|I recently joked that on Monday I hate my previous Friday self. What do I mean by this? Like many of you, I’m often tired on Friday. So, my Friday self, excited by the prospect of a week of hard work coming to an end, starts shifting “to-do’s” to Monday. In doing so, I buy into a false narrative that Monday won’t be busy, and that I’ll have much more energy after the weekend to tackle the tasks I’m procrastinating.
When Monday comes, I then have to face what I originally had planned for the day AND the Friday work. The energy reserve I built up over the weekend quickly gets spent on accelerating from time off to full throttle engagement.
If you can relate to this experience, here are three practices that help Monday feel more like the peace of a Friday afternoon.
1. Plan “white space” into your Monday calendar. White space is time you schedule just like any other meeting or commitment except that it involves no one else and no specific task or project. Like the margin on the side of a notebook page, white space gives you time to handle those deliverables that might not be urgent, but are important. Plus, by planning white space on your schedule, you’ll have a cushion of time when the inevitable Monday morning emergency happens.
2. Resist the urge to over commit and under deliver. Procrastination is often a symptom of making too many commitments. If you are exhausted every Friday, chances are you are doing too much. Be realistic with your schedule and commitments. And, when you do take on new tasks or projects, be sure to assign deadlines for completion that make sense in the context of your existing commitments.
3. Set clear goals for your Friday self. Each Monday, look ahead to the week with an eye for clarifying what truly “done” on Friday will look like. When you have a clear sense of what you must do by Friday, you’ll be more aware of your finish line for the week. And, more inspired to have a power Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to get there!
As you incorporate these three best practices into your work routine, your Monday will become more peaceful and productive. And, you’ll begin to respect your Friday self once again.