Too often we have that dreaded feeling of obligation on Sunday about all of the things we have to do, should do, or don’t want to do at work the next morning. Some people refer to them as the Sunday scaries or the Sunday blues. But no matter what they’re called, feeling anxious and stressed--especially when you’re not at work--sucks.
While Mondays can be notoriously manic, ending the day with no real work accomplished, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, they can be quite productive, which to me is less about getting just anything done and more about getting the RIGHT things done--the stuff that will help you grow your expertise, your brand, and your business’s bottom line.
So if the weekend has been feeling five days too short, here are some tips to get you excited for your work week.
1. A PRODUCTIVE MONDAY STARTS ON FRIDAY.
Instead of shutting down your laptop early on Friday and daydreaming about how you’ll spend all of your free time, take 10 minutes to debrief how your week went.
Make a list of:
Your wins - What went really well? Make sure you celebrate these and enjoy them.
Unaccomplished tasks - Are they important enough to be delegated over to next week? Does it make more sense to delegate them to a team member? Or is it no longer important at all?
Which situations/tasks feel challenging - A great starting point when writing this list is to think about what you’ve been procrastinating. Oftentimes, just by writing it down, you’ll see why it’s been so difficult and will be able to understand what you need to move forward.
Who you want to connect with next week - The success of a small business is all about the community you surround yourself with, so make a note of who you want to reach out to next week for a coffee date or coworking session.
By taking time to review what worked and what didn’t, you can be mindful of your priorities, understand how you can improve your workflow, and get a better idea of what’s been standing between you and that big goal you want to achieve.
2. HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON.
In the early days of my business, I remember being at war with my need for sleep and my ambition to grow my business. I know that many of you feel that same way, especially if you love what you do. But the number one thing you need to have if you want to create meaningful work in this world is endurance. The most effective way to build that is through hitting the pause button.
Take the weekend to practice self-care in whatever form is best for you - go on a hike, reconnect with family, or read that novel that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand.
3. DEFINE HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL.
Ask yourself these two questions:
How do I want to feel on Monday?
How do I want to feel on Friday when the week is over?
When you take some time for this kind of self-inquiry, you can get crystal clear on what you need to make your week work for you. Visualize your Monday morning with you feeling whatever emotions you chose--excited, focused, passionate--and then visualize what you’ll feel like Friday afternoon.
Visualization is a proactive way to help you have more control over your work week instead of allowing you to passively get by in a stress-induced state.
4. SAY NO.
While many of us struggle with saying ‘no,’ it’s a critical component of increasing productivity. Think about what tasks you dread come Monday morning or during the week and figure out how you can stop doing them.
You can split this list into two sections:
What you are able to stop doing today?
What are you going to stop doing in the future?
Some things take a little more work to let go, delegate, or outsource. But when you commit to no longer doing things out of obligation, you’ll find that you have more free time to spend on work that actually matters.
Mondays don't have to be manic. They can be our most productive day of the week if we plan for them. Instead of spending your Sundays dreading Monday, take these 5 steps and put them into practice. You'll be amazed at how quickly your view on Mondays turns around!
Bio: Tara Newman is a Leader of Leaders. Through her podcast, The Bold Lleadership Revolution as well as her association, The BRAVE Society, she supports leaders as they embrace their ambition and leave the grind behind. Using decades of entrepreneurial experience and a Master’s in Organizational Psychology, Tara is uniquely qualified to teach leaders to run businesses without sacrificing their health, relationships, or integrity by establishing behaviors, habits, and rituals aligned with their vision of success. Connect with Tara on Instagram @thetaranewman and listen to the Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast on her website.