How many of us suffer from Mondayitis?
*wildly waves my hand*
I used to really hate Mondays. Weekends were fabulous but come Sunday evening, I would have that dreaded feeling in my stomach because I knew come Monday, it’s back to work and the weekly grind would start all over again. Even though I’m working from home, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the dreaded Mondayitis.
It took me a very long time to start to slowly break away from the shackles of Mondayitis. I’m relieved to say that while I haven’t gotten rid of feeling like poo on Mondays altogether, it’s really not so bad anymore. It took some planning on my part and a bit of work on Sundays but once I got those down to a T, Mondays started to flow much better for me, which meant that the days that follow continued more smoothly.
The problem with me is that if my Mondays are horrid, the days that follow usually aren’t much better. But if my Mondays are good, high chances are that my Tuesdays, Wednesdays and so on would be good.
Call it psychological mumbo-jumbo but that’s how I function. Believe it or not, Mondays are my most productive days now and it’s when I get most of my work done.
Your Mondays don’t have to suck. You too can be get your productivity juices kickstarted on Monday without feeling as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
Here are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years, from when I was still working in the corporate world and now that I’m working from home. Get your pen and paper ready and let’s get started. No, really, you will need a pen and paper for this exercise, which will hopefully turn into a routine and end up kicking Mondayitis in the butt.
1. Take note of critical meetings, to-dos, etc for Monday
Are there any important things you need to do on the week commencing Monday or on Monday itself? Take note of those the week before and prepare for them. Don’t wait to the last minute and only do it on Monday.
2. Do your Friday notes
This is a tip I picked up from CoSchedule. Every Friday evening, when I’m done with my work, I’ll record what I’ve done for the week. I don’t write thorough notes nor are they written in proper sentences. I simply do a quick record of the important and critical items I’ve accomplished (or haven’t accomplished) during the week. It seems like a lot of work but once you get used to it, it will make your Mondays start a whole lot quicker. Call it your weekly brain dump, if you will.
3. Review your Friday notes on Sunday
On Sunday evening, review your Friday notes and take note of what hasn’t been accomplished and what needs to be done on the week commencing Monday. Here’s when I start to get all checklist-y on you.
4. Prepare your to-do list for Monday on Sunday
Don’t make your to-do list on Monday morning itself. Start the day with a purpose; know what you need to do beforehand. This is a good way for you to get started quickly instead of dilly-dallying trying to figure out what it is you need to do. Review your Friday notes on Sunday and get started on that Monday to-do list.
Every evening, I’ll write my to-do list for Monday (in fact, I do this every evening for next day’s to-dos). This has not only increased my productivity tenfold, it makes distractions when working from home far easier to deal with.
5. Prepare your work outfit on Sunday
If possible, plan your entire week’s worth of outfits, down to your makeup, accessories and shoes. If that’s not possible, then at least prepare your Monday’s work outfit the day before. Come Monday morning, you don’t have to faff around and think about what the heck it is that you’re going to wear. As for makeup, prepare what you want to use for the next day in a small tray or box and put it on your vanity area. This way, you won’t be irritated with non-working eyeliners, dried mascaras, etc. You and I know that shit CAN happen.
6. Prepare your breakfast beforehand on Sunday
With the Monday morning rush, a lot of us usually cannot be arsed to eat breakfast because the thought of preparing it while getting everything else ready seems like such a waste of time. It’s time to change that. Breakfast is your starting fuel for the day; when you have no fuel, your brain and body cannot function to its fullest extent. There are plenty of breakfast foods that you can prepare the evening before. If you like breakfast smoothies or green juices, blend them the day before and put them in an airtight container.
If you commute to work via bus/train, bring that smoothie/juice with you and have them on the way to work. You can also soak rolled oats the night before for a delicious oaty breakfast the next morning. Pinterest has heaps of recipes and ideas for this so do check it out.
7. Leave earlier for work
If possible, leave earlier for work. If your workplace has flexible working hours, this could also mean that you could be able to leave work earlier. There’s usually less traffic on the road when you leave earlier to avoid rush hour.
Back in the day when I was still working in an office, I’d arrive at work an hour before working hours officially started. Traffic was smooth, there were less idiots on the road to annoy me and I was able to get my act together in my own time before starting work. There weren’t any flexible working hours then and even though I couldn’t leave work earlier, that early me-time was important to get my day started right.
8. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked in by the negativity of Mondayitis
I can guarantee you this: you will not be the only person at the office who’s groaning about Mondays. Your colleagues will feel it too and chances are, they’ll moan to you about it. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into that negativity and certainly don’t join in the whinging. Instead, ask him/her what they did during the weekend or maybe ask a question about work. It might seem like you’re building a camaraderie with your colleagues by getting together to complain about Mondays but really, that isn’t going to help either one of you.
Remember, Mondays are fine. It’s your life that sucks.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 20, 2013
With just a little extra work, our life does not have to suck and our Mondays can be fine too. My life definitely doesn’t suck but when my Mondays do, then I know that there’s something I need to do about it. You can do something about it too.
This is still a learning process for me and I believe it will be one for the rest of my life. There will be times when I fall off the wagon and start whinging about Mondays (look out Twitter!), so this post will also serve as a reminder to me to stop moaning about Mondays.
After all, it’s just a day like any other.