Most successful people are keenly aware of the typical Monday-morning workplace dynamic of unanticipated events, overflow of communications, and general chaos. "But after weathering hundreds of them, they realize they must gain control and stay upbeat. They take extra steps to compensate for this busy time of the week, and apply their best management skills to ensure that the day unfolds as smoothly as possible.
Here are 16 things successful people do on Monday mornings:
1. They wake up early. Successful people go to sleep at a decent hour on Sunday night, get a good night's sleep, and wake up early Monday morning.
When the alarm goes off and the voice tells you that you went to bed far too late to get up this early, or that five more minutes won't hurt, DON'T LISTEN! When you are in charge of the inner voice, there will be no stopping you."
2. They exercise. Working out gets your circulation going and helps you stay alert, putting you at an advantage for a productive week ahead. You'll get your endorphin rush, which will help your mood, too.
3. They eat a healthy breakfast. On Monday morning, you want to handle everything you have control over. Eating breakfast is one of those things. You don't want to be staring at the clock, awaiting lunch time as your stomach growls at morning meetings.
4. They arrive early. Do not succumb to the snooze button. "Commutes are bad on Monday, so beat the odds," Taylor says. Plus, getting in earlier than others will help make Monday morning seem more like the afternoon because you'll have had a chance to breathe before responding to the barrage of people and issues. "Being an early bird will give you some wiggle room for the unexpected at work, not to mention any important personal matters that may arise," she says.
5. They clear their desk and desktop. "Hopefully you already did this before you left on Friday. But if you didn't, get this out of the way, or you might add to Monday stresses in a sea of disorganization," Taylor says. Organize and prioritize your files. Put aside unimportant paperwork and keep critical files easily accessible. You want to be prepared when you, your boss, or colleagues need something at the last minute.
6. They carve out time for unexpected projects and tasks. Successful individuals expect the unexpected on Monday, she says. "Your boss, team members, or staff may have remembered some loose ends over the weekend, so you're wise to build in some extra down time on Monday morning."
7. They greet their team and boss. This is important to do first thing every morning to keep morale high, but on Monday it's particularly valuable, as your team needs a special boost. Ideally, you'll spend a few extra minutes with your colleagues on Monday mornings. It reinforces a sense of purpose and community for everyone, including you.
8. They update their to-do list and goals. Get yourself current on priorities and tasks. Then set five to eight goals for the week.
Accomplished professionals have several goals in mind for the day and week. They know that if all goals aren't achieved, they can take pride in accomplishing most of them, and there's next week to achieve additional objectives.
9. They visualize the week's successes. By envisioning the positive outcomes of various projects at hand, you can work backward and determine the necessary steps to get your desired results.
10. They screen emails for urgent requests. You can sink into email oblivion if you don't scan your inbox for urgency. Star emails that are priorities and think quality, not quantity.
11. They tackle the tough challenges first. The least desirable but critical projects are easy to put off, but your energy is stronger in the morning, so that's the ideal time to confront the most difficult assignments.
12. They make an extra effort to smile. It might be the last thing on your mind, but overcompensating for the pressure cooker morning will help you get through it. You may well stand out in the crowd, but your smile will likely be contagious, helping both you and team members relax.
13. They're able to say no. On Monday mornings there will be many distractions — from people, to emails, to calls, meetings, offers for meeting in the break room, and so forth. Successful people can diplomatically and politely say no to colleagues by offering to engage at a later time.
If your boss needs you, that is clearly an exception. However, if you have crucial calls to make or meetings to attend, give your boss the heads-up. It's stressful to be a people pleaser, particularly on Monday mornings. Generally, no one ends up being pleased, as you can't do your best work with conflicting priorities.
Monday morning can challenge even the most industrious, successful business leaders. But if you compensate for all the anticipated distraction and intensity by remembering to focus, plan, and stay calm, you won't relive Monday all over again on Tuesday.
By Jacquelyn Smith