You spend on average one third of your entire life at work. So when you think about it, that's a lot of Mondays! Sometimes we dread Mondays. We lay in bed on Sunday wishing it was Friday night so we do the weekend again. But this isn't how Mondays should be.
Mondays should kick off the week on a productive note, setting the tone for all the days ahead. But how can you make sure your Monday is awesome? Fridays can be unproductive for some people. But, by spending your Friday preparing for the week ahead, you can see benefits all week long.
If you want your Friday to be more productive and have the perfect start to the week, try and take some of the following proactive steps to make your Monday the best Monday it can be…
Organise the week ahead
Go through next week's calendar and plan out the entire week. Set reminders for all meetings, deadlines, and to-do items. This will help to clear your mind of that nagging feeling that you forgot something and allow you to have a truly relaxing weekend, leaving you happier on Monday.
Plan your downtime for the following week
Never lose sight of the long term. You can't work solidly all the time, so make sure you take the time to schedule in some downtime as well as your appointments. Think about how you will maintain your work-life balance for the following week.
Now, shake up your routine
When you've written a list of things you need to do, compare it to last week. Does it look the same? If it does, shake things up a bit! Create a new routine that has you doing different things at different times. You may find that it it's uplifting and energizing when you see it in the morning.
Schedule something positive
Give yourself something to look forward to next week. Spend the afternoon emailing new prospects or perhaps mentors. Set up a lunch for next week that makes you anticipate good things to come. People may be slow to reply since it's Friday afternoon, but you might come back on Monday to some positive responses.
Work on your personal development
If you feel you simply can't push any more paper for your company today, spend a little time jotting down some thoughts about your current career and your life. Are you happy where you are? Do you feel like you're working toward your preferred career goals? Where do you see yourself in five years? Make some notes and take them with you to consider over the weekend. When you come back on Monday, you may have some clarity to help you decide what to do with your week.
Get one thing off your desk
Fridays are the time when it's most tempting to look at projects and tasks and say, "I'll finish this up on Monday." Resist this urge! Choose one of your ongoing projects and commit to finishing it before you leave. The satisfaction of accomplishment may even motivate you to do more on Friday. Then, when you come back to work, you'll have the relief of knowing that task won't still be looming over you. To get the job done, you might want to…
…Make Friday an email-free day
If you're in a managerial role, you may benefit from making Friday an email-free day. You may find that you're able to push through those big jobs before the weekend. It also encourages you to work more efficiently, by forcing you to pick up the phone when you would have normally sent an email.
Prepare to start the week on a high note
Show someone some love. Pick someone in your office who has been extra helpful this week, done a fantastic job on a project, gone above and beyond, or has kept everyone's spirits high. Plan a nice gesture, even if it's simply a thoughtfully worded thank-you email. But save your gesture for when you arrive in Monday morning. This will make your Monday, and your colleague's Monday, start with a bang!
Surprise your Monday self!
Finally, before you go home, slip a little treat into your drawer for your Monday self. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but when you come back on Monday, you'll be grateful you gave yourself a little bit of self love. The best part about doing this right at the end of the day is that you'll forget all about it on your way home, so it will be a genuine surprise after a weekend away.
Taking these steps will make your Monday both effortless and positive. You'll have a clear head, a clear plan and a positive outlook… you might even have that bar of chocolate you hid in the drawer for yourself! Starting you week with a positive outlook is key to ensuring you have a happy and productive week.