Sunday nights are full of activity in my house. This is what I love. Everyone seems relaxed after a weekend. On a typical Sunday, I spend the evening planning my outfit for the morning, packing my laptop bag and snack, and finding my train tickets. These are just work-related tasks that I need to do in order to be ready for next week.
Then there’s the other getting-ready-for-the-week stuff like meal planning for the week ahead, and checking whose birthday we have forgotten so I can apologise. I am not always on top of this stuff.
It’s a lot to do, but it’s not to do with getting my head straight for the office. All that was done on Friday afternoon. Planning for the week ahead on Friday makes Monday morning less stressful. Because Mondays are always busy, I can get right to my To Do List and hit the ground running.
Here are my top 5 tips to face Mondays. Get ready before you go to bed for the weekend.
1. Update Your To Do list
This is crucial. I review my accomplishments and keep my To Do List up-to-date. If Monday is particularly stressful, I will write my top three priorities on a sticky notice and stick it to my computer keyboard. It serves as a reminder whenever I open my machine.
To-Do lists help me stay organized and focused on the important things. However, they are only as good as the last update. It will take you only five minutes to complete it Friday afternoon. It will take you three times as long Monday morning, I promise.
2. All the Things
Tidy your desk. For me, this means putting paperwork into the confidential waste bin or the shredder. It could also mean that I take my expenses to the post office or that I send my holiday form to my manager.
If I work from home, I will tidy up my receipts and place them in an envelope for claim. I’ll also throw out any sticky notes I’ve collected (and taken action on) during the week. If I don’t complete the tasks on them, they’ll stay with me until they’re done.
It won’t be fun to start work Monday morning with a bunch of unidentifiable papers or notes.
3. Clear Your Inbox
Okay, this is not something I do! It’s beyond me to reach Inbox Zero. My inbox is kept to less than 100 messages at a time. On a Friday, it’s down to one screen with no scrolling. That’s 35. It makes me happy when I have filed, deleted, or taken action on messages.
It’s also easy to see what was sent over the weekend and what is urgently needed. Emails are a major source of stress for me. If I can clear out all emails and get ready to start next week, I know that I’ll be able to start over.
4. Book Travel Tickets
Check your calendar and make sure you have everything you need to attend the meetings. I travel almost every week so I make sure to book my tickets in advance. They can be sent to my home so they are available, or I can collect them at the station (it’s trains for you – I don’t fly that much).
You can also make it a Friday job if you have hotel reservations that you need to make. It is cheaper and easier to know that these arrangements are already in place than trying to make them the day before.
5. Make a reservation for a meeting room
I can’t count how many times I have booked a meeting, and sent out the invite “Room TBC”. I forget to set up the room and confirm it with the attendees.
I review my meetings and make sure I remember to book a meeting room if I need one. If I have already booked one, I will usually ring or visit to confirm that it is still mine. Have you ever been kicked out of a room by someone else and not been informed? Embarrassing.
This seems to be a common occurrence in Westminster’s government buildings. It was very interesting to watch the documentary Inside the Commons. One of the many o