Several years ago, when my children were still relatively younger, I made it a point to be incredibly vocal, motivated, and positive on Monday mornings. I would routinely tell them how “awesome it is to have a Monday — it’s a whole new week for great things to happen.” Quite often my motivational intention was met with eye rolls, cold shoulders, and grunts. Teenagers notoriously dislike mornings, but Monday mornings are particularly unpopular (and that’s being kind!).
Now, it’s quite likely that you feel the same way; Mondays are generally not popular, whereas Fridays get a lot of glory. I cannot recall friends posting on social media how excited they are, looking forward to a Monday. Weekend plans? Now there’s a popular topic for a late-week water-cooler conversation. But no one mentions how interesting their Monday morning all-staff conference call will be or that exhilarating project team meeting scheduled downtown at 9:00am.
But consider, for a moment, what might happen if we could change the paradigm and alter our perspective and actually look forward to Monday morning.
If you were to bounce out of bed (purposefully) on Monday with ambition, drive, and motivation, how would that set the tone for your week? What would you do differently? These are some things you may experience:
You’ll be more prepared if you plan to attack.
Imagine hitting the ground on Monday having spent 15 minutes Sunday evening planning out the following day. What are the key calls you need to make? What are the hard decisions you face? What are the primary goals that need to be met? If you can plan your day the previous evening, you’re less likely to be stressed about the “stuff” that’s waiting for you.
I have colleagues and clients who send messages to me over the weekend (even though I often try to not work over the weekend). By spending a few moments on Sunday, I can filter through the chaos ahead of time and mentally prepare myself for the next day — while perhaps acting in advance on any landmines that might be lurking!
You’ll not be sidetracked by the chaos.
My life is hammered by constant distractions. Whether calls, emails, instant messages, Slack, or social media, the reality is that the several dozen tools that are meant to streamline my communications actually do the opposite. I’m flooded with inbound communication each minute and the reality is that not very much is actually important. If we can eliminate the backlog of weekend ‘junk’, we actually may not need several hours of Monday morning’s desk time to dig out from the deluge of unimportant communication.
Darren Hardy has a term for this: his “Active Distraction Defense System” is a method of eliminating the “missiles of distraction” that are launched our way. Controlling the things that demand our attention and preventing them from stealing our time is a critical trait to master. Dwight Eisenhower had his famous ‘Decision Matrix’ which worked from the premise that “…What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” There are dozens of articles online that detail the analysis of this. (Maybe you should read this one.)
The point is that with a little more planning, perhaps Monday morning won’t be spent climbing out of a hole and you’ll be doing things that are a lot more enjoyable. You’ll eliminate the missiles of distraction and understand that’s truly important. No more chasing your tail on Monday and THAT is a refreshing thought!
You’ll be different. People will notice.
In full disclosure – my kids still think I’m weird. And many friends have chided my social media posts about being “revved up” or even “psyched” for Monday. Some people think I’m joking and that it’s just an odd personality trait. OK, maybe I am a little odd.
But make no mistake. My interest in Monday is straight-up competitive and intentional. I’m excited for Monday because no one else will be. I can win on Monday because most of my competition is recovering from a weekend, digging out from a clogged inbox, or swapping lame stories at the ill-fated conference room meeting. I am primed and ready to take deliberate, swift action.
How would these outcomes affect your week? If you could approach Monday with an entirely new perspective, how could that improve your projects, your relationships, your efforts, and your performance? What would be different? If you try this, I can promise you two things:
First, it might not always work. Some Mondays I truly feel drained, regardless of the pep-talk I give myself. Experience tells me that not every Monday will be awesome and there will be times you want to throw the towel in, of course. But it’s also true that some Fridays are rough and some weekends are a drag. Get over it and think bigger. Give yourself the pep-talk and get yourself moving anyway. Fake it, if you must. But the value of hitting Monday hard is worthwhile.
Second, you’ll know when it does work. There’s an incredible feeling of productivity and positive impact when you actually start strong. Imagine meeting all your goals for the week by lunch on Tuesday. If you can accomplish 100% of your goals in 30% of your time, that gives you 70% of your week to absolutely surpass them. That’s an amazing week!
I’m writing this at almost 11:00pm on a Friday night. I’m looking forward to my weekend and spending time with my family. And I’ll spend a few minutes on Sunday prepping for Monday. And when I rise on Monday morning, I’m going to attack the day with passion and enthusiasm, looking forward to a great day and phenomenal week.
See you then!