I’m writing this at 8:43 on a Monday morning. Mondays can be grim. Like most people I find the transition from weekending to working a struggle. Worse: I’ve trained myself to get up early, meaning the day starts with the electric shock of a 6am alarm.
But Mondays can also be wonderful. It’s about attitude not chronology. They’re like the New Year. Anything is possible. That feeling means that, for me, Mondays are a good day for thinking, planning and looking ahead.
Tell me why I love Mondays
Over the last year, I’ve changed a lot about my weekly routine to refactor Mondays along these lines. For example:
- Book routine meetings. I try to have all my routine meetings on a Monday including regular planning meetings, status calls and client catch-up calls. I schedule Articulate’s weekly traffic planning meetings on Mondays as well as planning meetings with my super-PA, Liz. This helps set the direction and tone for the week without breaking up productive working time on other days.
- Refresh mind and body. Start with some exercise (I really like Runkeeper – it keeps me on track) and end with some meditation (ideally at the South London Zendo but if not then using Headspace).
- Keep house. Mondays are also my day for any kind of domestic stuff (I mainly work from home). My cleaners come on a Monday. So does my wonderful cook, Jo, and she fills the fridge with food for the next few days. (Having a cook sounds very Downton Abbey but actually she saves me time and money relative to shopping and cooking for myself. It works well for her too because she normally does outside catering weekends and evenings so I can fill up a blank space in her diary with regular work.) By the end of the day, the house is clean and tidy and there’s lots of lovely food. A great start to the week.
- Update and review metrics. I collate all our metrics into a report and share it: sales funnel, copy deliveries, HubSpot contacts and website traffic stats as well as some financial data including cash flow and invoicing. This gives me a really clear picture of the state of the business and contributes to our open culture.
- Write weekly email. If I haven’t already done it over the weekend, I write my weekly email to my colleagues about what has been going on in the business.
- Set agendas. I also write the agenda for Articulate’s traffic call in a Basecamp discussion. Agendas like this help us have better meetings. For me, it means looking through all our client projects and seeing what copy is due to be delivered in the next week and having a first pass at allocating it. This gives me a really clear picture of the content creation side of the business. My colleague Clare does the same for the blog studio and updates the Basecamp discussion with her contributions before the meeting.
- Book thinking time. I actively schedule thinking time into Monday. For example ‘prepare for meeting with x’ or ‘think about refactoring y’. This goes in the diary and helps me get my head straight for important things that are coming up.
- Put the day on autopilot. With everything booked up and a strong routine in place, I don’t have to think too hard about what’s happening next and by the end of the day the rest of the week is all planned out and, hopefully, free of interruptions and distractions.
Instead of feeling oppressed by the start of the week, Mondays help me back into a working routine. Mondays are busy, buzzy and full of routine and familiar, comforting patterns. Refactoring Monday has changed it from the worst day of the week to the most exciting. What’s your Monday routine? What can you do to learn to love Mondays?