Desperately clinging to your beer and the last vestiges of the weekend, you refuse to give in to Monday stress on Sunday night.
Still, it’s in the back of your mind putting a subtle damper on your evening.
The next morning, as you clear the cobwebs and crank up the brain for work, everyone can see that you have a bad case of the Mondays.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
The best way to make Monday not suck is to start on Sunday night.
But my weekend!
I know. Who wants to work on Sunday?
You, if you want to enjoy the weekend and the workweek.
My colleague TK Coleman likes to tell the story of when he worked at a restaurant and kept spilling trays of food on customers. This caused major stress at work. Even when he wasn’t at work, the lingering knowledge that another day and another tray awaited at his next clock-in made everything a little less enjoyable.
So he took a tray home for the weekend.
While everyone else was having fun, he was in his apartment practicing proper tray-carrying technique. They thought he was some kind of masochist, but as he tells it, it wasn’t love for pain, but love for fun that motivated weekend work. He was tired of being stressed at work and being stressed about work when he wasn’t. A little extra time on the weekend tightening his skills would make work more fun, and mean less stress off the clock later.
You don’t need to work all weekend to have a good Monday.
Start by carving out an hour or so Sunday evening. Sit down in a quiet place, pull up your calendar, inbox, and to-do lists. Look it over. Take it in.
See what you have going on Monday. See what’s scheduled and needed the rest of the week too.
Clear out clutter emails and respond to any that you can knock out then and there. Mentally categorize and prioritize the rest. Make a list of the things you’ll do the next morning.
Then walk through the entire day mentally. Walk through your tasks, meetings, and activities in your mind. If something doesn’t feel right or seems confusing or stressful, take a few minutes to break it down, or do some work to get a head start so it’s not overwhelming when the time comes.
Neatly set aside your list for the day, exhale, and go enjoy the rest of your Sunday night. It’s amazing how much it will improve your Monday.
We tend to avoid unwanted stuff. But the more we avoid, the larger it looms. You may think yourself a stick-in-the-mud for doing a little Sunday work, but you’ll be a whole lot happier than the person who ignores it until it slaps them across the face like a wet fish Monday morning.