I hate Mondays. There. I said it. I simply hate everything about it. I’ve thought a lot about why and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not so much the day or just simply starting the week that bugs me. It’s all about the energy it takes to gear back up to function in a fast-pace environment. Once I am back in the “zone”, I’m fine.
I’ve identified three actions I can take to help me get back into work mode faster and (hopefully) dread the work week less.
Think About Monday on Friday Afternoon
If at all possible, I have started trying to block off the last hour of the work day on Fridays to think through what I’m going to need for Monday. Meetings to prep for, lists of calls I will need to make and tasks to be done. Even though the weekend is only 2 days, it feels like a month on Mondays when I can’t recall where I ended things on Friday. If I can’t block an hour on Friday afternoon, at a minimum I make myself a note as to where I left off on Friday. I’ve found this simple step saves me a tremendous amount of time backtracking on Monday mornings.
Keep the Monsters at Bay By Checking Email Once on Saturday & Sunday
While it’s wonderful to completely shut down over the weekend, I have found there’s a huge price to pay if I don’t check email at least a couple of times over the weekend. There’s nothing like waking up to a full blown urgent conversation that has taken place over the weekend and you’ve completely missed everything. You spend time Monday morning trying to get up to speed while everyone else has already made decisions and moved forward. If you want to be a part of the discussion, you have to show up for the conversation. This really doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time. Just a quick check of email once a day on Saturday and Sunday will keep you in the loop. Now, we all know how easy it is to become lost in email, so this requires a commitment to yourself to simply scan emails for urgent discussions.
For me, Mondays are an incredible challenge because it takes so long to get my energy and stamina back up when I’ve completely vegged out over the weekend. I’ve finally learned that I simply cannot go from 0 to 100 mph at 8:00 AM on Monday morning. A critical step in setting myself up for a successful Monday is to make sure I’ve taken care of myself over the weekend. Not over doing things on Sunday, eating a healthy diet, maintaining exercise schedules and getting plenty of rest make a huge difference in my energy levels. That’s not to say I don’t have fun, but I simply try to do all things in moderation and make sure I get plenty of rest on Sunday evenings in order to set myself up well for Monday.
Nothing in the world will ever cause me to love Monday mornings. But at least these strategies will help make them a bit less stressful. I’d enjoy hearing how you prep for Monday morning blues.