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7 Tips for Improving Monday Mornings

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1. Don’t schedule trying tasks for first thing. One friend used to hate the frantic rush of Monday mornings, so now she doesn’t try to do any “real work” until after lunch on Monday. She eases into the work week by checking email, reading professional email newsletters, and doing more substantial tasks IF she feels like it, but doesn’t consider herself “at work” until 1:30 p.m. The result? She gets about as much done as she did before—she just feels less pressure.

2. Look forward to something. One of my former roommates has always suffered from the Sunday Blues. Now she deals with it by making sure she has something to look forward to on Monday: she schedules lunch with a friend, excuses herself from some daily task that she doesn’t enjoy, or figures out some other way to improve the day. Once Monday morning actually comes, she’s always fine—she just suffers from dread on Sunday. Having something pleasant to anticipate lessens the feeling.

3. Set your own priorities. Another friend gets to work at 8:00 a.m. but doesn’t “react” to anything until 10:00 a.m.—on Monday or any other day. For the first two hours of work, he works only on tasks that he’s set himself. By not answering email, returning phone calls, or working on someone else’s request until 10:00, he takes care of his own priorities first. I would never be able to postpone checking my email for the first two hours at my desk, but I understand why it works for him.

4. Make the most of the morning. Speaking of mornings, studies show that the brain is often better able to tackle cognitive tasks before noon, so Monday morning, when you’re also fresh from the weekend, may be a great time to tackle a challenging task. This is an issue for me right now. I definitely do my best thinking early in the day, but it’s also the most convenient time for me to go to the gym (my gym is in the same building where my younger daughter goes to nursery school, so after I drop her off in the morning, I’m right there). I hate to miss using this valuable brain time, but if I don’t exercise in that slot, I’m much more apt to miss it altogether. I still haven’t figured out how to balance these considerations.

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68 comments

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12:57PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

Thank you. I do generally enjoy my work - but there are definitely days when you just feel like being rebellious and not doing any at all! (This can get a bit schizophrenic when you're self-employed, as I am!) So I'll keep these for future use.

3:18AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

Thanks for sharing, but most of these tips don't work in my job: I'm a doctor. So I have no choice in what I get to do in a day, and in what order. Often I have worked the weekend and am still working on a Monday. So the only thing I do is try to have a coffee on a Monday morning and just grin and bear it...

11:05PM PDT on Jun 19, 2010

Thank you for posting this interesting article. Im startin Tafe soon so this mught help me :)

9:55AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

There are far more effective methods & techniques to maximize health, well being & safety of workers than pushing "work" & executing the 7 tips . . . . How about empowerment, engagement, awareness, communication, training coupled with accountability? Every day of work week.

12:31AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

In Holland Monday mornings are good. Stores and banks, etc. don't open until 1:00 in the afternoon.

10:42AM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Thanks for some timely help. I think this can also be applied even if you are retired, or stay at home.

4:11PM PDT on Jun 12, 2010

thanks for posting

4:10PM PDT on Jun 12, 2010

tip # 8. stay in your bed!!

7:38PM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

These are good ideas. I mostly have a problem with Suday's, but I'm trying to change that every time I get the chance, and remember to.

12:28PM PDT on Jun 8, 2010

Awesome, thanks!

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