Even if you love you love your job, chances are Monday mornings aren’t your favorite time of the week. Hopefully, you also are able to recognize the powerful potential that comes along with these precious hours. Monday mornings set the tone for the whole week – so it’s important to try to use them to your benefit in order to really start things on the right foot.
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Here are some tips for making the most of your Monday mornings:
Arriving early to work allows you to hit the ground running before the real chaos of the week kicks off. It also affords you the opportunity to map out your day, and just generally feel a little more in control and steady. By the time everyone else arrives, you’ll already be feeling grounded, prepared, organized, and ready to go. Also, other people will notice that you often arrive early, and that will only do good things for your reputation.
- …but be sure you’ve gotten enough sleep.
It’s great to arrive early to work, especially on a Monday mornings, but you shouldn’t sacrifice much-needed sleep in order to make it happen. Sleep is an essential contributing factor to your overall health, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors in the long run if you cut it short. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night to be at their best. Try to get to bed early enough on Sunday night that you get a great night’s sleep before that alarm clock starts screaming at you.
- Look forward, not back.
Like New Year’s Day, the first day of the week gives us an opportunity to let go of the past and start fresh. Make a point to let go of any tensions, frustrations, resentments, grudges, etc., that were eating away at you last week. This is a chance for a fresh start emotionally, and on every other level. Do yourself a favor and take it.
- Take care of yourself, not just your work.
The key to taking full advantage of your Monday morning is to look beyond your to-do list and find ways to really set yourself up to thrive throughout the week. In addition to getting enough sleep, be sure to eat well and exercise, too. If you are physically at your best, you’ll be able to do your best work. Don’t neglect yourself in an effort to get ahead at work; eventually, this is likely to backfire.
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It’s all too easy to start your day with email. In some ways, it can feel like the most logical place to start. You sit down at your desk, and start to work your way through your inbox. However, this isn’t the best use of the awesome Monday-morning energy you have available to you now. Check email later, when you’re ready for a break. Use Monday mornings to attend to tasks that require more from you.
- Be positive.
Don’t be the negative coworker who brings the rest of the group down, especially not on a Monday morning. Being positive at work is actually really important. Our attitude goes a long way toward determining what happens during our day, and how we process those happenings. Don’t underestimate the power of a little positivity.
Eliminating one task or action item from your to-do list that you’ve been dreading is a great way to kick off the week. You have the energy and the time, so rally the necessary motivation and get that dreaded thing done. You’ll feel great when it’s behind you, and it will help to lighten your load (and your mood) in the hours and days to come.
- Be grateful.
Instead of focusing on everything that’s going wrong, has gone wrong, or could go wrong in the future, gear your mind toward thinking about what’s working well. Take a few minutes on Monday morning to count your blessings. Gratitude helps us to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally; it also helps us to be more optimistic and more joyful.
- Compliment someone who deserves it.
It’s one thing to feel positive, strong, and happy on the inside, but these feelings are brought to a whole other level when you spread them to the people around you. Taking a minute to compliment someone who truly deserves it could give you a little emotional boast, as well. The old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” can also be turned on its head – if you do have something nice to say, say it! It could do more good than you know.
- Remember to leave time for friends and family.
When you sit down to organize your day (which is a great Monday-morning activity) be sure to carve out some time for friends and/or family toward the end of it. It’s important to have balance in your life. Spending time with people you love shouldn’t just be reserved for holidays and weekends. Build some time for your personal life into your Monday, too. You’ll be glad you did when Tuesday comes around.
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