My 4 year old son woke up this morning crying because he had to go to Grandma’s house. Monday mornings are tough. I think that we learn early in life that Monday’s are just not fun. It’s the beginning of another week. We’ve enjoyed our weekend and aren’t ready to give it up to the same old, same old stuff. How do you do something awesome with your Monday that will turn your week around and make it the best you can?
After doing a little research on the top things that make people productive, these 9 things were repeated over and over… YOU CAN do a few starting today!
Start the day off Early
Surprisingly, pushing the snooze button and giving yourself “just 5 more minutes” doesn’t get you started on the right foot. Often, that 5-9 minutes isn’t enough sleep to help you feel rested and rejuvenated, it’s just a way to procrastinate getting a start on your day. When your alarm goes off, get up and start your day. That extra 5 minutes in the morning may help you feel less rushed in the morning and more prepared to meet what your day has to offer.
If you start your day with a smile on your face you are stating to yourself that you are ready to meet and greet your day. Giving yourself a smile first thing in the morning sends positive energy through your body and helps you maintain a positive attitude during your day.
Eat Right and Exercise
Start your morning with a good, healthy breakfast. We become too dependent upon sugared cereals and we don’t give our bodies that extra boost in the mornings that it deserves. Try eating something healthier like a boiled egg and some cottage cheese with a slice of fruit or try a multi-grain cereal and toast. You’ll feel better for a longer amount of time and you won’t hit a sugar low when you need to be at the most productive point of your day.
Exercising in the morning for even just 5-10 minutes gets your heart rate going and your blood pumping. It gives your body a quick energy boost to get started on the right foot. Try jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, steps or anything aerobic and increases your heart rate.
You might want your body energized, but you want your mind cleared. Have you ever had a day where your mind goes in circles so fast that you never accomplish anything? Take 3-5 minutes in the morning and do some kind of meditation. Listen to a meditative mini’s podcast, put on some head phones and listen to inspiring music, try yoga or just sit quietly and clear your mind. Whatever you decide to participate in your mind will be clear and you’ll be prepared for a productive day
Greet Everyone and Connect Face to Face
How often do we just look at our shoes and get started on what we need to do. Do we greet people we meet on our path with a friendly “Hello”? It may seem small, but a hello and a smile or a good morning and smile will brighten not only your day, but may help someone else have a better day as well. When we connect with others face to face we are establishing a sense of belonging. Too often we talk via text or send email, but we are missing the connectivity to other human beings’. Make everyone’s day a little better by meeting someone eye to eye and giving an encouraging or uplifting word or greeting. You’ll be surprised at how much better your day will be.
When we leave our desks or our homes or work spaces in disarray from the prior day, or over the weekend we tend to have an overwhelming sense of “I don’t know where to start” make it your daily goal to leave things organized. If you didn’t take a few minutes and organize your area before you left it start with organizing what was left behind. Give yourself a clean start.
Another organization tool that will help us beat the Monday Blue’s is to organize our day. Maybe your have a task list or a check off list (if you don’t I highly suggest you start one) Organize your day out. Are there things that can wait? What is a priority? Start with a few minutes and figure out what is most important and organize your tasks. You’ll find your day will go much better if you can look at a list and know what you need to accomplish next.
Prioritize and Prepare
Part of your organization should include prioritizing your tasks. Maybe you have a bunch of small things that need to be done and you’ll feel more productive if you get those things out of the way, or perhaps you have a big project that you need to accomplish first and the small things can wait. Prioritize what your needs are and work as you go. Part of prioritizing is preparing. You know that you have that 10 page report on “whatever is required of you” to accomplish by Friday. Preparing today or putting it on your list for tomorrow and preparing your mind that it needs accomplished will help the task feel less overwhelming when it comes to crunch time. Maybe you need to research “why the sky is blue” as part of your major task. Begin preparing for your major task by breaking it down into smaller segments and doing what you can right now. Anything large feels easier when it is broken into manageable pieces.
Don’t be afraid to say NO
I have a big issue with this one. I often take on too much, because I know I can do it! Then, I feel overwhelmed when I can’t get everything done that I wanted to. If you are feeling overwhelmed and someone asks you to take on a task that you know just won’t fit, don’t be afraid to graciously decline. Other opportunities will come your way.
Remember that there is always Tuesday
Too often, we try to accomplish everything on a Monday morning so it is done, don’t forget you have Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday, perhaps even Saturday and Sunday as well. While you are Organizing, Prioritizing and Preparing ask yourself… can this be done later? When do I need to have this accomplished? If it is trivial in comparison to your other necessary tasks let it wait for tomorrow. You may find it is easier to complete if you let is sit for another day. I get in a little trouble here if I am not careful and I procrastinate; however, there are certain tasks that I sometimes save for another day when I know my brain is not functioning at 100%. I may spend an hour on something on Monday morning trying to get it accomplished and give up, with fresh eyes the next day it may come easily and in 15 minutes I wonder why it took me so long in the first place.
So, are you feeling better already? It takes time to get into a habit of doing small things that make big differences.
Smile and just tell yourself you can do it!