Got the Monday Morning Blahs 2.0
7 Ways to Conquer the Overwhelm
This is an update to a Blog Post from early 2019. There are some new challenges, but some have just changed location. The good news is, we can still take action and improve our work day.
Do you wake up every Monday feeling dread about returning to work? Well, you are not alone. Why do Mondays cause so much pain? We spend the entire weekend trying to catch our breath from the week before. In our current Covid "new normal" it can be even more challenging.
During our weekends, and maybe even weekdays in our Covid 19 world, we stay up late, sleep in, perhaps drink too much, or eat foods that are high in fat and sugar that sap our energy.
I get it. You want to spend the “quality” time you lack Monday through Friday. You spend your work week in virtual meetings all day,and you are suffering Zoom Fatigue, back and neck pain, and eye strain. You stay up late to work, so you can have peace and quiet, because your family needs you during the day like never before. You struggle to give them something, but you have little left.
On the weekends, it is a mad sprint to fit in everything you want to do for and with your loved ones before it all starts again.
How many of you are working all weekend because you are trying to make the whole work from home, take care of the kids all day, fear of the unknown world work?
How in the world can you have a great Monday when you are so out of sync with your Monday – Friday world? Now let’s back up to last week.
- How did you leave your workspace Friday afternoon?
- Is your workspace piled high with things that belong elsewhere?
- Are you a vagabond, moving your office on and off the dining room table every day?
- Are there random family papers mixed in with your work papers?
- Do you know where they came from, or where to return them to?
- Did you note specific times on your calendar to follow up on all the items that are on your desk?
- Do you even know where your calendar is?
- What are your highest priorities for next week? Are they on your calendar (remember a blank calendar is a sign of not much getting done.)
- Is your inbox overflowing?
- Are you afraid there are urgent and uncompleted tasks in your inbox?
- Do you have systems you follow that help you do your job? Meetings on a certain day, blocking off some Focus Time during the work week to dedicate to the highest value work you have?
I have found that even the most disorganized clients have some strengths they can build on. Maybe a great system for email, or a great file structure, or a file index. That strength can be the cornerstone of a better system.
Now ask yourself, are you ready for better Mondays?
Let’s set you up for a Meaningful Monday next week by starting today!
- Start by capturing what you need to do next week on your calendar as the items come up.
- Review your calendar for next week before leaving on Friday. Gather the related documents and calendar for the work you are planning. Make sure your plans are written down. Put meeting agenda notes in appointment requests. Meetings can be much shorter if you stick to an agenda.
- Process your inbox: archive, schedule and respond to items as appropriate. If your inbox is a dumping ground, remember the file, act, toss, system (FAT™ System). If the email is junk, delete it. If the email requires action, either act on it or schedule a time to act on it. If it is something that you need to keep for future reference, archive it or added to a folder for reference later.
- Unsubscribe from the email lists that you are no longer interested in. The flow of email will diminish greatly if you unsubscribe from the lists that no longer serve you. My friend and COO of the Productive Environment Institute, Andrea Anderson told me she learned to call it “decluttering Your Guru’s”. Try to check your lists at least quarterly to stem the flow.
- As much as possible, try to leave work at work! Working from home brings new meaning for so many to the term Laptop Lifestyle. In the past it meant staying connected when we traveled. Now, it means being always connected to work from our homes. There is more temptation than ever to work all the time. Truth be told, you need to rest. Your mind needs time to reset and to think random thoughts. You might have to create a different kind of schedule, but do make a schedule. Yes, life will get messy and throw off your plans from time to time, but starting with a framework will lessen stress and increase productivity, and make it possible to unplug for at least part of the weekend. Plan and schedule time when you will NOT work. Make time for rest, exercise, and cooking yummy, good for you meals and just be!
- Don’t substitute social media for family time. We need human connection! Put down your phones, tablets, and laptops! Talk to each other, go do things together! Climb a mountain, ride your bikes, take a walk, enjoy a tech-free meal, meditate, pray, spend some time alone looking at the sky or the ocean…See what I mean? Choose the activities that fill you up, so you are ready for the week ahead. Sure, you can use your devices and your social accounts, just don’t let them substitute for the people you love who are in the room with you.
- Plan for the weekend coming up so that Monday is not the end, it is the beginning of the new week and there are exciting times ahead!
There you have it, seven steps to a better Monday!
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