If Friday is the day we welcome with excitement and a big sigh of contentment, Sunday night is the time when we mentally brace ourselves for the workweek that lies ahead.
But there's nothing to dread about Monday morning--especially if you make a point of doing these five simple things:
Give yourself time.
It's so easy as a leader to pack your day full of meetings. Although I meet with our senior executive staff first thing every Monday morning, I also think it's important to cordon off some time that day just for thinking. A blank spot on your calendar that's reserved for creative brainstorming--not actual work products or Facebook procrastination--at the start of the week is a great idea if you can swing it. See what bubbles up.
Do something physical.
Lying in bed, wishing fervently that you could roll back the clock to the weekend, is a surefire recipe for a lackluster Monday. Get moving. Do yoga, go for a run, or do a quick set of crunches and pushups. That energy will carry over into the day. And as a bonus, you'll feel (deservedly) virtuous for kicking off your day and week so healthfully.
Start with an act of professional kindness.
Want to have a great day? The onus is on you. Although life can throw us a professional curveball or two--an unexpectedly cranky boss, the resignation of a talented hire, a critical story in the press--there are elements entirely in your control. Make a point of starting every Monday by shooting a nice note to a couple of employees or colleagues who have done an exceptional job. Note the specific result, underscore why you know it was valuable, and say thank you. Tell a friend what you appreciate about the friendship you share or text your child with a fun message. You've taken five minutes (or less) and made someone's day. Boom.
Get up from your desk. Get out of your office. When you take a stroll around the office, you can see for yourself how things are going. Make a note of employees' demeanor. Do they look energized or listless? Happy or under the gun? As a leader, you can open the door for more conversations--even a simple "Hello! How is your day going?" can work wonders. Casual chats build rapport, a foundation for more substantive discussions later. Spending 10 minutes asking an employee about what they're working on--and really listening to her response--helps you learn about that person and what makes her tick, her approach to projects, issues that might arise.
Frame your week.
My public relations person had an old boss that recommended thinking of a desired headline before creating a pitch. That's a smart move for you and me, too. By Friday, what would your desired headline say about you? "Product Manager Kicks It Into High Gear, Delivers 2.0 a Week Ahead of Schedule"; "Founder Nails It With Killer Presentation to Top VC; Series A Funding Secured"; "Customer Service Team Beats Last Week's Response Times by 40 Percent." Framing your week in one short, powerful, summary headline or sentence is an exercise in clarity.
How do you kick off your week with positive purpose?