Ok, imagine it’s Monday again. Are you “A” – excited to greet Magic Monday and all its possibilities and opportunities? Or would you honestly prefer “B” – whatever it may be?
If most Mondays roll around and the Sunday night blues still have a hold on you like a bad spell or if they never really let you go until the next Friday rolls around, you are not alone. When we consider the millions of people who complain, express dislike, disdain and even harbor outright malicious feelings toward the first day of the work week, it would be more appropriate to rename it “Moan-day.”
The list of reasons people give for loathing Mondays is long and varied. One reason for hating Mondays that I often hear is that people feel overwhelmed. Since the week is just starting, from where does the overwhelm come? It comes partially from carrying the previous week with all its concerns, challenges and unresolved issues into the new week. Learn to let go of the past week before the new week starts. One way to do this is to establish a routine for closing out your week before you start your weekend. The routine has to include a process for handling unfinished business from a fresh perspective. Here is an example of a routine and some extremely easy tips that have helped some of my clients get out of their mind traps, out of stress and overwhelm and into a more empowering way of starting a week with Magic Monday:
- Start closing out your current week at the close of business on Thursday. If you did not do this at the beginning of the week, you will need an overview of your tasks for the week. To do this, create a paper list with two columns. On one side list everything that you would like to have completed in the current week. From the list select a maximum of three top items that must be finished by the end of next day. Repeat these items in the other column. The items in this column are your “top priority and urgent” list and the first items of business you will handle on Friday morning.
- Note: If you consistently have more than two items on your top priority and urgent list, examine your time management as well as your boundaries around taking on work on-demand. If you are constantly overwhelmed and continue to take on more work because you fear that your boss will be upset or disappointed in your performance, you are laying the basis for a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be realistic and clarify priorities in a conversation with your boss.
- Block out time in your calendar to handle your priorities first thing on Friday morning. Make a commitment to yourself and to your peace of mind, that this time is non-negotiable.
- On Friday, work on your top priorities during your scheduled time and until you have completed the task. If you are not able to finish in a work day, again you will need to look at your work load, your planning and delegation skills and other factors that may be influencing your ability to complete your work. You may simply be setting unrealistic goals.
- At the end of your work day on Friday, return to your long list of what you had hoped to complete in the current week. Check off all that you have accomplished.
- Everything that is not checked off gets marked with a star or highlighted with a marker. These are next week’s “opportunities and possibilities”, so write that heading across the page and place the list on a prominent place on your desk, where it will spend the weekend (not thinking about you.) Make a commitment to yourself that once the list has been laid in aside, you will no longer think about it or worry about the things not yet done. Imagine that these are opportunities waiting for the right time to be realized and this time will not be before the coming Monday.
- Since you are in the process of making the transition from Moan-day to Magic Monday, be creative in sparking some excitement about your “opportunities and possibilities”.Try putting the list in a large letter-sized envelope with a positive note to yourself, such as “It’s Monday! Today I make it happen!” or “I am so grateful for today’s opportunities and possibilities!” You may want to buy an expensive –looking letter sized and relatively flat box that you can place on your desk at the close of business every Friday. In addition to the list, put something in the box that makes you look forward to opening it; your favorite mints, a beautiful new pen, a specialty golf ball, a favorite photo, a short poem that inspires or motivates you or a gift certificate for a special treat that you will give yourself at the end of the day. You know what excites you – just make sure it fits in the box. Now go home and enjoy the weekend, so you can be refreshed, energized and more productive in the coming week.
- Whenever you find yourself thinking about what has to be at the office next week, remind yourself that those opportunities and possibilities are ripening and Monday is the perfect day to access them, learn those lessons and reap those benefits. Then bring your mind back to the here and now.
- Remember, just as you got into the habits that created Moan-day, you will need some time to feel comfortable with your new routine and the new habit of looking forward to the possibilities and opportunities of Magic Monday. Stick with it. You will become more productive at the office and more enjoyable to yourself and others when you are away from it.
How was your Monday? I’d love to know, so leave a comment.
Know someone who could use a little more magic in their Mondays?
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