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Things People Do On Monday Mornings That Make Them Highly Successful

Things People Do On Monday Mornings That Make Them Highly Successful

Ah, Monday morning. It’s nobody’s favorite time of the week. It’s when we all have to stumble out of bed and face a brand new week, grumbling about needing coffee and being too tired to function. We’ve all been there. But just because that Monday morning alarm clock is a rude awakening (literally), that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of those early hours. Here are 16 things people do to start their weeks right. Next Monday morning, give these a go.

1. They don’t hit snooze.

Everyone loves the snooze button. Whoever invented snooze should be given a Nobel Prize. However, though we all like that chance to catch a few extra Z’s, repeatedly hitting the snooze button ultimately does more harm than good. Do your best to get up right when your alarm goes off. That way, you’ll be ready to face the day more quickly. This will give you more energy in the long run than the constant cycle of waking up and going back to sleep that the snooze button forces us into.

2. They exercise.

The best way to have energy throughout the day is to get moving early. Many people prefer exercising first thing in the morning because it gives them a reason to get out of bed quickly and wakes them up more effectively. Exercise in the morning can also help with the Monday blues, as exercise is proven to improve your mood and boost your confidence.

3. They eat right.

It’s like the cereal commercials all tell us: it’s important to start the day with a balanced breakfast. Successful people are more likely to stay successful when they have the nutrition they need to get the week off to a good start. Make sure your breakfast includes protein to help you stay full longer, thus minimizing distractions or grumpiness that might come from being hungry an hour later.

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4. They leave behind a clean house.

Monday can get hectic, so it can be tempting to leave things laying around the house or let those dirty dishes soak in the sink all day. However, there’s an even bigger possibility you won’t want to take care of any of that stuff when you get home, either. Clean up after yourself. It’ll only take a few minutes, and you’ll thank yourself once you return later in the day.

5. They make a game plan for the week.

Most people have a daily routine or schedule. However, things can vary from week to week. Whether you need to plan out a project for the coming week, or simply pencil in a lunch meeting for Thursday, do it first thing Monday morning. That way, you’ll get yourself on track as soon as the day starts.

6. They get to work early.

…or at least on time. The habits you form on Monday morning can form your whole week, so make them good ones. Arrive early to work to really get things going and avoid the headache of rushing in to a meeting 10 minutes late because of traffic.

7. They get organized.

What better way to start the week than by straightening up your work space? You’ll be more productive if your desk is decluttered and everything is put away in its rightful place. Once you get organized, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the day (and week) ahead.

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8. They attend to small things first.

If you have a number of small tasks you can get out of the way first thing, go for it. Respond to a few emails, make copies, whatever you need to do. Once these things are out of the way, you’ll be able to be more focused on the bigger tasks ahead.

9. They get their inbox under control.

Speaking of emails, make sure your inbox isn’t too crazy. Empty your spam folder, delete unnecessary things, organize your emails by putting them into different folders. The last thing you want to do is spend a long time searching through your inbox for something, when you could easily organize your inbox and find that email as soon as you need it.

10. They greet everyone.

Success is as much about skill and hard work as it is about making good connections with people. Saying a simple “hello” or “good morning” to everyone you pass on your way to your desk can make a big impression on people in the long run.

11. They make a to-do list.

To-do lists are great. They keep you on track and hold you accountable for getting all of the work done. Make one on your computer, one on your phone, one on a sticky note on your desk — that way, you’ll know what you need to get done and in what order. Remember to cross things off as they get done.

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12. They imagine success.

Picture yourself succeeding at whatever you have to do this week. Visualizing success can help you reach it. It’s a good motivator.

13. They take on big problems.

Once you’ve sorted out some of the smaller things on your to-do list, move on to the big problems. They might take longer than you expect, so getting to them first thing in the week will help ensure you’ll get them done on time.

14. They stay positive.

Even when things get tough, successful people don’t let it get them down. Getting discouraged at the beginning of the week will only make the rest of the week that much harder. Keep your chin up and power through.

15. They focus on the task at hand.

It’s easy to get distracted, so rid your work-space of anything you know will cause you to be less productive. Try to begin working when you know you won’t be interrupted with something else. Highly successful people can only be successful if they get their work done, so make sure you’re able to do the same.

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16. They aren’t afraid to say “no.”

There’s only so much one person can do. If you come into work on Monday morning and start getting requests right and left, only agree to as many as you can handle.

Featured photo credit: Sean McGrath via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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