Are you the type of person who faces Monday morning with anticipation at what the week holds? Or are you the type who dreads Monday mornings and who is tired before the weekend is even partway over?
If you are in the latter group; there are some steps you can take to make Mondays, and the days that follow, a bit easier.
1. Take time on Sunday to reflect on the week ahead. It may seem counter-intuitive to use a precious hour or two on the weekend to plan for the next week instead of relaxing; but the process of pre-planning can be calming. Check your email and calendar, map out your week, draw up a to-do list, and set concrete goals. Getting a clearer understanding of what’s coming will help to alleviate the stress of the “unknown”. You’ll enter the upcoming week with a plan. Even if that plan needs to change (and it most likely will), you’ll be as prepared as possible!
2. Before you go to sleep on Sunday, take a few moments and ready everything that you can for the next morning. Make sure your car keys are near your wallet, your books and files are in your backpack or briefcase and that you have prepackaged some items for your lunch the next day. It will make heading out the door much easier in the morning.
3. Wake up a bit early each week day and spend a few minutes relaxing and quietly reflecting on the day ahead. What is your goal for the day? The one thing that you would like to accomplish? Picture yourself meeting that goal and the feeling of triumph that will go along with it.
4. During the week it’s important to stay on top of your household chores, assignments and errands. Make sure not to let things pile up.
5. Fit in small surprises throughout the week. A Starbucks run, a flowering plant for your desk, a new song added to your playlist. Do something to break up the monotony of the week!
6. Make time to eat healthy and fit some exercise into your day. Taking a half-hour walk in the morning can provide an ideal time to mentally plan for the day ahead. Or, if you’d rather, tune into some music that gets you going and enjoy the view around you while you walk!
7. At the end of the day, reflect upon those things that you are thankful for. These may be successfully completing your tasks, a family that supports you, a coworker that brought you a much-needed cup of coffee. Count your blessings every day and express gratitude to others as often as you can. Having a positive outlook and spreading it with others is a win-win for all!
8. Get plenty of sleep every night. Stick to a routine of going to bed and awaking at roughly the same time every morning. Your mind and body will thank you.
9. If you feel that you are stuck in a rut, take a break. If you’re studying, set the work aside for a moment and do some stretches, get a drink of water, walk around the block. If you’re at the office, leave your desk and visit with a coworker for 5 minutes. And while you’re at it, try the Pomodoro Technique – it helps to make tasks manageable!
10. When the weekend rolls around again (and I promise it will) do something that makes you happy. It’s all too easy to get into a cycle of working every day, especially if you are an online student. And if working every day is how you’re most productive? Then so be it. But try to make time for the things that bring you joy. It will make all that hard-work seem worth it!
Starting this weekend, set yourself up for a week of intention. Find ways to organize your time, relieve stress, increase productivity and simply feel better.
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