I’ve been on a productivity kick recently, and I’ve done a lot of research on what does and doesn’t make people, and specifically me, work more efficiently and in a happier way. I’ve made some adjustments in my life based on this research and now, Mondays are my favorite day of the week. It’s a fresh start, a chance at renewal and refreshing my own life, and I’ve learned how to make my Mondays WORK for me instead of working for my Mondays.
Here are six steps to follow so you can do the same.
Plan your week on Friday
Don’t wait until Monday morning to figure out what you have to accomplish that week. And don’t waste your weekend worrying about planning. If you plan your week on Friday, usually during that down time in the afternoon where productivity has vanished, you’ll have a more relaxed weekend and a more productive Monday.
Plan something fun for Sunday night
I used to dread Sunday nights because it meant Monday was coming, which meant I petered around my house doing nothing, complaining, or just setting myself up for failure on Monday. But then I heard Laura Vanderkam recommend this, and it changed my life. Planning something fun on Sunday night means you will look forward to it and have a relaxing night instead of panicking about the next day. I started small: Game of Thrones and a good beer. Now, I have a yoga class I love on Sunday nights that leaves me ready to go on Mondays.
Make your bed
The first thing I do when I wake up on Monday is make my bed. It’s partially to keep my room looking nice so I don’t feel emotionally disheveled, but it also keeps me from crawling back into the bed and ignoring my responsibilities. Making your bed is simple. It’s easy to do, as long as there’s not someone still in it, and you’ll be happy you did it when you come home that evening after a long and productive day.
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Start with some exercise
One of the most effective changes I’ve done to my Mondays is to start them with a 6:30AM yoga class. I drag myself there like a log down a bumpy river, but I leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. It gets the sleep out of your system fast. If you don’t do yoga, consider a run, a cardio class, or even some jumping jacks in your living room. The key is to wake you up and get the blood flowing. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Don’t start with your inbox or a meeting
Once you make it to work, don’t lose that energy by sorting through your inbox or having an unnecessary meeting. I get it, we all have stuff to do on Mondays, emails to work through, but no one feels productive doing that. It bogs you down. Instead, because you planned ahead on Friday, tackle something you’re excited about. Do something creative. Then, and only then, answer those non-urgent emails or meet with your staff.
Have a hearty lunch
I’m not a big breakfast person, but if you are: eat breakfast. For me though, I splurge on my Monday lunches. I eat my favorite, I have a fruit on the side, and I feel ready to tackle whatever the afternoon will throw at me. View your lunch as fortification, and frankly, take a lunch break for yourself. Read a book or watch a video you’ve been meaning to see. Let your lunch break, if you have the freedom, be free time. Get a good meal in you to get you started on a good week and soak it all in.