It is safe to assume that most working professionals dislike Monday mornings. The day seems longer, busier and its harder to get back into the groove after a weekend of being lazy and unaccountable for the most part. What’s worse is that Mondays seem even more overwhelming if you do not enjoy your job. However, Mondays are an inevitable part of our lives for as long as we choose to work.
In my limited experience as a person with a job, I have adopted a few steps that make Monday mornings a little less insufferable. You can try them too.
Sort Stuff Out On Sunday
It’s close to ten pm, Sunday night. I have packed tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch. My travel card has been recharged. My phone is fully charged. I have checked the essentials in my handbag and restocked missing items, such as sanitary pads and tissues. I have a vague idea of what I will wear tomorrow. The alarm has been set to six am.
The goal is that between waking up in the morning and leaving home, your time and energy should not be spent in fixing a last minute lunch or frantically looking for keys and cards.
Why do it last minute when you aren’t being taxed for the hours?
Go to Bed on Time on Sunday
If you get an undisturbed seven to eight hours of sleep on Sunday, you will wake up feeling refreshed. You won’t be tempted to hit snooze, so the chances of oversleeping are reduced. If you don’t oversleep, you won’t wake up late. You will reach work on time, perhaps even earlier. If you reach early, then sip on a coffee, read some funny quotes or a motivational article and prepare yourself for the day ahead.
Why dash into your day when you can flow?
Make A Plan On Sunday For The Week Ahead
Remember when you were young, you were given a treat or a reward for cleaning your room or doing your homework or for general good behavior? Exciting times, isn’t it?
As we grew older, the rewards changed from something as simple as a chocolate or an extra hour of TV, to something more hard earned such as high grades, a promotion or a salary hike. But the rationale behind being rewarded remained the same– you do what’s expected, you do a good job of it and you do it on time.
So how about little self-rewards? On Sunday night, plan a mid-week after work dinner with friends. Or a solo trip to the movies. Or a weekend getaway. Anything, that interests you or gets you excited. It does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming activity, as long as it is something that you enjoy.
The promise of a reward is the driving force needed to begin your week on a high note and sustain the enthusiasm. There is a high possibility that you will be more focused at work as you wouldn’t want any issues to come in the way of your plans.
Sunday Writing Exercise
You don’t have to be a writer but just before going to bed, write down your to-do list for Monday, even if its something as basic as answer all emails by the end of the day. If lists are not your thing, then you could try positive affirmations such as ‘I will not let my boss get on my nerves’, or ‘I will smile at the office snitch rather than fume inside’.
Writing about your thoughts, aspirations and actions will de-clutter your mind and allow you to think clearly. If you give free reign to your words, you will be able to spot your stress triggers and prioritize your emotional investment. This activity does not have to be limited to one day of the week but I would highly recommend doing it on Sunday night if you have to pick a day. You might feel that you are writing the same thing every weekend and that’s okay. The more you focus on what you want to do on Monday morning or do not want to happen, the better ways you will find to ensure the day and the week goes by smoothly.
Check Your Email on Sunday Night
Opinions will be divided on this one but I find that checking my emails (not answering) on Sunday Night gives me an indication of what am I walking into on Monday morning. If there are no angry emails from clients or managers, then I know that I won’t be surrounded by negative or unsettling energies first thing in the morning. If, on the other hand, there is a client threatening to name and shame on social media, or a boss demanding explanations, I will mentally prioritize the tasks for the day ahead and what steps to take to mitigate the issue. Additionally, if there is an email with positive reinforcement, then I feel proud of the work done last week and would view Monday more favorably.
I am able to sleep through crises so checking work emails, especially the stressful ones, does not disrupt my sleep. However, if you are prone to worrying, then I would not recommend this.