Mondays can be tough.
Really, really tough.
Crashing back to reality on Monday morning after the weekend high can be a rough start to the day. Especially when it's Monday. Especially when your inbox is full, your desk is covered with projects, and you don't even know where to start.
You know the feeling, like no amount of coffee will be enough to get you through the day. The feeling that it's 8:30am on Monday and you're already so behind for the week that you can't imagine how you'll ever catch up!
The best was to handle hectic days, especially Mondays, is to take control of the day and don't let the day control you. In order to take control of the day, it's important to establish set rituals and routines that are both fulfilling and productive.
Try these five ways to set yourself up for a great Monday!
5 THINGS TO DO EVERY MONDAY MORNING:
1) START YOUR DAY OFF WITH "ME" TIME
What do you love to do in the morning that you wish you could do every morning? Well, DO IT! If you want to workout in the morning, start your day off with your favorite workout...If you want to quietly sip a fresh brewed cup of coffee on your patio...DO IT! If you want to lay in bed and read a chapter from your new favorite book...DO IT!
It's so critical to start your days off with "me" time, even if it's only 30 minutes. Most of our time is spent at work, with family, helping others that very little of our time is enjoyed for ourselves. Taking these 30 minutes to ourselves, even if it's only to enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee will help you feel more fulfilled and allow you to be a better spouse, friend, child, parent, employee/employer, etc.
2) MAKE TIME FOR A GOOD BREAKFAST
Many of us love to enjoy a nice breakfast or brunch on the weekends. We take our time, enjoy our food, and our company. Ever notice how much better you feel when you start off the day like this?
Even if you're not a breakfast person, scheduling in the time to allow yourself the to enjoy a small snack or your morning coffee/tea without rushing is a great way to set the tone for the day.
Think about it, anytime we're rushing to get out the door and eating a granola bar as we commute to work, the tone for the day is frantic. Once the day starts off rushed or scattered, it can be really challenging to get it back under control. It's even worse if it's Monday and this is the start to a busy week.
The simple act of allocating time to mindfully eat your first meal of the day, especially on a Monday, allows you to feel prepared, calm, and ready for your day.
3) PRIORITIZE YOUR FIRST 30 MINUTES AT YOUR DESK
Coming back to your desk (especially your email box) after a great weekend can feel daunting to say the least. Rather than spending your first 30 minutes at your desk submerged in your email box, try taking that time to prioritize your tasks for the day and week.
Chances are if you prioritize your tasks, sorting through your emails isn't one of the top three tasks on your to-do list. By allowing yourself
4) CHECK EMAILS ONCE, THEN DISCONNECT
Our email box can be a black hole for productive time. You know the feeling, coming back from a great weekend where you were able to completely disconnect only to feel completely inundated by your email box.
No matter how hard you try to manage your inbox, for every email request you handle, two more new emails are waiting for you.
Try this: Scan through your email box once looking for emails that require IMMEDIATE ACTION. Tend to these ones first and flag the actionable emails that can wait until later in the day. All of the the other emails can wait.
Disconnect from your email box and tackle your to-do list. If this makes you uncomfortable at first, you can schedule a couple check-in times every 2 hours or so. The idea is to focus less on the distractions and more on your priorities.
5) STICK TO YOUR PLAN FOR THE DAY
It can be super easy to get derailed from your plan as things come up. Unless it's an absolutely-pressing-can't-wait emergency, stick to your plan.
Today more than ever, we are a culture that is conditioned to immediate responses.
Just because someone has a request for you, doesn't necessarily mean you need to drop what you are doing and respond to the requests like a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Stick to your plan for your day and in the extra time, field those requests.
While this may seem crazy at first, I promise you'll get a lot more accomplished and will feel less distracted from your work.
Do you have any special Monday rituals or routines that help get your day and week off to a great start? If so, please share!