Are there any two words that make us groan more than "Monday morning"? We work hard all week long, pushing ourselves to do better and better at our jobs, and when the weekend comes we’re both happy and relieved that we get a much-needed break. By the time Monday rolls around, however, the party is over and it’s time to get back to work. Sometimes this is welcome, especially if you love your job, but most of the time, it takes the entire day to catch up on emails and start feeling more normal and ready for the rest of the work week. But there’s no need to be so gloomy on a Monday, most successful people would tell you to find ways to make your Monday awesome. Check out this how-to guide and get into the groove on Mondays so there’s a seamless transition between the weekend and the new week, and you’ll never curse Mondays ever again.
1. Get Super Organized
We need to be organized in order to survive both our lives and our jobs, so you most likely have a system worked out, whether you swear by keeping every appointment and event on your iPhone’s calendar or whether you are more comfortable using a paper agenda. Whatever your system, Monday is not the day to let organization fly out the window. It’s the time to get even more organized.
This applies to your desk space, computer, emails, and food. As soon as you get into the office on Monday morning, clean up your desk. Throw anything out that you were (let’s be honest) too lazy to get rid of on Friday at 5 p.m. Organize papers and projects into piles and folders. Then move onto your computer’s desktop. Are there too many files, so many that you can barely see what anything is? Since we spend so much of our time at work staring at the computer screen, it’s really important that it’s not crowded with files.
As for what you’re eating for lunch and snacks, make sure you pack everything on Sunday evening so you’re not running around like a crazy person when your alarm goes off on Monday. You will be so glad you have one less thing to worry about.
2. Prepare Yourself for a Crisis
We only get frazzled when we think everything is going to go smoothly and then problems come out of nowhere. And because Mondays are the beginning of the week and we might be feeling tired from all the fun we had over the weekend, and we might not be feeling quite as motivated as we normally do, when something goes wrong we can react to it that much more strongly.
Don’t let that happen. Come into the office thinking that something is going to go wrong today. It could be a mistake that you make in an email or something that someone else does that makes your job difficult. If nothing happens, then you can be relieved and glad, and at least you were prepared. But if something does happen, and it most likely will, then you can approach it in a calm manner since you were expecting it.
3. Get Optimistic
Mondays are all about reframing how you think about something. So instead of groaning about a new week and missing the weekend fun you were having, decide to be in a good mood. Research has shown that if you do this, the choices that you make can actually improve. And who doesn’t want to make smarter choices, especially on a Monday?
Do whatever you can in order to cheer yourself up. This will be highly personal. It could be a sweeter drink at Starbucks than you normally order, because we all need that help on Mondays, or making a last-minute plan to meet a friend at a favorite restaurant for dinner. This will make you feel better and allow you to enjoy your work day.
4. Do What you've Been Putting off
We all procrastinate sometimes. And it can even be a motivating factor. After all, hasn’t everyone done an amazing job when a deadline is fast approaching, thanks to the adrenaline rush? But Monday is the worst day to procrastinate, particularly now that it’s the summertime. It will only make you feel so much worse that you’re at work when you were reading by a pool the day before. So instead, do the thing you’ve been putting off.
Think of it this way: if you finish your difficult task today, you will feel proud of yourself and be satisfied for the rest of the work week. If you continue to procrastinate, you could continue to do so for the rest of the week, and then suddenly it’s next Monday and you’re still facing the same exact problem.
5. Talk to Your Boss
Have you been wanting to talk to your manager about a great idea you have for an upcoming project? Do you want to ask a question, or mention something important to them? Monday is a good day to do so. It will have two awesome results: it will motivate you, since you can’t look like a slacker in front of your boss, and it will impress them since so many of us cruise on Mondays and think Tuesday is really the start of the week.
6. Don't Take a Lunch Break
You should still eat your lunch, of course. It’s never a good idea to skip a meal, especially lunch. But while any other day it’s smart to get out of the office for a ten minute walk around the block or to eat in your conference room to chat with your co-workers, try eating at your desk on Mondays. This will give you some extra time to get some work done. Taking breaks on a Monday might make you lose your desire to actually work, since it’s so hard to get motivated on a Monday anyway. So work through lunch and your mind will be super focused since you will have told yourself that you’re here from 9-to-5 and the only option is to work as productively as you possibly can.
7. Give Your Motivation a Boost on Sunday
Inspiration is probably the most difficult to find on a Monday and particularly a Monday morning. So why not get inspired on Sunday instead? You can still enjoy your day off but do something that allows you to think about work in a calm, relaxing setting without getting upset or stressed out. Try a yoga class or some sort of stretching class. This is a great opportunity to go over something in your mind while still chilling out, or remember why you love your job and why your career is so meaningful to you.
You can also jot down some ideas if you’re feeling particularly inspired and you will be so glad you did when it’s Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. and your energy starts to disappear. It’s always good to think ahead.
8. Keep Your Snacks Interesting
Many of us are stuck in a rut when it comes to work lunches. This can even happen no matter how organized you are, since it’s easier and more affordable to use the same ingredients in your lunches from Monday to Friday. And for those of us who are watching our weight, a salad with lean protein is the easiest thing to bring, and will ensure we don’t go reaching for the salty chips that are always available.
So if you’re committed to your usual work lunch, then why not switch up your snacks? There’s no better time than Monday because the worst thing on the first day of the new week is boring food.
Think about your snack personality. If you are a fruit and nut butter kind of person, then switch up your typical peanut butter for some cashew butter or even sunflower seed butter. You will get more of a nutritional boost as a bonus: sunflower seeds have Vitamin E and magnesium which can actually keep you calm, which is always a good thing at the office. Trade your usual apple for a handful of sweet summer cherries or a peach. If you love crackers and hummus, why not try a black bean-based hummus instead?
9. Relax Monday Evening
Make sure you stop working at a reasonable hour so you have enough time to chill out before returning to your desk on Tuesday morning. This is the best way to ensure that you don’t wind up with a case of the Mondays. Head home and make an easy, comfort food dinner like pasta, and veg out in the front of the television. Go to the gym and sweat out any lingering work stress. And always go to bed early.
Have a difficult time getting into the work groove on a Monday? You never will again with this how-to guide. Follow these steps and you will even look forward to the start of the week because you will know it’s just another work day, not the big scary Monday that you were dreading Sunday evening.