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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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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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