Adobe Stock

The start of the work week can bring a serious case of the blues. Make Mondays work for you with these tips.

Make Monday meetings later

The first-thing Monday meeting is a popular way for management teams to catch up after a few days off. It helps managers start the week well-informed and updated on current projects all over the company. Mike Vardy, “productivity enthusiast” and host of the Productivityist podcast, suggests meeting with your own department first. Pushing that meeting to Tuesday can be even better because it lets the entire team clear off work in their own departments before spending time learning about what is happening in other areas.

Get your sleep, but don’t sleep in

Entrepreneurs are notorious for burning the candle at both ends, but the National Sleep Foundation says that you cannot catch up on lost sleep. Start the week strong by getting a good Sunday night’s sleep. The NSF recommends seven to nine hours per night, but that’s not an average. Sticking to the same sleep schedule all week can help you feel more rested and energized.

More strategy, less action

Entrepreneur Damon Brown writes on the WorkWell blog that Mondays can be tough, but it’s important to understand that it’s not just you who feels that way. The pressure to perform and make up for the time off is enough to increase stress and anxiety in the workplace. That makes them less receptive to new ideas or a potentially controversially agenda. Instead of pushing too hard, he suggests reflecting on what you learned, develop a strategy and take realistic first steps toward getting there.

Do the brain dump

David Allen, the New York Times bestselling author of Getting Things Done, is a big believer in the “brain dump.” This is the act of transferring things from your head to something else, whether it’s a notebook, your smartphone or computer. By unloading everything that’s been in your head during the weekend onto paper or into some digital document, you gain two advantages. First, you don’t lose those ideas. Second, you create a tangible list that you can refer to as needed.

The reliable to-do list

Spend your Monday with a list of attainable goals. William Vanderbloemen, CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, an executive search firm that helps churches and faith-based organizations find their key staff, suggests doing tasks and projects that can be completed and have a box to check. They might be small, but they’ll provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation going forward into the rest of the work week. Vanderbloemen keeps a running “Monday punchlist” throughout the week so that he has some projects ready to go before he even gets to the office.

Balance your workload

Remember, it’s just the beginning. You’ve got a whole week of work, so you need to sustain that level of energy, not burn out in one day. Chunking out your week can help keep you from tackling too much and becoming exhausted on day one. Make a list of everything you have to do, and then group similar to-do items together--and tackle each "chunk" at a time. Reason being, it's much more difficult (and time intensive) to bounce between different kinds of tasks than to get into one specific zone and crank through all the things that align with that same mindset.

For more on “chunking” read our Sept. 2018 How To: