It might sound odd, but I don't hate Mondays--I like new beginnings and this is like a fresh start to the week, a chance to be productive, get things done, start off on the right foot. Which, of course, doesn't always happen. So I came up with this list of tips for myself after paying attention for a few weeks to things that made my Mondays go better or worse. (I originally wrote up these tips for a blog post but wanted to include them in our Member Articles section so everyone can check them out and add your own to the list.)
- Treat yourself to a special meal. Make it the day you go out for lunch. Splurge on the overpriced Starbucks latte. Make this the night your family orders in instead of cooking. There’s nothing wrong with being motivated by food!
- Make a very short to-do list. Whether you work outside the home or in your kitchen, Mondays involve a lot of catching up on things as well as with colleagues and clients. I personally tend to get less concrete tasks done on Mondays than on other days because of this and to reduce frustration, I’m trying to be reasonable about my Monday to-do list.
- Start off the day by doing something you enjoy. I think of this as work warm-up–procrastination that prepares you for diving into work. One tip–set a time limit for yourself if you do this.
- Get at least one big item done from your weekly to-do list. Personally I hate when it’s the middle of the week and my big to-dos are still sitting there, waiting for me to get enough guts/energy/time/focus to do them. If I get one done on a Monday–say, writing up a design spec for a certain part of the site (a long, tedious, and very unglamorous part of my job)–I feel less burdened and more productive the rest of the week.
- Limit the number of meetings. Meetings can be great, but many are too long and unproductive. Pack your Monday full of these and you have a lot less time to get things done. Of course, you can’t always control when meetings happen, but if you have a choice, don’t do more than two on a Monday.