Oh, Mondays. Yes, I can hear your collective groan from here. Let’s face it—very few people actually look forward to the arrival of Monday. It typically means you need to wave goodbye to the comfort of your couch and the fun of those social gatherings you enjoyed over the weekend, and instead say hello to hours spent at your desk dealing with an overstuffed inbox you neglected for the past two days.
While the idea that there’s some sort of magical advice that will have you tossing back the covers and leaping into the office every Monday morning is probably farfetched, that doesn’t mean you absolutely need to dread it either.
In fact, there are quite a few things you can do to tackle Monday with poise, strategy, and a few less exasperated sighs. Check out these nine tactics and you’ll no longer have to live for the weekend (well, mostly).
1. Prepare ahead of time.
We’re all familiar with that Monday morning rush. After two days of sleeping in and living on your own schedule, you’re thrust back into a rigid workday where you have places to be—ideally on time, no less.
Needless to say, the more stress you can save yourself on Monday morning, the better. So, reserve some time to set out your clothes, figure out your lunch, and pack your workbag before your Monday alarm rings.
By taking just a little bit of time for those basic things, you’re sure to set yourself up for a successful (and hopefully less hectic!) week.
2. Switch perspective
Think about this: What if instead of looking at Monday as the end of the weekend, you flipped your perspective and viewed it as the beginning of a brand new week?
This is exactly the sort of mindset you should adapt. Thinking of Monday as something that signifies the close of something you really enjoyed will cause you to dread it—and resent it that much more. Instead of viewing Monday as the end of the weekend, view it as the beginning of a brand new week.
But, can you challenge that thinking and look at Monday as the start of a new week filled with brand new opportunities and accomplishments? Well, suddenly it becomes a lot more exciting.
3. Don’t check your phones
It can be tempting to scroll through all of your phone notifications before you even roll out of bed. Try to resist the urge to reach for your phone first thing, and instead start with something else—like your running shoes or the coffee maker.
Why? Well, put simply, it increases stress levels. In a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, researchers instructed 124 students and professionals to check their email frequently for an entire week. The next week, they were asked to disable all notifications and were only allowed to check email three times per day. As you might guess, during the second week participants reported decreased stress and increased positivity.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast
You already know that a healthy, balanced meal is the best way to start your day. But, that probably doesn’t stop you from grabbing only a banana, granola bar, or maybe even just a quick cup of coffee while you run out the door.
But, if you really want to start your week off right, it’s important that you leave time for a satisfying breakfast—even if it’s just a few eggs, some yogurt with fruit, or a bagel with a little bit of cream cheese. Starting your day with a balanced meal will not only stop that embarrassing mid-morning stomach growling, but also improve your concentration and focus.
5. Give yourself time to adjust
Even if you absolutely love your job, there’s no denying that Monday morning can be a brutal transition from the free and easy lifestyle you enjoyed over the weekend.
But, guess what? That’s normal—pretty much everybody feels that way. And, those successful women who seem to have it all together every time Monday rolls around recognizes this, and then give themselves the necessary time to adjust and ease back into their normal work routines.
Instead of diving right in as soon as they sit down at their desks, they start with something smaller—like cleaning through their inboxes or reading a few relevant industry articles. It takes a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things; it’s understandable, so show yourself a little forgiveness.
6. Set a goal
Monday brings with it a whole new onslaught of messages, meetings, projects, and urgent requests. And, it becomes all too easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae of each day, spending all of your time putting out fires that crop up—and thus spend almost no time at all on bigger things you wanted to accomplish.
The best way to prevent this frazzled (and ultimately unproductive) state? By using a portion of Monday to set overarching goals for the week.
When you take the time to establish objectives at the beginning of the workweek, you give yourself a better chance of actually finishing larger projects that would otherwise get lost in the shuffle. And, ultimately, it makes you feel that much better about everything you accomplished when your week comes to a close.
7. Schedule meetings in the afternoon.
While you might not feel like it (particularly on a Monday), science says that mornings are when we all feel the most creative and full of high energy. Successful women know better than to waste that peak time zoning out in yet another meeting. Instead, they save morning time for churning out work—which is especially important when returning to the office after the weekend. For the meetings you have control over, do your best to push them to the afternoon and keep your morning block free. You might be surprised at how much you’re able to accomplish.
8. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
No matter how much planning and preparation you do or how good your intentions, things happen. Perhaps you get some not-so-great feedback on a recent project or maybe you get a parking ticket and run late for a meeting.
Yes, those things are unfortunate. But, don’t let them ruin your whole week. Take a deep breath, let them go, and move on. You’ll be in a much better position to make it through the rest of your Monday—as well as tackle the rest of your week.
Not many of us look forward to Mondays. But, the beginning of the week doesn’t need to be quite so cringe-worthy. Implement these nine habits of successful women, and you’ll make Monday that much more tolerable.
9. Make time for work and play.
The hustle and bustle that Monday brings can be stressful. And, that’s exactly why it’s smart to leave a little bit of time for the things you enjoy—and not just work—in order to balance the scales a bit.
Whether it’s a happy hour with close friends or an exercise class that helps you blow off steam, reserving a few hours for hobbies and passions will help you avoid viewing Monday as a wet blanket that repeatedly swoops in and consumes your life.