You know how the song goes, right?

"Monday morning, you sure look fine..."

Ah, not true for most of us. Mondays are like a cold slap to the face. We flop out of bed and look down the long, dark tunnel of the week and try to figure out how we will survive. "Get it done" becomes "just one more bagel" pretty easily when you have a heavy workload. Fortunately, these tech CEOs are here to help. They've provided details about how they handle the Monday Morning Blues (aka, MMB), a well-known ailment for entrepreneurs.

1. Take a cold shower

"After waking up, I blast a playlist of pump-up jams and write down three things I am grateful for and three things that would make the day great in my Five-Minute Journal. I follow with 50 pushups, 50 squats, and take a cold shower (on the coldest setting) for at least two minutes. Cold showers put my body into a pre-hypothermic state and this increases my metabolism for the whole day. I follow with a breakfast consisting of eggs and bulletproof coffee (coffee mixed with butter). I love to ride my road bike, so I ride into the office every morning. On my ride, I focus on enjoying myself and take sharp turns to unlock an adrenalin boost to kick off the beginning of the workday." Christian Smith, co-founder of TrackR

2. Talk through your priority list

"I've found the best way to collect my thoughts and prepare for the week ahead is to meet with my team leaders first thing Monday morning (after getting a cup of coffee and browsing Reddit, of course!). We talk through our priorities for the week and put together a strategy on how best to tackle these initiatives. Having all the key departmental leaders on the same page from the outset really helps us keep the lines of communication open and ensures that no silos are being constructed." Mark Rowan, president of Griffin Technology

3. Hold a team breakfast

"If you don't trust your Monday morning routine, you'll spend the weekend keeping your work in your head instead of in your calendar. As any athlete will tell you, rest is a requirement for productivity, and to serve your company best your mind should be at ease over the weekend. This is the routine I have confidence in: First in my calendar every Monday morning is breakfast with the team. Right after, I invest in productivity by going through the calendar for the week to get a clear picture of what it holds. I also take the opportunity to confirm one-on-one meetings with the people in our management team. Then I launch into actual work. Monday mornings are the starting blocks for the workweek." Martin Kallstrom, CEO of Narrative

4. Take it slow and steady

"Monday mornings, I take my time rather than rushing into the week. I go for an hour- and-a-half run to clear my head, then I sit down with my time manager to go through the week's schedule. I want to make sure there are no conflicts, there's enough slack in between commitments, and I have quality time set aside every day for family." Sonny Vu, CEO of Misfit Wearables

5. Early morning strategy session

"If business is war then it could be said Monday is the front of the battlefield, so very early in the morning I start with strategy and planning. To ensure I'm dialed in on my week, I review the actions and tasks I've outlined over the weekend. Like all competitors, I believe that health of body and mind are intrinsically connected, so after planning I head out on my bike and pedal hard for as long as time allows. To stay balanced it's important to unplug, and for me, being healthy and active isn't just therapeutic, it jump-starts my creativity and sets a positive tone for the week. Having an outlet that helps clear my head is key to maintaining a high level of efficiency, focus and productivity. After exercise, it's a healthy breakfast, catching up on headlines, emails, and coffee. Battles cannot be won without lots of coffee." Michael Bartholomeusz, CEO of HZO, Inc

6. Early morning run with a trusted advisor

"My Monday mornings kick off at 6 a.m. with a run alongside my biggest advisor, our dog Bode. This routine enables me to reset and get focused after a busy weekend with my three young kids, so I can concentrate on what we need to accomplish that week. Post-run, I review all the major projects on our plate. It's absolutely vital to adjust priorities often to ensure we are continually evolving and staying ahead of the competition. During my executive team's morning staff meeting we discuss weekly and long-term goals and assign ownership so that everyone knows the top projects for the week that will keep us innovating and focused on maximum growth." Michael Fordyce, CEO of NinthDecimal

