Mondays suck. We all know that.
Otherwise, there wouldn’t be an entire song about it.
But what if there were a few things you could do on Friday to make that morning alarm sound less like the knell of doom?
One of the hardest parts of that Monday dread is that to-do list that awaits at your desk. What seemed so far away on Friday is now an all-too-present reality. You have no choice but to face your tasks head-on.
Who wants to work — and live — like that? Certainly not me. And I guarantee not you, either. This got me thinking towards a better solution.
Things generally wind down on Friday afternoons, so why not use that time to make the start of your week a little more manageable? If you can make a few things an end-of-week habit, you may soon find that you’re better able to enjoy your weekends without that inevitable "Sunday night blues" feeling.
In a matter of minutes, here are a few things you can do before heading out for the weekend that will make this upcoming Monday less manic and more bearable and productive.
Make an action list
Every Monday should start with an action list. No, that doesn’t mean you jot down your thoughts on Monday, caffeine in hand. Instead, get started during the mid-afternoon lull on Friday, listing out all the things you know you won’t get done by the time you clock out.
Once you’ve downloaded your brain on paper, take a good look at it. Number things in order of priority. What definitely needs to get done on Monday? Consider shifting non-urgent items to later in the week so that you won’t feel overwhelmed (or stricken with anxiety). Lastly, choose one task that you look forward to doing and move that to the top so you can kick the week off with a smile.
Complete dreaded tasks
Friday afternoons are the least productive time of the entire workweek. Professionals tend to wind down as the weekend approaches, often not wanting to start anything new. But you aren’t any run-of-the-mill employee. Let’s check off an item or two now as opposed to later!
I recommend knocking off a couple of the tasks you dread the most. It may be reviewing your financials, responding to emails or getting a head start on that report you’ve put off for far too long. Doing this now may take a little of the edge off of the Sunday night blues.
Sure, there are likely to be some tasks you didn’t complete during the week. It happens to the best of us. But instead of always focusing on those, take some time on Friday afternoon to reflect on your accomplishments. Some experts recommend a Done List, which gives you that sense of making progress that can be extra motivating.
In addition to celebrating your week, you should also find a way to refill the well if you have time to do so. Find some quotes to hang by your computer to motivate you when you’re in that same seat again Monday morning. If you have a long commute, listen to a book or podcast that inspires you. That small task may refresh you in ways you don’t even realize..
Take charge of your schedule
Often professionals immediately start filling up their calendar (and yours) with meetings and tasks at the start of the workweek. Instead of waiting for that to happen, take a proactive approach on Friday afternoon by blocking off some time for yourself in the days ahead. When someone tries to schedule something, you’ll be busy.
Also, think of things that are important to you as you plan the week. Do you always skip the gym at lunch in favor of work meetings? Consider scattering in a few hours away from the office to get in that exercise. If you want time to talk to your employees or a coworker, set aside a half an hour so to do that, as well.
Choose a weekly goal
How close are you to achieving your biggest goals in life? Even small goals can get lost as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months. On Friday afternoons, set one goal for the week ahead and put it in writing. As you make your to-do list, keep that goal at the forefront of your mind and make sure your most important tasks answer to that.
Next, instead of waiting for the following Friday to check in with your accomplishments, review your list at the end of each day to ensure that goal is on track. Continue the process over and over again to take charge of your work and your life!
Every Friday, you have a new chance to set yourself up for success. What plans have you put in place to reach your goals? Do you have any tips to make Monday easier? Let us know in comments below.