Have you ever had a wonderful weekend free of work and stress come to a sudden halt on Sunday night? You know the feeling—a cold dread washes over you as you anticipate the week ahead. It was all fun and games until you realized it was almost Monday.
I’ve been there, wrestling with the negative anticipation of what the new week would bring, wondering how many customer complaints, employee issues or prospect rejections I’d have to face. (I actually had a career that started out as door-to-door—I battled rejection daily!) I remember being sick to my stomach as the new week loomed over my head like a like a giant shoe ready to squash me like a bug.
That lessened as I transitioned into being a stay-at-home mom, but a few years later when routine set in, there I was again. There were certain Big Things that would set me on edge, knowing that they were waiting to pounce on me Monday morning.
But I’ve learned a few things over the years, and I dare say one of those things is how to tackle Monday before Monday tackles me.
Before we get into the meaty things, there are a few basics that we all know but are worth a mention:
Make a game plan Sunday night. This may include shoring up your personal to-do list and prioritizing your weekly projects. Also, looking ahead to a master list for the family to see where everyone will be at a given time, and making sure there aren’t gaping holes in your plan. After all, nothing throws off your work schedule like a crisis on the home front.
Work ahead. Anything that can be done early to lighten the load is a must. This might include all family tasks and chores that would slow your work progress down during the week. The more you can get out of the way ahead of time, the better.
Recruit help. Remember to delegate all tasks that don’t have to be done by you to someone else. If you find yourself trying to be a one-person show, it’s time to call in some backup!Whether you need a virtual assistant or bribing a kid who needs extra cash, don’t go it alone!
**If you’re like me and Sundays are sacred, use Saturday evening instead**
Now let’s dig into the good stuff, because this is where you’re going to make some changes that will have a bigger impact.
Three questions to ask yourself:
- WHY am I dreading the week?
This might be an easy question for some of you to answer. You’re dreading trying to balance your time between writing and caring for the kids. Taking care of your in-box that’s flooded with trivial things that you can’t ignore. Trying to do computer work instead of creating content. It can even be as simple as dreading the routine, and fearing your life will never change.
- WHAT is the worst thing that can happen?
I have a tendency to catastrophize and take each event to the worst possible conclusion. Mostly it’s a horrible trait to be stuck with, but one advantage is getting to see that even if the very worst happens, I’ll survive. (Unless it’s a scenario where I die, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.) Give yourself a reality check so you can see that you’re dreading an outcome that hasn’t happened yet, and might not happen at all.
- HOW can I change it?
This is where you have to dig inside yourself and pull out a few creative solutions. Nothing is off-limits! While certain things in our lives happen completely outside our control, we do have a ton of say over what we do, how we respond and what we want to make happen. Talk to your spouse or a friend and come up with solutions to The One Thing that’s hanging over your head. It could be as simple as rearranging your schedule, or as massive as a career change.
A few practical tips:
Change your routine. Your routines—maybe even ruts—might be part of the problem. Consider how you might switch it up, without losing control of the big picture.
Find something to look forward to. Despite the fact there will always be certain tasks that have to be done, tasks we might even loathe, we can find ways to insert joy into our days. Figure out what brings you satisfaction and make that part of your day. This is a critical step, and you need to make this happen.
With a change of thinking and a change in attitude, you can tackle Monday! Don’t be afraid to take charge and switch things up—you can always go back to your rut, if you prefer it. (Sarcasm!) Remember, the start of every week is another chance to make it happen.
How do you tackle Mondays?