Monday mornings are a pivotal time of the workweek, having the potential to set up success for both your day and the week ahead.
“Because you’ve stepped away for a couple of days, these back-to-work mornings are the most memorable for the rest of the week,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”
“They influence your mindset in a positive or negative way, depending on what actions you decide to take,” Taylor says.
Across workplaces, successful individuals comprehend the overwhelming chaos of Monday mornings with an influx of unexpected occurrences and communications. “But after weathering hundreds of them, they realize they must gain control and stay upbeat,” Taylor explains. “They take extra steps to compensate for this busy time of the week, and apply their best management skills to ensure that the day unfolds as smoothly as possible.”
Here’s what successful people do on Monday mornings:
1. They are early risers.
For those who wish to achieve success, a good night’s sleep on Sunday is essential. Early rising on Monday morning will also help one get ahead and remain motivated throughout the week.
“When the alarm goes off and the voice tells you that you went to bed far too late to get up this early, or that five more minutes won’t hurt, DON’T LISTEN!” writes Ciara Conlon for Lifehack. “When you are in charge of the inner voice, there will be no stopping you.”
2. They are committed to fitness and lead an active lifestyle.
Exercise is the key to jumpstarting your week and keeping you energized, allowing you to be more productive throughout the workweek. By getting your circulation going with a workout routine, not only will it help keep you focused but also ensure that Monday mornings become less of an antagonist. “You’ll get your endorphin rush, which will help your mood, too,” Taylor says.
3. They eat healthily in the morning.
Start your week off right by taking control of what you can – beginning with a nutritious breakfast on Monday morning. “You don’t want to be staring at the clock, awaiting lunchtime as your stomach growls at morning meetings,” she says.
4. They are never late.
Resist the allure of the snooze button and awaken with determination. “Commutes are bad on Monday, so beat the odds,” Taylor says. Furthermore, arriving at the workplace before others gives you time to relax and ease into your week so Monday mornings won’t feel like a dreaded onslaught of tasks. With an extra moment or two, you can prepare for whatever challenges may come your way. “Being an early bird will give you some wiggle room for the unexpected at work, not to mention any important personal matters that may arise,” she says.
5. They tidy up their desk and desktop to clear away any clutter.
“Hopefully you already did this before you left on Friday. But if you didn’t, get this out of the way, or you might add to Monday stresses in a sea of disorganization,” Taylor says. Be proactive and arrange your documents in order of importance. Discard irrelevant paperwork, while keeping vital files conveniently available for when you or any others need them right away. Stay ahead of the game and be prepared to efficiently deliver whatever is needed without delay.
6. They make room for unexpected tasks and projects in their schedule.
She says that those who strive for success must always be prepared to encounter the unexpected on Mondays. “Your boss, team members, or staff may have remembered some loose ends over the weekend, so you’re wise to build in some extra downtime on Monday morning.”
7. They courteously acknowledge their teammates and supervisor.
This should be done at the start of each day to maintain a positive work atmosphere, yet on Mondays, it is especially beneficial as your team may require that extra pick-me-up. “Ideally, you’ll spend a few extra minutes with your colleagues on Monday mornings. It reinforces a sense of purpose and community for everyone, including you,” Taylor explains.
8. They consistently revise their objectives and checklists.
“Get yourself current on priorities and tasks,” Taylor suggests. Then set five to eight goals for the week.
“Accomplished professionals have several goals in mind for the day and week,” she says. “They know that if all goals aren’t achieved, they can take pride in accomplishing most of them, and there’s next week to achieve additional objectives.”
9. They reflect on the week’s accomplishments and celebrate their successes.
By visualizing the successful outcomes of your projects, you can plan accordingly and make conscious steps to achieve your desired results.
10. Their email system is designed to quickly identify and prioritize urgent requests.
According to Taylor, the surest way to get lost in your inbox is by failing to prioritize time-sensitive messages. “Star emails that are priorities and think quality, not quantity.”
11. They take on the most difficult obstacles head-on.
Don’t let the most difficult tasks get left behind – tackle them first thing in the morning when your energy levels are highest and you can take on anything. Putting off those tedious yet essential assignments will only sap your strength and motivation later, so grab that bull by its horns!
12. They go the extra mile to spread cheer with their grins.
“It might be the last thing on your mind, but overcompensating for the pressure cooker morning will help you get through it,” she says. Even if you feel like a fish out of water, your contagious smile will make everyone around you – including yourself – feel more relaxed and at ease.
13. They infuse warmth and humanity into their emails, providing a comforting layer of trust.
On those hectic Monday mornings, it may be easy to dash off emails without a second thought. However, before you click ‘Send’, take extra care to ensure that your words are friendly and concise for the best impact! “Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. It’s relatively easy to appear curt when you’re in a hurry, along with the impersonal nature of emails and texts. You want to mitigate false starts and misinterpretations,” Taylor says. One way to do this: Start the email by saying “Hi” and “I hope you had a great weekend.”
14. They possess the power to deny requests.
“On Monday mornings there will be many distractions—from people to emails, to calls, meetings, offers for meeting in the break room, and so forth,” Taylor explains. “Successful people can diplomatically and politely say no to colleagues by offering to engage at a later time.”
Unless there is an urgent matter that requires your attention, always be sure to alert your boss beforehand if you have meetings or calls to make. This way, he/she can plan accordingly and avoid disruption. “It’s stressful to be a people pleaser, particularly on Monday mornings. Generally, no one ends up being pleased, as you can’t do your best work with conflicting priorities.”
15. They remain steadfastly centered.
Triumphant individuals don’t waste time ruminating on weekend misfortunes or trivial musings. “Compartmentalize by putting them in a separate ‘box’ as you start your week,” she says.
16. They know that there is still tomorrow.
“In all the chaos it’s easy to believe that the world will cave if you don’t solve all Monday’s problems on Monday,” she says. “But when the dust settles at the end of the day, you may realize that certain tasks could have waited.” Oftentimes, you gain the insight and knowledge needed to make an informed decision with increasing time or even see that certain issues can solve themselves in due course.
Monday mornings can challenge even the most driven, accomplished entrepreneurs. “But if you compensate for all the anticipated distraction and intensity by remembering to focus, plan, and stay calm, you won’t relive Monday all over again on Tuesday,” Taylor says.
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