I start dreading Mondays on Saturdays. I mean I have to physically and mentally prepare myself for Monday- the one day of the week that unsettles me. That makes me wanna curl up and not go to work or do anything. But as someone told me recently, “no rest for the successful”. I’ve come to realize, via that statement, that how my day goes is in my hands. Whether it is a Monday or Tuesday or Sunday, I get to determine how I want my day to be. Nobody else is going to tell me that or help me make the most of what I want in 24 hours. I get to do that.
I think the reason why many of us are afraid of Mondays is because we think that Mondays are naturally meant to be moody, cranky, and snippy and snappy days. The day we have to finish up pending tasks, run errands, answer emails, get into a battle of wits with your coworkers and your boss, plan the rest of your week and stuff like that. Like a writer once said “our lives are a large collection of single days- one right after the other. The sun rises, the sun sets, and it rises again. And in the end, the lives we chose to live will be determined by how we choose to spend each day”. Maybe I’m hitting the hammer too hard on the nail but that’s the fact. YOU get to plan and picture what YOU want from every day and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday or not.
The question on your mind may be “how then do I make the most of my day? I’ve tried and tried and tried but my Mondays always end up the same.” Well, these 13 tips have helped me know how to make the most of each and every day.
Set daily goals
Yes! Set daily and realistic goals for yourself every day. And when I say realistic, I mean goals that you can achieve within a reasonable amount of time. If possible, you can set 2-5 non- negotiable goals that must be carried out. When you write a long list of 99.9 things to do before noon, it makes you more concerned about getting things done instead of engaging yourself productively in those tasks. You need to take the pressure off yourself and try to not cram too many goals in your day. Write down your plans, tick them off as you achieve them. It makes you more relaxed.
Time-frames are key
Always budget enough time for what you need to do. And make sure you are realistic in what you can achieve. You can also try padding the time you’ve set aside for a task with an extra 30- 60 minutes to reduce pressure on you. Another thing, even if you don’t achieve that goal within that time-frame, you get to choose if you want to move on to the next task or continue with what you’re currently working on. But, I’d advise you move on to the next one. That way, you know you’ve already started on what you have to do.
Allow breaks and rewards
If you’re like me and you have a hard time focusing on stuff for long, even without distractions, it is advised you break down your task or goal into 15- minute intervals. Set a timer and work for 15 minutes, take a 5-minute break and reward yourself with something that won’t pull you away from the task. Stuff like emails, texts, phone calls should not be used as rewards. You should try standing and stretching, closing your eyes and breathing, looking out the window, jogging in place and other interesting stuff. I’d also suggest you shouldn’t use time devoted to tasks to speak with people. You can also give yourself bigger breaks between your set daily goals. These longer breaks should be used for lunch, checking emails, calls…but set a timer for these activities. After you’ve achieved your goals, you can use the extra time at the end of your day to finish them.
Bloggers love motivational quotes and so do a whole lot of people. I have found that reciting a mantra of sorts each day helps me get a firm grip on my day. If you have to write down quotes on sticky notes to help, please do. Motivational quotes help a lot. So go motivational to have a productive day.
Positive people tend to achieve a lot more than their negative counterparts. Did I get this from research? No, I got it from observation. I’ve observed a lot of people and I’ve discovered that those who are more negative rarely have their to-do lists all checked off because they spend more time griping and complaining about everything! So be positive, speak into your day and see if you won’t make progress.
Create a housework schedule
Housework is unavoidable for many of us, especially for stay-at-home moms and dads and college students. So to make your day productive, create a realistic housework schedule that will help you in organizing your day. Remember, there will always be something to do but you get to decide HOW to do it.
Get rid of all distractions
Always make to get rid of all distractions before you begin your first task. This includes clearing your desk, turning off your phone, shutting down all browsers on your computer, and shut your door. Allow your brain some quiet for a few minutes. It clears your head and makes what you have to do during the day easier to achieve. Don’t allow yourself be tempted with anything that will pull your thoughts away from your tasks.
Close the day strong
Review all achieved tasks after you finish the final task. If you had to stop short on one of them, go back and continue the work so you feel confident and complete with what you have achieved today. If you still have enough time left in the day, you can pick up a major goal and use these steps above. You will find that by choosing fewer goals each day and focusing on them intently, you get to make the most of your day productively. You get to close the day strong and to be in control of how your day goes.