I think that many of you have, probably more than once in your life, experienced the “Monday Blues“. It is that overwhelming feeling of sadness and depression that hits when your alarm clock wakes you up on Monday morning.
The typical situation is the following: you have just come back from a relaxing weekend, you already miss being home, you wish you slept more hours, or maybe are still feeling the effects of last night’s hangover (ahem…).
But nonetheless, you have to get up, go to work, and get the job done for a long, exhausting week. Research has actually tried to explain why Mondays are such a horrible day of the week from a scientific point of view. No wonder social media are full of memes and funny pictures about what seems to be the most hated day of the week: if you browse on Twitter the hashtag #MondayMorning, you will know what I mean.
But is it really true, or are we somehow tricked into the “I-hate-Mondays” attitude? And how is it possible to keep productive on a day that seems designed to let you down?
I’m going to step in and tell you something that might come as a surprise to some people: Monday might be not as bad as it looks. In fact, it may be the best day of the week for your productivity. I know, that doesn’t sound right, but don’t close the page just yet and let me explain why, personally, I love Mondays.
There are a few reasons why we might want to rethink our relationship with Mondays. For example, we should consider that:
- Monday is actually one of the most productive days of the week: it might come as a surprise for some people, but other recent studies showed that, if you compare the employees’ daily achievements, Mondays are not less productive than other days. Actually, the opposite might be true.
- It is the day you have more energy due to resting and relaxing during the weekend (given that you actually gave yourself time to recover and get enough sleep, of course).
- It is the perfect day for a “new beginning”: we always talk in our blog on how to modify your habits in order to get more productive. Well, Monday, as the first day of the week, is the perfect day to start taking on a new productivity routine, a new habit or a new diet.
So these are just a few examples to help you reconsider, but regardless of that, it seems that we still might need an extra push to get things done on Mondays.
Here are a few tips to help you make your Monday more effective and productive:
1) Manage your e-mails
Typically, when someone opens the inbox on Monday morning it is full of new e-mails from clients, old e-mails you did not answer to the week before, invitations to subscribe to new services, offers, and spam (lots of…).
The best advice I can give you here is to tackle the inbox by answering only the important and urgent emails. After that, shut down your email notifications for at least one hour and start working. You will get back to them later on in the day.
2) Plan your entire week
Once you are done with the urgent e-mails, give yourself ten to fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time to organize the tasks for the rest of the week.
The ideal way to do this would be to start planning your week at the end of the week before, for example, Friday afternoon. Anyway, planning your week on Monday morning it’s a must in order to have a clear plan of action to guide you during rest of the week.
3) The worst task goes first
Putting off a task because it is scary or unpleasant is, in general, a big mistake. It is better not to postpone, or you will end up dragging it in the rest of the week. Instead, make an effort to tackle it immediately.
You can try breaking it down into smaller tasks if it is too big to handle, and then get them done one by one. After you have finished, not only will have checked out a big “To-do” from you list, but you will also receive a confidence boost and the rest will seem much easier!
4) Find your motivation
Whether it’s your favorite productivity playlist on Spotify, or a motivational quote, or an inspiring TED talk, you will need all the help you can get to keep your motivation up. So find out what works best for you and use it as a confidence boost to start off your day.
You can also write down your goals of the week on a piece of paper and keep it at sight every time, to have a clear vision of where you are planning to go.
Keeping close the photos of your loved ones has also been proven to be a good motivational boost (as well as photos of cats, apparently).
5) Now, it is time to get started!
OK, you have organized your week, you have identified the most important tasks of the day, you have your productivity playlist on… Now, you just have to start! It may sound obvious to say but if you never get started on a task, you will never get it done. Try to start working at full speed and concentration for five minutes: it will help you get into the “productivity flow” and once you have got the rhythm, you will not stop!
Productivity is often a matter of organization, motivation and perseverance: with the right tools and the right mindset, even the darkest of Mondays can become the brightest day of the week.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments what are your favorite “Monday-survival” tips and tricks. And of course, Happy Monday!