I like Mondays. No, actually, I love Mondays. I don’t dread them, I don’t wish to skip them, I don’t even hide under the covers when the alarm goes off on Monday mornings. Okay, I’m actually usually awake before the alarm goes off on Mondays and sometimes already up and going.
Yes, I admit it. I am a little weird.
But I really do like Mondays. What’s not to like? A whole shiny new week, all stretched out in front of me, full of possibility and opportunity, ready for me to fill it up with great things.
I wasn’t always a Monday lover. Like most other people, I didn’t want my weekends to end. Mondays were a slow day, seemed like it took forever to get going and every task took twice as long as I thought it should. Having three-day weekends that would end after Monday seemed like a good thing.
But then I realized that Tuesday would become Monday and I would just be pushing my blahs further into the week. So I took a look at my Mondays and what made them “Mondays.” And then I changed a few of my personal and work habits and Monday suddenly became a much better and more productive day.
So, what did I change?
Plan Monday Before Monday
I started planning my week out before I got to Monday morning. There is no quicker productivity killer than trying to put together your to-do list on Monday morning. I work in the office Monday-Thursday, so before I leave work on Thursday, I make sure my desk is clean (I’d say it’s an easy task because it’s not very big, but that almost makes it harder) and my workspace is organized. I make sure that whatever I plan to tackle first on Monday is organized and ready to go. I also review next week’s calendar and put together my to-do list. Yes, it often changes by the next week, but at least I have some idea of what’s going to happen.
At home I pretty much do the same thing. Sometime on Sunday, I review my to-do list and the family calendar for the coming week. By figuring out what I need to do when, I avoid the overload and dread of not knowing what’s coming up. That’s not to say my teenagers (and my husband) don’t occasionally throw me the curve ball by neglecting to put important events & appointments on my calendar, but at least my entire week isn’t a surprise.
Avoid Monday Morning Meetings
When I had my photography studio, I often worked on Saturdays, nearly always photographing weddings. That meant when I got to the studio on Monday morning, I knew I was going to have a LOT of work. As a result, I made Monday my “dark” day. I didn’t schedule appointments, see clients or schedule any kind of meetings. Monday was my buckle-down-and-work day. If I was really swamped, sometimes I didn’t even turn the phone on. By not overloading my Monday and having a realistic plan for what I needed to get done, Mondays got a lot more productive. And yes, of course there were exceptions—but not if I could arrange it any other way.
Get some Sleep on Sunday Night
Duh. I know this sounds overly obvious, but I realized when I wasn’t liking Mondays that I was trying to put off its arrival by staying up too late on Sunday night, doing nothing particularly productive or satisfying. As a result, I ended up sleep-deprived and cranky on Monday mornings. Getting myself into bed at a reasonable hour (and removing the TV from the bedroom so I wasn’t tempted to stay up late watching nothing), made me a much happier camper at dawn’s early light.
Get up & Get Moving
I am not a snooze-button gal. When the alarm goes off (or earlier—really!), I get up and get going. Workout, shower, dress, breakfast. I find that getting myself up and into the day helps my mood and my energy level. I don’t always get in a workout every morning, but I do make a special effort on Mondays. Not lounging around in pajamas (even during my work-at-home days), but instead putting on clothes that I felt good in, putting on the make-up and fixing my hair, helped lift my mood and get me going. It also meant I was ready if something did come up at the last minute. No scrambling around and rushing like crazy to get ready and get out the door.
So now, Monday is a day I look forward to—and, as an added bonus I get to be annoyingly cheerful for all of you Monday grumpies. And, no, my Monday energy does not involve caffeine in any form. Coffee does not fuel my Monday productivity.
So, give it a try. If you’re not a Monday lover, think about what you can do to make Monday a better day.
And if you are a Monday person, what do you do to make your Mondays more productive?