Making the Most Out of Mondays

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I love Mondays. A clean slate start to a new week. The optimism at what might be, balanced with the organization +  intention a new week brings. A good Monday can make for smooth sailing + planning for the week ahead, giving just enough structure to the week to be productive and leave just enough open pockets for discovery.

5 Ways I Make the Most out of My Monday:

1.  Start with a mindful moment. 

I aim to start each day with some quiet reflection time to meditate + journal. I’m not always consistent in this, but I rarely miss a Monday.  This practice sets a calm + grateful tone for my day and week. Giving myself a few moments to be still before the crazy of the day kicks in has been a game-changer for me, and never is it more welcome than on a Monday as I transition from a slower weekend pace back to my schedule.

2.  Big idea planning.

No day brings more focus and purpose to my planning than a Monday.  I spend some time on my weekly to-do list on Sunday night as a way to wind-down from the weekend. This time connects me to all I need to accomplish in the week ahead. Monday morning I pencil in the week, building time for writing, work, workouts, tasks, and anything else that needs to happen. I schedule everything, including meals for the week + time to cook. I batch like items together, leaving 1-2 hours a day for open tasks - like email, returning phone calls, booking appointments so I can work uninterrupted at other times. Planning a week at a time helps me to ensure I have pockets of productivity balanced with pockets of ‘free’ time to read, paint or explore or just for the unexpectedness of life. The reality never matches the plan, but just having the plan helps me to lean into the chaos and beauty of life in way that my type-A personality needs.

3.  Eat the elephant. Or the frog.

For years, I liked to start my day with the easiest tasks on my list - ensuring that I had a few checked items off by lunch. This felt falsely productive and focused. BUT didn’t get me any closer to finishing my big to-dos. The ones that require more time and thoughtfulness, and that are tied more closely to my purpose and big goals. More often than not, I’d be staring at a GIANT list by Friday, full of the most important items for the week that I had yet to tackle. After reading a bit about productivity, I’ve switched my days around to tackle the toughest + most important things on my list first. For me, this is when my brain is freshest and able to focus and be free - especially crucial for the type of creative work I do. These days I save the mindless tasks for the afternoon, timed just with my afternoon slump and a cup of tea.

4.  Keep your schedule open.

I try my best to schedule as little as possible on Mondays. Leaving the day to tackle the most important, most focus-needing items on my agenda before the stress and pace of the week takes over has helped me to have one day per week dedicated to writing, planning and building the best structure for the week ahead. Even in a corporate office, I was always much more productive when I blocked the first few hours of each Monday to get myself organized + started on the right foot.

5. Schedule HAPPY.

Do something, every Monday that brings you JOY. Make a Monday playlist. Write a bit on your novel. Catch up on your favorite blog. Having something to look forward to each week as you transition back to life + work makes for a better day. For me, this means one of our favorite meals for dinner and a glass of wine while cooking. This end to my day eases me back into the week and gives both S. and I something to look forward to on a Monday. Tonight’s menu is our favorite chicken dish - with enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. A win-win.

With a little planning + fun, Monday has become my favorite day of the week. Excited about the possibility and work of the week ahead.