This article was originally published for Front Office Sports.
They don’t have to be as hard as you think.
We all know the phrase from Office Space — “Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.” Monday can be hard. Monday can be a drain. But, Monday doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Monday should be used to set the tone for your whole week. It should serve as the launching point to make sure that each week is as productive as you can make it.
I know what you’re thinking. How am I supposed to make Monday count? It’s all I can do to get to the office on time! Well you’re in luck. That’s what I’m here for.
If you want to separate yourself from the other workers in the cubicle farm and get the most out your Monday, follow these three easy tips and begin to see how they can transform your weekly productivity.
For me, the key to work productivity also includes keeping up with my workouts and eating right. If I’m not working out or get into poor eating habits, it begins to affect my mood, mindfulness and overall productivity.
One way to make sure that I keep these aspects of my life in order is to plan my workouts and meals ahead of time. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. As you look at your week ahead, try to plan for 3–4 workouts at convenient times.
This may have to be before you go into the office, at lunch, or at the end of the day. Regardless of the time, make sure to plan accordingly to keep your fitness goals on track.
For meal prep, it’s easy to schedule your weekly trips to the grocery store on the weekends. This allows you to prep for meals in advance.
How busy is your week? Do you have a meeting where food will be provided? Will you be away from your desk and need to pack snacks/protein bars? Have you scheduled lunch meetings?
Don’t leave your meals to chance! You will often find yourself choosing unhealthy food or skipping meals altogether.
A simple workout and meal plan conducted on the weekend can set you up for a successful week at the gym and at the lunch table.
Handwritten To-Do List
I wrote last week that the best way to remember things is to write them down by hand. I want to reiterate that point again and say that another way get your mind right for Monday is to write down your weekly to-do list.
Pull up all of your calendars and important appointments and write them down to set up your week. Along with that, prioritize the tasks you want to complete, meetings you have planned or want to plan and also incorporate your workouts and meal plan.
Now we all know what they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men,” — but starting your week off with this solid written agenda will allow you to begin on track and will also make adjustments easier as they inevitably pop up during the week.
You can be more agile and more productive when the majority of your week is planned ahead of time. There is nothing better than entering the week with a nicely laid out plan with tasks ready to cross off!
The final step to help make your Monday more meaningful is to plan ahead for relationship building.
We all have busy weeks with a lot of moving parts, but relationship building and networking should always be a focus. Here are some ways to make this more manageable.
First, develop your “core” list of mentors, influencers, or whatever you want to call your most coveted contacts. These are the people who you keep in contact with the most and reach out to when in need of help or guidance. Keep these individuals close and reach out to them often. Ask how they have been and be mindful of what’s going on in their lives too.
Next, identify “lost” connections, or those that you’ve developed a relationship with but over time have lost contact with. Work to keep these people more top of mind and converse about what each of you have going on.
Finally, make a list of “acquaintances” that have been influential in your career or that you have developed even a small relationship with. By identifying your core contacts, lost connections and acquaintances, you will have a “living” list that constantly evolves.
Select a core contact, lost connection and acquaintance to reach out to each week (at least) to make sure you’re always maintaining and growing relationships, while reinforcing the friendships you have.
These three tips are just a start. There are many things you can do on the weekend to refresh and recharge and set yourself up for a productive week. But, I have found these three items are the top priorities for me as I look to plan my week. After a while, they become habitual and they’re just part of a regular weekend.