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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 April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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