item on your to-do list. You have the benefit of fewer distractions while others get back into the grind, and you’ll feel more accomplished and productive moving into the rest of the week. Try to get something done that you’ve been putting off for a while, or focus on something that will have an instrumental impact on your business that week. While others are grinding through the misery of Monday, you will be catapulting your business forward. Once again, knowing yourself will help you determine which of these will be of benefit to you.
If you can find those things that work for you not only will your Monday be improved but your whole week and well, your life in general. Even those around you will appreciate it and might just learn something too!