The Industrial Age brought technological revolutions, mass marketing principles and a fear of Mondays. Some of us get excited to start working on Monday. Most of us are not.

There are three preventative measures you can take now to make your Mondays better for you and even your employees.

Don't check out on Friday

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of America's summer and - let's be honest - we begin properly checking out on Fridays. Your business may have Summer Fridays or half days. You may be leaving early anyway, spending a little more time at the coffee machine or heading out early to leave town.

Friday, however, is an excellent time to get work done. Less people are in the office and are less likely to call, so you can focus uninterrupted on your most important tasks (Cal Newport calls this "deep work"). Without the multitasking, it will likely take less energy for you to get more done.

Set your goals for next week beforehand

Time management expert Laura Vanderkam uses Friday afternoons to plan her upcoming week.

Friday is a low-impact time:

  • You don't have to work the next day
  • You don't have other people's immediate expectations
  • You objectively see what worked and what didn't work this past week

Monday's anxiety isn't just from starting a new work week, but from not having a framework for what you want to accomplish. Planning top goals for the following week can help quell the anxiousness - and help you get more done, too

Push heavy work to Tuesday

Sounds counterproductive, right? There are multiple reasons to schedule the heavier meetings, projects and session for Tuesday or later. As I shared in a previous column: 

As a 5-day culture, we create this immense pressure to be as productive as possible every week. It may motivate you sometimes, but any less than stellar work or unfinished business comes back to bite us in the behind on Monday...The expectation of bigger, better results can be an internal struggle or, worse, projected onto other people, including employees and colleagues, which means that even if you don't feel that way on Monday, there are others that are struggling. Why not sidestep the melodrama?

On Monday, be gentle on yourself and your colleagues. It's better to be realistic about what you can do in a day than to punish yourself for losing an impossible game of catchup.

Published on: Jun 10, 2019
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