On the Job

How to make Mondays more productive

 

Mondays are one of the universally-frustrating days of the week.

It’s not really Monday’s fault: The weekend has come to a close and, often, the pressure to perform and make up for the time off is enough to stress out workers.

The good news is that there are ways to manage Monday anxiety in ways that are effective and repeatable every week.

A major goal is to understand that you are not the only person feeling the stress to get things done on Monday, which means that others may not be as receptive to you as they usually are. Monday is not the ideal day to present new ideas or push a potentially controversial agenda.

Instead, try to be empathetic and focus on helping others get their foothold on the day. The more you can help a coworker or supervisor feel productive, the quicker your overall business will find its baseline for the week.

Also on Monday, lean more on strategy and less on action. The two-day weekend gave you some objectivity on what went well and what could have been improved from the previous week. Monday is a great day to reflect on what you learned and, most importantly, strategize on how you will put your new insights into practice.

Lastly, look at the first day of the week as the beginning of a marathon rather than a quick sprint. You will likely not accomplish major goals by creating an overambitious Monday agenda.

In fact, you’re likely to burn yourself out early and spend Tuesday, if not more of the week, trying to get your energy back on course.

What you can do is create realistic first steps, planting seeds that you expect to see grow throughout the week. Visualize how you want to be feeling as the week winds down on Thursday or Friday, and work backwards to determine what actions you need to take on Monday to make that vision real.