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