Imagine this scenario: you’re fast asleep, blankets wrapped snugly around you, when you hear a familiar buzzing coming from your nightstand. It’s your alarm. And it’s telling you to wake up and get ready for the day.
You start to roll out of bed, rubbing your eyes and thinking about how desperately you need coffee, when you realize it’s Monday. Instantly, you fall back into bed and hit “snooze” until you come to terms with the fact that you do, indeed, have to wake up and get going.
If this scenario sounds even the least bit familiar, you’re not alone. Mondays aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure. For most people, Monday signifies the start of a new week at school or work and the end of a weekend that went by too fast. But it also doesn’t always have to feel like a rain cloud hovering over the upcoming week. In fact, Mondays can be the most productive day of your week, and there are many ways to achieve that. The best part about making Monday your productive day? It’s a great way to avoid burnout, which is a critical component to maintaining good mental health.
Here are three ways to fight through the Monday blues and be productive:
1. Carve through your to-do list right away
One of the easiest ways to keep track of all your week’s responsibilities is to create a solid to-do list. And, there’s no better time than Monday to tackle the list. You can make it on a sheet of scrap paper at your work desk, jot it down in a planner or even write it in the notes app on your phone. Just make sure your to-do list is somewhere you know you won’t lose it.
Once you decide where you want to keep your to-do list, jot down everything you have to complete that week. The list can range from appointments to projects to free-time activities. The idea of creating a Monday to-do list is to develop a plan for the week and hopefully in return, reduce anxiety.
Once you’ve made your list, set priorities. Highlight the tasks that are most demanding to your time and attention. If you have a lot to do, you can make multiple to-do lists or create new ones as you check off tasks. If you’ve got a long week ahead of you, try to check off as many things as possible at the start of the week.
2. Set deadlines for yourself
It may sound weird, but if you put a deadline on your projects, even if it’s only known to you, you’re probably more likely to get things done on time. If you really push yourself, deadlines can also help you create time for other important things, like self care, friends and family or other work projects. So, deadlines can be a win-win, even though they feel like pressure.
If setting deadlines to important items on your to-do list sounds impossible, invite a friend to join you. This way, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable throughout the week. Plus, what’s better than accomplishing all your to-do’s with a friend by your side?
3. Go to bed early
So you’ve made your to-do list, you’ve met your deadlines for the day, you’ve basically conquered the week already, but now what? At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is reward yourself with a good night’s sleep.
Your body will usually tell you when it’s time to wind down, but if you feel physically exhausted, it’s a good sign it’s time to get some sleep. Sleeping well is such an important aspect of your overall health and well being, and it’s not something to put off. If you don’t get enough sleep each night, it could lead to mental burnout or even an increased risk in developing diabetes or psychological problems.
Sleeping enough each night is even a way to set yourself up for success. Think about it: how many days after a night of restless sleep have you felt productive? Probably not too many. Remember, you want to avoid sleep deprivation, and Monday night is the perfect time to start a healthy sleep schedule. Plus, your body will feel so much more energized if you allow it the proper time to rest each night.
So once you’ve reveled in all that you’ve accomplished, give yourself time to recuperate before another day. After all, you’ve accomplished a lot, and it’s only Monday. You deserve rest.