7. Blast through your email

"I truly see Monday morning as a new beginning. A fresh start, not only to the week, but to whatever may lie ahead. As such, I clear my desk and start all over again. The first thing I do is blast through the FYI email. I generally stay on top of email and take whatever direct action is required. FYI emails are the various reports, notifications, updates, newsletters, etc., that do not require any direct action. I grab my to-do, follow up and idea lists from the prior week and add, rewrite, revise or re-prioritize as needed. It is amazing how clear things can seem with fresh eyes. Then I start to get things done." David Stubenvoll, CEO of Wowza Media Systems

8. Get up unusually early

"I start by getting up around 5 a.m.--except when I am on the West Coast--then I happen to wake up even earlier. If it's possible, I try to get myself to the gym. Afterward, I'm in fighting form for whatever comes next. Sometimes, due to my hectic travel schedule, getting to the gym becomes a challenge. By the time I've showered and read through my morning e-mails, I feel pretty good and ready for a great start to a strong day and week. Before I start my morning commute to the office, which for me is a nice long walk, I finalize my last preparations for any upcoming meetings. Then off I go!" Morten Brgger, CEO of Huddle

9. Make a top-five list

"I believe a productive start on Monday morning is critical to setting a good momentum for the rest of the week. Like most of us, it involves a healthy dose of emails for me, though I must admit, I keep peeking at them through the weekend too! When working on my emails and weekly plans, I like to follow Paul Allen's advice of Do, Delegate, Defer or Drop for every activity. Of those that are on my Do list, I prioritize the top five that need to be accomplished. To be effective, I make a person-wise list of actions for the team. Finally, I save some time for afternoon and late-evening calls, since we work in a highly global setup and there are usually start-of-week meetings or video conferences with clients, partners and teams based out of Europe and across the States as they start their Monday." Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO of Mindtree

10. Have the tough conversations right away

"I reserve Sunday afternoons to strategize and prepare for the coming week, so come Monday I'm ready to hit the ground running and begin executing. One of the things I try to do on Mondays is have any tough conversations that are part and parcel of being a CEO, such as giving tough feedback to my team. I've found that sharing constructive criticism and performance feedback earlier in the week gives people time to internalize and circle back with me as needed, versus if I did this at the end of the week, as it would fester over the weekend and become harder to manage. Also, Mondays I come into the office a little later, as traffic can be a bit of a bear. There you have it--some of the ways I set myself up for a productive week." Manav Mital, CEO of Instart Logic

11. Read interesting articles

"Preparation is my key to having a productive week. I usually have a handful of inspiring or interesting articles that I have read over the weekend ready to send to my team Monday morning. I like to do it early so they know that I am already awake and thinking about them. These articles range from motivational pieces and business stories to lighter items focused on their personal interests. It's really a mix of "I'm thinking about business and I'm thinking about you" and "you are just as important to me as my business." Preparing these articles takes time, but it shows them that their personal interests and professional growth are important to me. In addition, these articles create talking points throughout the week, give them a glimpse of what I have in mind, and build team harmony by setting the mood." Andy Fathollahi, CEO of Braven

12. Set yourself up for success

"I make a concerted effort to 'down tools' [an Australian expression for stopping work] over the weekend, to let my head regroup, and spend solid time with the family. The mind has an amazing ability to problem solve and get creative when it's relaxed, so rest is mandatory. Sunday night is when I start to re-focus on the week ahead. I try not to dwell on issues, but more jot down ideas and objectives for the coming week. "Things" is my favorite app for getting ideas out of my head quickly so they don't disrupt my sleep. By Monday morning I'm usually pretty focused on what I've got to achieve that week. Breakfast with the kids is super important, so everyone feels connected and ready to have a great week. I hit the office reasonably early for roadblock and goal setting meetings with my key staff. Monday is about setting the week up for success!" Dave Thompson, CEO of Audiofly

13. Treat Monday with respect

"I treat Monday morning with full respect. It sets my tone for the day and allows me to work through my priorities and my critical objectives. It is also a moment for me to have a bit of personal time, so I'm not bitter if the activity of the day takes away other opportunities or plans. My day starts around 5:00 a.m., with the first half hour spent doing a routine of Yoga and stretches to wake my body and my mind. I then spend 10 minutes sorting through and establishing the day's 'musts' and setting other goals that include personal objectives as well." Robert Allison, CEO of PEAR Sports

Published on: Feb 16, 2015