Let’s get right to the point. Mondays suck. Often, Mondays are the least favorite day of the week.
Why? Sometimes it’s hard to get back into the swing of things after a relaxing weekend. Additionally, Zety research shows that people dislike Mondays because of the following reasons:
- The day of the week with the most workload
- The day is packed with meetings.
- Not feeling motivated or productive.
- Their boss is holding a report meeting.
In addition, 8 out of 10 respondents (80%) believe Monday is the most stressful day of the week.
Yikes. There’s no wonder Monday was named the worst day of the week by Guinness World Records.
This does not have to be the case, though. Here’s how you can be more productive on Mondays and have a successful week
Have a Sunday kind of love.
As Etta James beautifully sang;
I do my Sunday dreaming, oh yeah
And all my Sunday scheming
Every minute, every hour, every day
Getting a great Monday morning starts with a productive Sunday.
You can prepare meals on Sunday, for example, so that you are all set for the week. As a result, I will have a very tasty lunch waiting for you on Monday.
Another option is to set aside a few minutes, usually 10-20, to review your calendar. You can simply refer to your Google calendar or planner to see what your next week will look like. As a result, you will be prepared, avoid surprises, and address calendar conflicts.
What if you’re struggling with Sunday scaries? As Deanna Ritchie suggested in a previous Calendar article, getting a little exercise helps overcome this fear, whether it’s walking, yoga, or stretching. Exactly why does this work? “It has been proven that exercise can help ground you when you’re anxious,” she explains. “And, in many cases, it’s more effective than trying to talk yourself down.”
Additionally, the relaxation response is activated by a deep diaphragmatic breath, so you can cope better on Sunday nights and Mondays.
Play a different mindset game.
Begin to consider Monday as your fresh start rather than as a “weekend destroyer.” As an example, make it a day of accomplishments and improvement.
It’s important to remember that we have an incredibly powerful mind. The odds are that you’re going to have a great Monday if you tell yourself “Here’s to a great Monday!” every Monday morning.
You might also find these Monday mantras and quotes useful:
- Like Benjamin Franklin — ask yourself, ‘What good shall I do today?’
- “Now that I have released all excess stress, I am calm and peaceful.”
- “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain
- “I welcome the gift of this day.”
- “I can handle whatever this week throws at me.”
Set realistic goals.
Do not overdo it on the first day back from the weekend. You will only set yourself up for failure if you do this.
Consider focusing on just a few essential tasks that will significantly impact you. In the end, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and unproductive if you try to do too much.
In addition, a psychologist study has found that goal-setting is most effective on Mondays. To achieve a goal, you must set it and work towards it. Using Monday as a landmark is advantageous because it occurs every week.
Doing so allows us to constantly review our goals and the tools we have to accomplish them. Your growth potential may be stifled if you do this only yearly. In short, checking in with yourself on a weekly basis is a great way to achieve your goals.
Similarly, the “Fresh Start Effect” is a phenomenon that research has found leads people to believe their past failures have been put behind them and that they will achieve success in the future.
This can explain the importance of a day like Monday in goal-setting. Last week’s failures might be chalked up to having a “bad week.” But as soon as we develop a positive outlook on the future, we will be better equipped to succeed.
Do the bare minimum.
New trends like quiet quitting have recently spawned “Bare Minimum Monday,” which Marisa Jo Mayes has popularized on TikTok.
Rather than prioritizing work duties on Monday, Bare Minimum Mondays aim to get the workweek started slowly by focusing on self-care.
“Many people think it encourages employees to slack off and do less work at the beginning of the week, but the mindset actually provides employees with the space to ease into a busy week in a less frantic way – which is beneficial not only for their mental health and well-being but also for their productivity and the employer’s bottom line,” Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search site Adzuna, told U.S. News.
“It means allowing some time at the start of the week for employees to prioritize tasks for the week ahead and giving them the breathing room to focus on what really needs to be accomplished first, meaning pacing themselves steadily.”
The Bare Minimum Monday mindset can help employees be less stressed on Mondays and less dreaded on Sunday evenings, according to Hunter. “It’s a counter to the all-too-familiar work culture where employees feel like they need to attack their entire to-do lists at once on Monday morning when certain tasks can really be completed at a later date,” he said.
Block out your time appropriately.
A B2B Reviews poll found that 35% of respondents are most productive on Tuesdays and 29% on Wednesdays.
Certain times of day are also most optimal for some people. Data from the Deputy shows 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. as the most productive time block. Conversely, the least effective time is 3-5 pm.
Furthermore, an academic study by Texas A&M University reports that people are less productive in the afternoon and Friday afternoons.
Deputy also discovered that most people can only be productive for a handful of hours. A Gen Z and Millennial can work for just under five hours, a Gen X can work for five hours and 22 minutes, and a Boomer can work for five hours and 30 minutes.
