Reclaiming Monday Mornings

I’m a big believer in weekends.

Rest, recovery and unplugging allow us to clear our minds of the dross and stress of the previous week. If we truly let ourselves recharge, we find ourselves with both more energy and creativity on Monday mornings.

However, work still happens on the weekend: emails still arrive, questions need to be answered, calendars get shifted around, Slack channels come alive.

It’s tempting to wake up Monday morning and see this influx as a weedy undergrowth that needs to be hacked away immediately. With this mentality, we choose to start our Monday morning with a few hours of routine, mindless tasks.

A great trade is to find just one hour over the weekend for simple, menial work: delete spam and respond to spam-like work messages; check over to do lists for the week and add/delete items; look at and adjust calendars. These tasks carry a light mental load and ticking them off lets us start the week calmer and more grounded because we are on our front foot.

Then, the payoff: use the first two hours of Monday morning for something creative, important, scary, or fun. Maybe it’s a project you’ve been putting off, or it’s one you’ve not yet discovered. Perhaps its lying hidden on a blank sheet of paper, waiting for you to find it.

This small, stolen hour of catch-up work can recast Monday mornings: instead of “here we go again” we start the week with “finally, a few precious hours to do important work before I get sucked into the week.”

3 thoughts on “Reclaiming Monday Mornings

  1. I don’t agree with this approach, because whilst you are checking spam like messages, you’ll also read other irritating emails – and hence you’ll spend the rest of your weekend thinking about these. The best approach, imho, is not shut off work completely during weekends and holidays. Switch off, and on Monday, come an hour early to the office, and switch on.

  2. I hear you that’s a risk. However I still find it useful to try to take advantage of the creative time and energy that comes first thing – and worry about squandering that with email, etc. So I think the sequence in the morning of which tasks we begin with matters….at least for me.

  3. I think this approach really depends on how your work is going. Right now, if I followed this, I would pollute my weekend and still have piles of crap on Monday morning, so I’m better off keeping my weekend clear, so I have the patience and good weekend memories to deal with work on Monday. I can recall times when your suggestion might have worked for me, but that’s not the case currently.

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