There’s a reason that Mondays are so universally disliked. Not only is it the end of our beloved weekend, it’s also filled with expectations.
Monday, like it or not, sets the tone for the rest of the week, which is why it’s so important to get it right. It’s so much easier to keep up a good momentum than to get it started, don’t you think?
Here are seven easy things you can do to have your best week ever at work (or just life in general).
Clean out your bag or purse. You know that thing where you shower every day? Well, your bag doesn’t exactly need that, but a weekly clearing out does a world of good. Your day-to-day life can be super hectic, and things like receipts, bills, and makeup can pile up in there. The result? Your bag gets messy and heavy, and it takes you forever to find things.
An extremely critical side-effect of this is the clutter it also creates in your brain. Little inconveniences like not finding change quickly and having to look at a pile of random things builds up and spills over into stress.
If you turn this into a weekly habit, it’ll probably take you 10 minutes each time, max.
Hang up your clothes and put your closet in order. The mere act of folding clothes, hanging them up, and arranging them can be a soothing activity that requires very little brainpower. At the risk of sounding hokey, think of it as a form of meditation. No, really.
Not only that, but organised piles of clothes are so much easier on the eyes than messy heaps. Also, hey, brownie point for you! You achieved something good today, and you can take satisfaction in that! Mum would be so proud. Last but not the least, it’ll be so much easier and faster to find the things you need. Speaking of which …
Plan your outfits for the week. Now we come to the fun part. I mean, who doesn’t like planning outfits? Look up the weather for the week and consider the activities you have lined up. Lay out your clothes on the bed for Monday, then Tuesday, and so on. Next, carve out a space in your closet where you can hang them up in order. Include the shoes and accessories if you can.
Voila! Looking good every day no longer has to be a chore. Neither does it have to take you half an hour each morning just to decide what to wear. More time saved, and less stress.
As an alternative, or as something you can incorporate into your routine, you can also decide on a work uniform or a signature style. In one fell swoop, it eliminates a lot of decision-making effort. Personal branding gets sorted, too.
Set out your gym outfits for the week. There are few things in this world that can make you feel more guilty than missing gym. Not only that – the guilt will also discourage you from going to the gym the next day. You’ll feel bad about missing gym again, and – you get the picture.
And get this – the thing that usually keeps people from working out is not being prepared. It’s not like work where, if you’re not ready with what to wear, you slog through it anyway because you don’t want to lose your job (or client). Working out feels so much more optional, and so it’s so much easier to let it slip.
The solution? Be ready. Like your work outfits, lay out your gym clothes for the whole week. Include any other peripherals like gloves, shoes, compression clothes, and the like. No more excuses! By the time Friday rolls around, you’ll be thanking yourself (and feeling badass). Best week ever? I think yes.
Make a to-do list (and keep it simple). No need to lug around a heavy planner here. You don’t even need a complicated calendar app. Just get a simple note-taking app like Simplenote or whatever built-in app you have, and make sure that it syncs across all your devices. You can write something like “Monday tasks 30 May 2016” at the top, and list everything you have to do. Arrange the items according to what needs to be done first, and work your way through them, ticking each item as soon as they’re done. Whatever is left at the end of the day can be copied and pasted to next day’s list.
This is an easy way to keep yourself on track and to make sure that you don’t forget anything. It’s also a way to keep track of everything you’ve done over the past week, so you can have a clear picture of whether you were productive or not.
Set aside time with family and friends. You probably spend a minimum of eight hours a day with people at work (up two 12 hours a day of you’re in the business of horse-training). While work relationships are important, so are the relationships you have with friends and family. With all the emphasis and pressure we put on our careers (and subsequently creating a good life for ourselves and our families), it’s easy to forget that you are not defined by your work.
Besides, who is it that you work such long hours everyday for, anyway? Don’t let them turn into strangers.
Set aside time for yourself. Having the best week ever isn’t all about doing – it’s also about knowing when to stop and take care of yourself. Yes, you want to be a lean, mean, productive machine, but even the best machines need maintenance. Even a Lamborghini needs regular oil changes and maintenance checks – otherwise, it gets rundown and useless.
Your body is the only instrument you have to build the best life you can build, so you have to take care of it. Ironically, it’s also the easiest to neglect. If you have to set an actual date to do nothing but take care of yourself, do it. Leave work an hour early on Thursday and get a massage – preferably somewhere far and with no mobile service so nobody can find you.
Remember, you’re not indulging a weakness, you’re doing maintenance.
Speaking of the best life you can build, you may also want to read about Australian women who have made their mark in racing.