On Sunday afternoon you may find yourself thinking, ,,oh no, tomorrow is Monday again…”, you think of the Monday morning meeting, the appointment with your client or that issue you didn’t manage to solve last week and that is likely to bubble up again. (Because it’s just too tempting to postpone occurring issues on Friday until next week)
Basically, you are already laying the foundation for a (possibly) disastrous Monday. Alone the commute into work will feel like a culture shock to your happy-go-lucky-weekend, while you may be anticipating the meetings and your do list with slight stomach cramps. If you work from home you may be stretching breakfast a little longer in procrastination fashion, going through your mobile snapshots from the weekend rather than checking up with your clients. Let’s see if you couldn’t do a little better. Even if you love your career, you probably still could do a little better in anticipating Mondays.
3 Tips for a Successful Start into the Week
Here are 3 tips on how to prepare a successful Monday on Sunday already. So that Monday becomes the new Tuesday – less daunting, less frightening. I am not saying that Sunday therefore must become the new Monday. I am simply suggesting that preparation (even if it’s just mentally) for the week ahead is the key to succeed. See it as if we are deleting “daunting Mondays” from our system.
1. Organisation – The Golden List
Let’s start with the least appealing tip: Organisation. It’s key to organise your clutter of large and small projects from last week. Only with a decent overview of your tasks, you’ll eventually see a red thread rather than a red threat in front of you! Try to make this the last thing you do on Friday late afternoon, so you only got to review and tweak it a little on Sunday.
So brew yourself a cuppa, find a sunny spot near the window, take a deep breath, smile and start. Allow yourself about 15 minutes time and peace for this – just as long as it takes to enjoy a tea.
There are a million ways on how to create a to do list and everyone has their own way of making one. Here is how I do mine: I divide into projects, then sub-projects, tasks that relate to these projects, and eventually numerise by priority or deadline.
Project A Project B
- subproject 1 1. Subproject 1
- subproject 2 3. Subproject 2
- subproject 3 2. Subproject 3
- subproject 4 3. Subproject 3.1
- subproject 4.1 2. Subproject 3.2
Also there are digital tools to help you, if you are into tech. I still use paper calendars and post-its, because I enjoy handwriting. I try to keep the to-do-list as short as possible. This way it looks less overwhelming and allows for the flexibility to jump at ad hoc tasks. Other dos and don’ts:
- qualify the contents, only write down things you need to do that day, that are important and that you cannot delegate.
- go crazy with your list. Remember that the work day (ideally) has 6-7 hours (1 hour for lunch). Realistically estimate how much time and attention each task will need and do not write an endless list, which will leave half of the things undone and yourself frustrated by the end of the day.
- get too hung up on this. It’s Sunday after all.
2. Expect great things – Attitude, baby!
Now that the organisation is out of your way and done, you will feel a lot more prepared. Now it’s time to declare positive outcomes from your Monday ahead. Why should a Monday actually be worse than any other day? Instead focus on what you will get done, what you will achieve and drive forward. Try to find joy in your projects and take a moment to appreciate what’s great about your work, its opportunities and challenges.
Last but not least, mentally prepare a list of positive things that you’ll want to implement on Monday, such as bonding with the new colleague, smile and small talk, suggesting an appointment for lunch with your boss to catch up casually, giving positive feedback to the assistant that helps you so well. A positive attitude is worth spreading. Your colleagues will appreciate you and you’ll enjoy your job a lot more. Remember Buddha: “Smile and the world changes” – esoteric or not, it works!
3. Rejuvenate – Glorious Sundays to strengthen you
As said, Sunday is NOT part of your work week. While it is vital to prepare a little, you should still opt for a happy Sunday and do the things that you love. Meet friends if you’re a social person, spend the day out with the family, take the dog for a long walk, run, climb, swim, kayak, sail and head to the farmer’s market before cooking up a (healthy) storm. In short: Eat well, live well, exercise.
Sunday is the day to rejuvenate, detoxify and strengthen your immune system for the busy week ahead. If you have socialised and bonded with your loved ones, have climbed a mountain or went running, have succeeded in crafting a tree house for the kids, a flower arrangement for the dinner table, tried a new recipe and eaten well, then you’re more likely to feel energetic, strong, balanced and motivated for work projects, too. You’ll feel like you have taken life with both hands and actively created a lifestyle you enjoy.
So stop reading this blog post and get going!
What are your tips to anticipate Monday blues?