How often is your first thought on Monday morning “oh f**k , it’s Monday”? Or are you one of those people who blames Monday for everything and your main aim is simply to make it through the day alive? While you can learn to be positive about the first day of the work week, we know that realistically it’s tough to cross the bridge from weekend to work. If you’ve spent two days of sleeping in and going to bed late, this can take its toll, making Mondays hard to face. Here we give you the 5 best habits that will get your week off to a flying head start and help you make the weekend-to-work transition easier:
1. Set a Monday Morning Workout
It’s like ripping off a bandaid: You dread doing it and you know it’s going to hurt, but afterwards you feel relieved and happy you made the decision to do so. We know, it sounds brutal, but a solid #NoExcuses workout on Monday morning will set you up for a week of disciplined training. This is perhaps the most powerful habit you can nurture to stay on track with your goals over the long term. The hardest part of Monday morning training is getting up and out, and there are any number of tricks to ensure you don’t wimp out and that will make your morning more appealing: put your workout clothes next to your bed, pack your gym bag and leave it in by the front door, wake up to your favorite playlist…. The point here is that Monday sets the tone for the week. Do you want it to start strong and energetic, or full of excuses?
2. Make Your Commute Physical
If an early workout is not possible - and even if it is - try biking, walking or jogging for part or all of your commute. Building physical exercise into Monday morning travel (and the other days, too) does you good in two ways: it saves you from rush hour traffic hell and delivers you to the office feeling pumped instead of stressed. With a good workout behind you, you can start the week feeling positive and focused on further success. Think of it as oiling the wheels for a productive week.
3. Start Monday on Sunday
Not to put a damper on your weekend, but there is a lot to be said for devoting a little time on Sunday night to getting ready for the week ahead. In fact, it can be important to reaching your goals. Get your training clothes washed and ready for the week, prepare lunch salads so you can just grab one each morning, slot training times in the calendar so you can plan the rest of the week’s activities around them. Having these things prepared ahead gives you fewer excuses when willpower drops. And one more thing - try to go to bed early, so you are charged for that Monday morning training session we mentioned above.
4. Frontload the Work Week
Work has a way of piling up during the week. Not only does unexpected stuff tend to pop up on Thursdays and Fridays, but as the week wears on, energy also slacks off and productivity with it. This cycle of pressure buildup can leave you sapped and frazzled by the end of the week. No wonder most people cannot wait to blow out of the office on Friday evening.
What helps here is tackling the most difficult tasks on Monday. It might be tempting to push off the work to the next day, but do this and you will just remain in the same sad rhythm. Look at your list on Monday and pick the one project that looks the hardest. Start there, knowing that your effort now will pay off in less stress later in the week.
5. Socialize Before You Sit Down
But first, coffee and a chat. No doubt you’ll crush that to-do list on Monday, but the week will start smoother if you kick it off with some socializing. Considering how much time we spend at work, we become more deeply connected to our colleagues than we often realize. It is almost instinctive to want to regroup and catch up on each other’s weekend news. Work socializing is not just fun, it is productive. The more at ease you are with your teammates, the more you strengthen communication, which, in turn, makes teamwork more effective. Make the Monday morning coffee catch-up a routine and you will begin to look forward to the start of the week.
Mondays can begin with two thoughts: “Get it done!” or “Just get me through this.” If you cultivate good habits like these, you will see the Monday fog start to lift. You will begin to see it as a day of positive beginnings - toward your training goals, your personal goals, and the best version of yourself.