What does that all mean? Basically, you should consider your own circadian rhythms. You’ll want to tackle challenging or complex tasks when you are most energetic. So, if that’s on Tuesday and Wednesday, you should focus on your most important tasks. In addition, you should take breaks and switch to less strenuous tasks when your productivity begins to dip.
Plan something to look forward to.
I’ve discovered that my days are much more enjoyable if I have something to look forward to. Studies show that actively imagining and looking forward to your best life can actually boost your optimism. Even more interesting, the mental image can be as satisfying as the actual experience
This is not to say that you should obsess over the future. The point is to keep your spirits up by having plans, whether dinner reservations, concert tickets, or travel.
Therefore, when planning your next week’s schedule, be sure to include at least one fun and inspiring event. For example, make time to meet with your mentor for lunch or attend a webinar on a topic you’d like to learn more about.
You may, however, find yourself stressed out simply because you are cramming your schedule full of activities. Maybe you should book a few nights without any after-work plans? After all, it’s alright to do nothing.
Here are some additional tips that you may find helpful:
- Avoid distractions. Distractions are a major productivity killer on Mondays. Put your phone on silent, close your email, and find somewhere quiet where you can work.
- Delegate tasks. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks if you have too much on your plate. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus on what’s most important.
- Say no. When requests are not a priority, it’s okay to say no. As a result, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed when you take on too much.
- Take care of yourself. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and sleep are all important. Doing this lets you stay focused and energized for the rest of the week.
- Find a mentor. Learn better habits and strategies by finding a mentor if you struggle to be productive.
- Listen to upbeat music. You can increase your motivation, productivity, and mood with music.
- Join a productivity community. Several online and offline communities offer opportunities to connect with other productivity-minded individuals. In addition to getting motivation and support, this can be an excellent way to connect with others.
- Take advantage of technology. To help you be more productive, there are several productivity tools and apps available. Identify ones that are useful to you and put them to good use. Also, 60% of respondents believe artificial intelligence makes employees more productive, according to Deputy.
- Reward yourself. Whenever you successfully complete a task, reward yourself. This can range from stretching to watching a funny video. By rewarding yourself, you will remain motivated and productive.
Monday can be the most productive day of the week if you put in a little effort. As such, it’s time to stop dreading Mondays. Let them be an opportunity to achieve your goals and start fresh.
Why are Mondays so hard?
Mondays can be challenging for a variety of reasons.
First, we often experience the effects of the weekend, whether we stay up late, consume unhealthy foods, or fail to exercise enough. Second, our Mondays are often filled with new tasks and challenges, which can be overwhelming. Lastly, we may feel the pressure to start the week strong, causing anxiety and stress.
What is “Blue Monday”
As a result of the end of the weekend and the start of the workweek, “Blue Monday” is referred to as a feeling of sadness or depression. People often feel this way when they don’t sleep enough, feel stressed at work, or socially isolated.
How can I make Mondays more productive?
Here are some tips to help you get more done on Mondays:
- Plan ahead. Plan out your week on Sunday and make some goals for yourself. Your focus and efficiency will improve throughout the week if you do this.
- Get a good night’s sleep. As a result, you will feel refreshed and ready to take on the day when you wake up.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. The energy you get from this will get you through your Monday morning.
- Set realistic goals. On Monday, you shouldn’t try to accomplish too much. Otherwise, you’ll feel overwhelmed.
- Take breaks. To avoid burnout, take breaks throughout the day.
- Delegate tasks. When you’re overwhelmed, delegate tasks to others. Retaining that time will allow you to concentrate on the most important things.
- Reward yourself. Whenever you accomplish a task, take the time to celebrate. By doing this, you will be able to stay motivated and productive.
How can I make Mondays more enjoyable?
You can make Mondays more enjoyable by following these tips:
- Start your day with something you enjoy. Spending time with loved ones, listening to music, or reading a book fits this category.
- Do something nice for someone else. Holding a door open for someone or letting someone go in front of you in line could be an act of kindness.
- Set a positive intention for the day. Set an intention to have a great day, and then take steps to achieve it.
- Be flexible. Be prepared to adjust your schedule when things don’t go as planned.
- Take time for yourself. It is important to schedule some time for yourself every day, even for a short period. As a result, you will feel relaxed and recharged.
What are some common productivity mistakes to avoid on Mondays?
In order to be productive on Mondays, you should avoid the following mistakes:
- Checking email first thing. You can easily get sidetracked by other people’s priorities, which can waste a lot of time.
- Multitasking. The more things you try to do at once, the less productive you will be.
- Procrastinating. Keep tasks on your to-do list throughout the week. Waiting too long will make them harder to accomplish.
- Negative self-talk. It’s okay if you don’t get everything done on Monday. Don’t worry about perfection; make progress.
Image Credit: Pavel Danilyuk; Pexels; Thank you!