Make Mondays better

Mondays have a rough reputation. I’m personally fond of the day, but I know that’s partly because I work from home (no commute) and work for myself. Also, for the past 13.5 years, my weekends have featured lots of time with small children. We have fun; this past weekend we drove through the Jurassic Quest outdoor exhibit at the Wells Fargo Center, we went apple picking out in rural PA, we had three baseball games, soccer, we celebrated an 11th birthday with a special family meal and ice cream cake. But weekends aren’t really relaxing. On Monday morning I usually hand the little ones off to someone else’s capable care, and my stress level goes…down.

But whether your weekends feature leisurely brunches or bickering children, a few strategies can make Mondays more doable.

Know what you’re doing (by planning on Friday). We tend to have more energy and momentum in the morning, and at the start of any project. That means that Monday morning can be prime time for focused work. By planning on Friday, you know what you’ll be tackling Monday morning, and you won’t have to waste this energy deciding. Also, when you know there’s a plan for Monday, you can give your brain permission to stop ruminating about this all weekend. That can get rid of some of the Sunday scaries.

Pace yourself. Of course, you can’t do everything on Monday. When you plan on Friday, you can figure out what needs to be done during the week, and assign all those tasks a time. If you know you have time carved out on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for a big project, then you don’t need to feel frantic and overwhelmed on Monday thinking you need to get to it. It has a time; now is not that time.

Build in treats. In my New Corner Office podcast, I’ve been running a series over the past several Mondays about ways to make Mondays better. Many of these episodes have focused on little treats which, deployed well, can change the Monday narrative. If you’re commuting, save a favorite podcast or audio book for that trip. Make plans for a really good lunch. Schedule a favorite workout. Make time for the work that drew you to your job in the first place. Commit to something fun/meaningful on Monday evenings (a volunteering gig, a virtual networking group, etc.) so you’re looking forward to that instead of wallowing in the Monday-ness.

If sleep schedules are off from the weekend, Mondays can drag. But they don’t need to be terrible. I went for a short run this morning in the crisp fall air and now I’m feeling ready for the week ahead.

Do you like Mondays?

Photos: Apples and a carnivore

9 thoughts on “Make Mondays better

  1. I must admit that I am generally not a fan of Mondays since I work outside the home, and I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning (I sleep til about 6:30 on the weekend.). I work in education, and Mondays tend to be hectic at school. However, I don’t mind Mondays when we have a holiday, or it’s a long holiday break/summer break. Mondays are definitely more appealing to me when I’m off or get to work from home. I’m actually pretty excited about a Monday in the latter circumstances. The good news is that my Monday blues tend to fade shortly after the work day begins. I get busy and my day soon brightens.

  2. I absolutely love Mondays! There’s something exciting about a fresh, new week. I always get more tasks accomplished on Mondays than any other day of the week. 😊

  3. I work part-time and always have Mondays off. I find them very relaxing after a weekend of being at home with the kids. I usually use Mondays to catch up on house stuff, get my eyebrows done, shop, go to the dentist, or see a friend for coffee or lunch. Having Mondays off effectively prevents me from getting the Sunday night blues.

  4. I really like returning to the routine of Mondays, but if I have had a very busy weekend I run the risk of starting the week feeling “behind” or disorganized. I’ve been trying to plan my week on Fridays, but if we are say, gone all day Sunday or something and I don’t get a chance to straighten the house, grocery shop or get our ducks in a row, then I sometimes feel like a mess on Monday. So, in my case, it’s sort of dependent on the week (and weekend) how Monday will go. However, since working from home in a flexible position for the past 4 years, I definitely no longer ‘dread’ Mondays since I really like my job. I used to struggle a lot more heading into a several day stretch of 12 hour shifts at the hospital.

  5. I also experience a sigh of relief on Monday at handing over my child to our caregiver and finally getting to sit down with a warm cup of tea and my work. I only have one child, but a toddler so I don’t really have much down time on the weekends. I love spending time with my little girl on the weekends and mornings/evenings throughout the week as well, but I also love working and having time to think. That moment on Monday when there is a tiny bit of silence and I can start to tackle my priority list has both a relaxing and energizing quality to it. I used to feel guilty about this, but not anymore. I’m working – not partying in Vegas – it just so happens that I enjoy working and I think that’s a good thing.

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