Call me annoying but I always try and look for the best in a Monday. Actually don’t tell anyone but they’re practically my favourite day of the week because they feel full of possibility – but only if you come prepared. Here are 2 clever hacks I discovered recently that come with a guarantee to kickstart a new week.
1.Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
Just do it now without thinking too much about it. Grab a pen and the back of an envelope or send yourself an email. Not only does this inject a quick shot of positivity to your brain, according to mindfulness coach Lisa Forrest the process actually tells our mind to slow down and think clearly.
Lisa told Flying Solo:
“Very broadly, when we feel stressed the most ancient part of our brain hijacks our attention and pumps hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into our system to help us deal with the ‘threat’. This is necessary if you’re physically threatened – like Mick Fanning dealing with a Great White in a surfing final – but debilitating when your ‘sense of self’ is threatened by, for example, an upcoming presentation at work, or an HSC test. The process of writing down what we are grateful expands our perspective and brings the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the wisest part of the brain, back on-line. With the PFC in control, a chemical called oxytocin is released which soothes our nervous system and inhibits the production of cortisol. With that we can breathe more easily, think more clearly – and our emotional state shifts from feeling threatened by what we don’t have to feeling connected to all that we do have.”
2. Don’t check your email first up
Revolutionary, right? Well yes, and no. Try it and see what it does for you. I tried it last week and found it helped me go straight to the first item on the to-do list and get stuck right into something more creative. This works for me because my productivity peaks in the morning.
If you struggle with this idea, and fair enough, productivity coach Kate Christie offers this helpful perspective and 3 suggestions for tasks to replace the email-checking first thing habit.
“Never forget that your inbox is someone else’s ‘To Do List’. It is not your To Do List – so you want to stay away from it as long as possible in the morning. Do these things instead:
- Exercise – start your day on your terms. I always exercise before I open my inbox, it sets me up for a much more productive day
- Always do one strategic revenue generating or cost reducing task before you jump into your emails – that way if there is something in your inbox that derails your day, you have at least completed your most important task of the day
- Review your calendar and make sure you set 2-3 email batches for the day, and stick to them. This means your day isn’t driven by your inbox, you get to control when you do and don’t access your emails
Got any Monday hacks of your own? I’d love to hear them: firstname.lastname@example.org