Productivity Secrets: Tips To Make Your Mondays More Actionable

(Hint; A Strong Cup Of Coffee And Much Much More!)

This Monday morning while I was relishing my coffee I saw a post by one of my subordinates which consisted of “I hate Mondays” meme.

This post got me thinking when and how did hating Mondays become so fashionable. How can we hate a start of something new? A happy productive Monday will pave a way for more productive week ahead and hence, instead of fussing over the changes in your schedule and work plans it is important to be agile to stay motivated.

Being a developer brings a helluva of tasks and responsibilities. With writing effective codes without glitches, following up with the teams, and delivering an effective finished product, the life of a web developer is anything but easy. Though most of the days are heavily packed and hectic Mondays are particularly more grueling because of the sheer amount of emails, feedbacks, and meetings.

Even if Mondays are grueling it’s important to make the most of this blue day because a good start will set the pace right for the entire week.

Even if Mondays are grueling it’s important to make the most of this blue day because a good start will set the pace right for the entire week. If we start off well with a good momentum, the entire week will become productive as we won’t be running around to catch-up on critical activities if we set the agenda right from the first day of the week.

Let’s look at some of the following techniques to avoid Monday blues and make Mondays more actionable for developers.

Tip #1 Start The Day At Your Ideal Time

There is a lot of literature out there that will tell you that starting an early Monday will make it more productive. However, this seems to be working only for some people or early risers. Instead, start your Monday just like any other usual day i.e. if you are a morning person start your day early or if you’re a night owl then get started with whatever time makes you comfortable.

It is important to understand that getting adequate sleep is essential for being productive and skipping it in order to start your Monday early might just backfire. Web developers are required to have a great mind precision considering the nature of their work. Hence, it is important to recognize your ideal and most productive time and plan your day accordingly.

Tip #2 Have A Productive Commute

Getting a good sleep is the first part to make the commute productive because you wouldn’t want to doze off while reading or listening to some vital information. Monday mornings can be super busy and hence, it is highly recommended to make the most of your commute time.

If you take a public transport you can check the emails or read something interesting or if you drive to work then you can listen to a podcast, either way, try to put your commute time to use and start off with making your day more productive. Indulging in unnecessary conversations or discussing the previous weekend parties while commuting will make you dread your Monday mornings even more. Hence, it’s best to look forward to the day and to the week and go with the flow.

Tip #3 Start By Reflecting On The Good Things

Start By Reflecting On The Good Things

If you have a severe case of Monday blues then this technique might rescue you.

Our thoughts make our world. Hence, it’s a great idea to reflect on your previous week’s achievements, all the good things in your life, or just practice plain gratitude. Thinking positive will put you in a lighter mood and reminiscing your accomplishments or achievements from the previous week will motivate you to be productive in the coming week as well.

Reminiscing small milestones such as great code delivered to a client or productive meetings will boost your overall mood. Not only will it help to re-enforce a positive mindset but will also help you analyze and learn from the previous schedule.

Tip #4 Set The Pace Right

It is important to set the pace right for the first day of the week.

It need not be too fast because then you’ll end up feeling exhausted nor should it be too slow because there’ll be a lot of catching up to be done. The best way to set the right pace is by setting it according to your preference and your mind clock. Most of us like to start our work after all the morning rituals whereas some people like to check their mailbox the first thing in the morning.

As a developer, you’ll have a lot of difficult and brainstorming tasks at hand. But starting with a simpler or smaller task is always beneficial. You can gradually set the momentum- after all, you have an entire week to tackle the most difficult tasks. Know how your mind works and study what makes you comfortable rather more productive and set the pace accordingly.

I always start my Mondays with ticking off the easiest task on my weekly platter. Getting something done within the first-half of the dreaded day helps me mentally prepare for the day, and eventually for the week ahead.

Tip #5 Don’t Rush With The Work

It can be overwhelming looking at all those emails and meetings and projects lined up for the week. But you don’t have to rush with the work. Remember that you have an entire week to pull it off so instead just calm down and plan the week accordingly.

Trying to get everything done will leave you feeling exhausted right on the first day of the week. A study at the University of Sussex has found that constant multitasking damages your brain. Rather discuss with your clients and the team, figure out your priorities and deadlines and align everything appropriately.

