03 Feb Make Mondays Great Again: Five Ways to Start Your Week Strong
OK, the title of this post might be somewhat misleading. You may be thinking, “Hang on a minute, Mondays have never been great. How the heck can we make them great again?“. Just bear with me, please.
I like to think of days in the week as being completely equal, which they are in theory, right? It’s just another 24-hour period. So why can Mondays stink so much? And why does Friday get all the action? We need to start treating Mondays with a bit more respect. And Tuesdays for that matter. But for now, let’s deal with Mondays.
I present to you five ways to approach that first day back in the office slightly differently, to start your working week strong and to actually begin enjoying Mondays much more.
1. Prepare for success
We’ve all had that daunting feeling when travelling to the office on a Monday morning. What lies ahead? How were things left at the end of the previous week? What mountain of work awaits us?
There are some similarities here to what we discussed in the recent Three Tips for Avoiding Procrastination post back in January, specifically the section about preparing your to-do list a day in advance. Or in the case of Mondays – on the Friday afternoon before you finish for the week.
But as well as having a clear and concise list of which tasks need to be completed in order of priority, what’s also very important is the kind of tasks you leave for yourself to complete on the first day back in the office. Perhaps you can get those more unappealing jobs done and dusted on the Friday, leaving only the more preferred and maybe simpler tasks for the Monday. Be kind to yourself.
2. Switch off at the weekend
Ever found yourself checking your work emails on a Saturday morning while your coffee is brewing? Or even worse, when you’re catching up with a friend and you get a moment on your own? We’ve all been there.
While it might be tempting to keep abreast of work correspondence, what good does it actually do on days off? Especially considering you probably won’t (and shouldn’t) be responding until you’re back in the office anyway.
Taking the weekend to actually relax and have some downtime will only serve to improve your work-life balance and, unsurprisingly, make you feel fresh and ready to get properly stuck in when you’re back at your desk.
3. Stick to your sleeping routine
Let’s not kid ourselves. Weekends are for living, and laughing, and maybe having a glass of wine or two. With that in mind, sticking to your usual sleeping habits can be extremely difficult in between leaving work on Friday and returning on Monday.
But research shows that waking up later at weekends can have a significantly negative impact on our bodies and overall health, resulting in what has been termed Social Jetlag. Changing your sleeping pattern, even by only an hour, can be hugely disruptive and leads to sleep deprivation, which in turn can affect our general mood and emotional stability, among many other things.
Safe to say, if you can keep your sleeping routine the same at the weekends as it is through the week your Monday mornings will be the start to just another day on earth, with all the same possibilities as any other day in the week.
Read more here about Social Jetlag and its effects.
4. Exercise first thing
There is nothing that wakes me up in the morning more than getting outside for a run. It could be a few times around the block, or maybe something more substantial like a 5K – 10K. Whatever your preferred form of exercise is, raising your heart rate and breaking a sweat before you’ve had your morning coffee will leave you feeling energised and empowered to take Monday by the horns. Or any day for that matter.
Like with most exercise, when you’re running your body releases endorphins, which act as a natural painkiller and create a feeling of positivity throughout the body. As well as giving you a boost in energy, running can also reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and improve quality of sleep.
What better way to kick-start your week?
5. Keep your schedule manageable
It’s important to keep yourself busy on Mondays, to maximise productivity and to avoid procrastination or, worse, feeling sorry for yourself. But adding to what I touched on in tip number one, make sure you don’t leave yourself with a jam packed schedule on your first day back in the office after the weekend. Allow yourself a bit of breathing space.
If you have some control over your weekly schedule it can also help to schedule your key meetings – i.e. those that require a lot of prep and pre-work – for Tuesday or later. That way you can treat your Monday as a getting-back-up-to-speed day, which can also make the journey into work that morning feel more relaxed, resulting in a positive and organised beginning to the working week.
At the end of the day
By the time Monday comes to a close, take a moment to scribble out or delete all completed tasks from your to-do list and let yourself feel satisfied with what you have achieved. If you didn’t manage to get everything finished before clocking-off time, then not to worry. Just be sure to add those tasks to your list for the following morning. Going home with a feeling of accomplishment will help the day end with a similar level of positivity to what it started with.
This article was written by Joe Ogden.
Joe is a copywriter and sales professional with a background in business development and technology sales. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, freelancers and small companies reach a wider audience and grow their business. Read more at Joe’s website.