Got the Monday Morning Blahs? 7 Ways to Conquer the Overwhelm.
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. During our weekends, we stay up late, sleep in, perhaps drink too much or eat all the delicious 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 running all day, you come home tired, your family needs you, and you struggle to give them all you have 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 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 workplace on Friday afternoon? Is your desk piled high with things that belong elsewhere? 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 (I am sure you know my feeling that 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. Now ask yourself, are you ready for better Mondays?
Let’s set you up for a Meaningful Monday next week by starting today!
1. Start by capturing what you need to do next week on your calendar as the items come up.
2. 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. I ask clients to put meeting agenda notes in appointment requests. Meetings can be much shorter if you stick to an agenda.
3. 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, it can be archived or added to a folder for follow up.
4. 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 “De-cluttering Your Guru’s”. Try to check your lists at least quarterly to stem the flow.
5. As much as possible, try to leave work at work! Given our ability to work with a laptop from most anywhere, we feel more tempted 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.
6. 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, go out for a nice, tech-free meal, meditate, pray, spend some time alone looking at the sky or the ocean…you see what I mean? These are the activities that will 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.
7. 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!