Whether you work from home all week, or it’s your designated remote working day, Mondays can be a real challenge. Especially when you have spent the weekend relaxing, eating yummy foods, having a drink or two, or chilling on the couch in your PJ’s, getting back to work on a Monday morning can feel particularly tough—especially when you work where you live.
The good news is there are some tactics you can use to make sure that your Monday doesn’t only run as smoothly as possible, but is as successful and productive as possible too. Just keep reading to find out what they are—Monday mornings don’t need to be a nightmare!
Prepare for Monday on Sunday Night
While it might be tempting to extend the weekend as long as possible, heading to a bar with friends or binging your latest favorite show, if you are working from home on Monday morning it’s best to use Sunday evening as a time to prepare for the coming week.
Indeed, as most employers hold team meetings bright and early on a Monday, you will need to be up and functional at a reasonable time to Zoom in. To that end, setting out the clothes you will wear, and making sure they are pressed is a very good idea. Grabbing a bath or shower the night before and washing your hair is a smart idea too, as it means it will be so much easier to get ready on time come Monday morning. After all, it’s not going to look very professional if you show up on Zoom, in your PJs with wet hair!
Sync Your Brain And Your Body
There is plenty of evidence out there that shows working out first thing in the morning sets you up for the day, so moving your body on Monday morning before you sit down to work is a good idea.
However, you don’t need to panic if the thought of running a 5K, or doing 30 minutes of high-impact aerobic activity first thing on Monday morning sends shivers down your spine. After all, these are not the only activities available and others such as yoga can provide additional benefits such as helping you to get in touch with your body and mind, and work out what you need to do to best serve yourself for the coming day.
Indeed, many people describe their morning yoga practice as a way to sync up their body and mind, which can be particularly useful after the weekend! You can even get yoga routines specifically designed for Mondays like the one below.
Plan Your Day
Next, to ensure maximum productivity, without working yourself into the ground, it’s a very good idea to plan, both your week and your day ahead of time. The good news is that there are plenty of tools available for doing this including paper day and week planners, as well as ones that you can use on your iPad. There are even great online platforms you can use for organizing your work such Asana, Monday (how fitting), and Trello.
Of course, the advantages of planning your Monday are many, as it will help you to create a realistic schedule, and estimate when you can expect to finish certain jobs, something that is very handy if you have another member of your team waiting on you or chasing you for an item.
Additionally, by planning your day you can relax and focus on the tasks you have to do without having to work flat out for the entire time. Thereby ensuring a better quality of work, and less stress for yourself, even on a Monday.
Eat the Frog
Another tactic you can use in connection with planning your Monday is a method called ‘eating the frog!’ However, vegans needn’t worry as the frog in this case is the task you have on your to-do list that is the most difficult. Indeed, by beginning your week with the most challenging of all your tasks, you set up a situation where everything can only get easier as time progresses, something that can be incredibly motivating, and prevent procrastination on those tasks that we are dreading.
When working from home we do have anyone standing over us checking that we are focused all the time. This can be a double-edged sword as it means less stress and micro-management, but sometimes it can be hard to get motivated and down to work, especially on a Monday, when the weekend is still fresh in our minds.
To that end, another way of making sure Mondays go a little smoother is to provide a little extra motivation for ourselves. Happily, there are several ways to do this. The first is to motivate ourselves with the gift of time. This means that every time we sit down to focus for a set period, we give ourselves a little time back to do something we enjoy like checking social media, video calling a friend, or working on a creative project. The great thing about this approach is by taking mini-breaks during the day in this way we can stay both motivated and refreshed and so remain productive.
Another useful strategy can be to pick one of these Monday quotes for motivation and write it out on a post-it note ahead of time. Then make sure the note is placed on your computer screen or another place where you can see it at all times, then when you do become distracted you will find yourself reading the note and benefiting from its inspiration.
Include Some Time Outside
If you want your Monday to be as productive as possible, it is also a very good idea to make sure you spend some time out of doors. Of course, this can be challenging when you work from home because it’s easy to feel as if you should be working all the time, or doing chores around the home.
Probably the easiest way to ensure you get some time outside is to plan a walk around your neighborhood, with a friend if possible, as this will help you stay accountable. Other options include taking a coffee break outside in your yard, spending your lunch break gardening, or even getting your personal trainer to devise some outdoor workouts for you.
*Photos by Madrona Rose