. Monday Morning Madness
I have struggled for years with a malady I call “Monday Morning Madness”. Maybe you do, too! You see, somehow if Monday morning goes really well, the rest of the week seems to go just as well. Of course, in your mind, you are going to get everything done (that is important and essential to be done this next week) ASAP. But have an unavoidable repair, an unexpected interruption, or just one or two things out of routine right at the beginning of the week and the day (and sometimes the whole week) seems to fall apart.
So, how do you conquer this challenge which besets you every Monday morning? I have learned four skills which relieve the stress, dampen the depression, and can keep you going and going:
1) Make a list! More than any other single stress reliever, I believe that making up a list of what’s on your mind is essential to your success. This is usually done on Sunday evening. The list will be sometimes be long and frustratingly difficult. No matter, write everything down that is bugging you and needs attention.
2) Set priorities! Weight each item on your list according to importance. Use the A, B, C system. If it is essential, it gets an “A”. If it is important, it gets a “B”. If it would be nice to have done, it gets a “C”.
3) Set some logical pacing! Now, with your revised, prioritized list in hand, review the scheduling needs this week will present to you. Decide which day and time you would best address each “A” item. When you are running errands on Thursday, could you add two “A” items to your list and make just one trip? Can you read that “A” article while you wait for piano lessons to be done this Wednesday? Can you have someone help with that “A” repair on Saturday morning (after you have had a good, hot breakfast together)?
Add “B” items to each day’s schedule as appropriate, to be done ONLY IF TIME ALLOWS. Put the “C” items at the bottom of your daily schedule to be tackled only if PLENTY of extra time allows or someone kindly asks you how they can help. In other words, first focus on your regularly weekly responsibilities, then work on the “A’s”, then the “B’s” and sometimes the “C’s”. Remember, always do the most important things first.
4) Leave time for the inevitable! Sometimes, just as you have everything set and ready to go, you will climb into your vehicle only to find you have a flat tire. Such challenges are distressing at best, but you have to know that every day (for the rest of your entire life) there will probably be some challenge, some repair, or some problem to be solved. Plan for it. Schedule it in. (Of course, keep a “B” and a “C” item or two ready to slip into that time slot should you have a really, really smooth day.)
5) Stop and rest before you run out of energy! You can work and work until you are past weariness. This is not wise! It makes you cranky, sometimes means a burnt dinner, and often means an unhappy family (funny how they seem to act just about as happy as you do). Listen to your body and stop before you run out of energy. Take just for a minute, regroup, and get a grip. If you don’t, it takes much longer to renew yourself enough to finish out the day.
So, now that we have the methods down, let’s try to have a better week. First list, then prioritize, then pace, plan for the inevitable, and finally, keep track of your own energy level. Remember, Monday mornings are going to come every week. Let’s plan first and then go to work, keeping a smile on our face and that A,B,C list close at hand.
Find more helpful ideas in “House of Order” Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.