Life is much easier if you start the week off on a good note. Fortunately, I’m one of those people who look forward to Friday nights but also love Monday mornings. I’ve been blessed to enjoy my work life for quite some time now. In fact, it really doesn’t feel like work to me anymore. I guess this is what they call a vocation. I still get excited every Sunday night when I think about what is coming up that week. Sadly, there are many people who dread Sunday nights. They encounter bouts of minor depression as another work week begins to loom on the horizon. I feel bad for them. If you’ve ever lived with someone who has the Sunday Night Blues, it isn’t fun to watch and can rub off on you if you’re not careful.
Many years ago, I did go through a period where my work wasn’t necessarily inspiring. However, I always believed it would eventually get better. Rule number one: if you don’t like your reality then change it. While I knew a long-term career plan would take some time to bear fruit, I committed myself to developing positive proactive routines to start the week. Because you can change your approach to anything. Here are a few tips to help you transition better on Monday mornings.
First, plan out your week. Don’t wing it. Take an hour or two over the weekend to think about what you want to get done the next week then prioritize those activities. Review your schedule and see what important meetings you have coming up. Make sure you’re properly prepared for them. Take control of your calendar rather than having it control you. If there is some blank space, then figure out ways to use it effectively. Plan your work then work your plan.
Second, go to bed a little earlier on Sunday night. Even if you must read a book in bed or journal to wind down. You may also want to keep an open notepad near your nightstand in case you want a jot down pressing issues or action items that might be inhibiting your sleep. Strive to get a good night’s sleep. It’s important to be well-rested as you start the week. Many of us are tired by the end of the week. We shouldn’t start the week that way. And, I know it’s not easy, but don’t get caught up in TV shows on Sunday night. If you really like something, record it for later in the week or the next weekend. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. Your body will thank you for it. You will also be much more clearheaded on Monday morning.
Third, plan to wake up a few minutes earlier on Monday morning. A lot of people do the opposite and pay for it. Hitting the snooze button, not wanting to get out of bed, and starting your day fatigued, is a poor way to begin the week. Wake up early, do some stretching, exercise, have a cup of coffee or tea, breathe some fresh air outside, whatever works best for you. Just try and start your day off on a good note. Please also allow for commuting problems so you don’t feel rushed heading out the door.
Fourth, try to earmark some things during the week that you are really excited about. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to all be work-related activities but find a few things that you’re really looking forward to. It could be dinner or drinks with an old friend. It could be a hike coming up the following weekend. It could be that sales meeting you’ve been working on for months. It could be an opportunity to check in with your mentor. Whatever it is, try to flag several things that you’re really looking forward to that week.
Fifth, try to start off the week eating healthily. Have a healthy breakfast. Commit to a healthy lunch. Try and plan at least a couple of meals where you’ll feel good about what you’re eating. Hopefully, you did your food shopping over the weekend so there won’t be any rushing around during the week. It’s way too easy to eat poorly when you don’t think about it until you are in the moment. Of course, you’re going to have food missteps and meals when you just eat on the go. However, try to eat healthily at least a few times a week. You’ll feel better about yourself.
Sixth, check in with your colleagues and direct reports socially before jumping into work-related conversations. Human beings are social animals. Everyone knows they are there to work, but they also appreciate it when people care about more than just work when it comes to them. It doesn’t have to be deep meaningful conversations, just a quick check-in to see how they are doing and if anything is happening personally you should know about. You have to mean it though. You can’t fake caring.
Finally, make sure you had quality family and/or friend time over the weekend. Ensure the people who are important to you are a priority. Once the time is gone you can’t get it back. Don’t get too bogged down in chores and busy work. In addition, allow some “me time” so you can recharge your own battery and make yourself a priority. Try and do something you enjoy just for the sake of doing it.
I hope these tips prove useful. It’s Sunday night while I’m writing this. I have a busy week ahead. I am looking forward to it. There is a lot to get done and some great people to do it with. There will undoubtedly be multiple opportunities to make a positive difference in someone’s life (as there always are). Hope you are feeling the same way. If not, then please do something constructive about it. Life is too short. Have a great week!