Tip #6 Lay Out All Your Ideas

Lay Out All Your Ideas

This has been suggested to writers time and again but it could equally beneficial for web developers as well.

Jotting down all your ideas in the morning boosts your creativity. Therefore, it is recommended to just write or brainstorm ideas right at the start of the week. Whether it’s for your new project or some new code breakthrough, you never know what your mind might discover. One of the reasons to do this is because our mind and body are recharged after a break from the weekend and hence, the fresh mind creates more ideas than an exhausted mind. Another one being it’ll make you feel more productive and motivated because you might have come up with some great ideas or new solutions for the problems.

Tip #7 Don’t Aim Too High

Most of us tend to set goals right at the start of the year, on the first day of the week, and during the start of the day. Just as most New Year resolutions fail, your aspirational goals apart from the priority ones are likely to fail.

Being a developer the workload is even bigger. Hence, don’t over aim to start to read that guide, or take that online MOOC course right from the start of the week. Even if you plan to do so, spare Mondays and pick another day as your Mondays already need your attention for other important tasks. Hence, it is better to not try to overachieve and just try and complete the tasks at hand at first.

Tip #8 Start Your Monday On A Sunday

It is always good to prep-up the previous day to start the next day in a more controlled way. By this, we don’t mean that start checking your emails or writing codes on a Sunday night but you can always get your lunch or snacks to carry in place, keep the workwear ready, or just keeping all your files and documents or devices synced and ready.

Having few things in place will make you feel relaxed and will avoid the running around on a Monday morning. Getting these small things in order will make you feel more prepared.

Tip #9 Finish Up Your Monday Well

Finish Up Your Monday Well

It’s okay to celebrate your Mondays. You don’t have to be dead serious just because it is a Monday. Plan something nice for the evening or just do something that makes you feel relaxed and calm like having a mug of hot chocolate or visiting your favorite reading nook in the city. Not only will it put you at ease but will also give you a reason to look forward to Mondays and will keep you motivated throughout the day.

Tip #10 Practice Gratitude

Instead of gossiping about the weekend or dreading about all the work pressure, it’s better to be thankful for the friends you have and all the opportunities you have ahead of you. Practicing gratitude has helped people overcome some of the toughest situations out there.

In 2003 the Journal of Personality and social psychology published a study confirming that gratitude helped victims of 9/11 to be resilient. It also does a wonderful job of enhancing your performance by boosting your self-esteem. In 2014 Journal of Applied Sports Psychology published a story which traced a growth in the self-esteem of athletes who practiced gratitude. Being thankful isn’t a very challenging thing but it’s much easier to complain, hence, it’s important to consciously divert our thinking towards gratitude.

Tip #11 Your Friday “To-Don’t” List

Eliminating unnecessary tasks and distractions from your Friday’s to-do list will make the day more productive. And if you manage to complete some of the important tasks for the day, you will eliminate the unnecessary pressure of carrying the back pile of incomplete tasks from previous week. The backlog will leave you exhausted most probably in the first half of the work week decreasing your productivity to a considerable amount.

The infographic below beautifully summarizes the most important productivity hacks that would make your workdays bearable, even Mondays.

Most important productivity hacks

Agile For An A: How Agile Helps Make Mondays Better

How Agile Helps Make Mondays Better

Agility is an ability to adapt to fast-paced changes and reinvent and respond accordingly. Agility is definitely one of the most productivity hacks. To make Mondays more productive it is imperative to be agile. Though all the planning and precision is useful but there’s always a possibility of new priorities coming up.

One needs to be agile to adapt to such rapid changes and schedule the tasks accordingly. If we are able to be adaptive and handle it well without getting worked up then we have surely been able to master the art of agility.

Conclusion

Being a developer might not be easy but it definitely is exciting. We have started making a lot of fuss about Mondays whereas it should be the most exciting and fun day at work because it’s the first day of the week. If we figure out why we dread Mondays and just fix it with the help of all the above points then Mondays will be as much fun as it is to be a web developer.

Mondays are a start to a new work week and how can a beginning of something be so dreadful. If you end up dreading your Mondays, you will perhaps end up disliking your work. Starting your first day of the week enthusiastically will add more positivity to your work and hence, with a rippling effect you will spread this positivity and good vibes to your fellow coworkers as well.

So are you the one who dreads or celebrates the beginning of the work week?

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