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Opinion: Weekend’s over: How to get going on a Monday

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I have worked close to 2,000 Mondays in my professional life and they haven’t gotten any easier. Why is Monday the four-letter-word of weekdays for so many people?

My second favorite author of all time recently posted some ideas that offered a unique way to motivate yourself to get moving on Monday. Even optimists who love their work need a catalyst to get the wheels in motion. Here are some of Simon Sinek’s ideas and my take on them.

  1. Take 15 minutes to walk around the block. I know someone who started this when she worked from home during COVID-19 and missed that “ramp-up” period during her daily drive to work. She would go out the front door, walk around the house a time or two, and then come in the back door. Then she got down to business at her home desk.
  2. Try a special Monday self-care routine. I play hockey on Sunday nights and am always a little sore Monday morning. Before I get out of bed, I do some stretches that help my neck, back and hips. Then, when my feet hit the floor, I’m ready to move.\
  3. Embrace NMMM. (No Meetings Monday Mornings). This may work for some people – it’s impossible for me!
  1. Take $10 to the grocery store and treat yourself. Cue the “Parks and Recreation” hashtag! Just make sure you get something healthy. I’m a grazer and spend the afternoon eating trail mix. OK, sometimes chips; I’m a salty guy. A quick trip to the store clears your mind and gets you away from the computer screen for a bit.
  2. Try some high-intensity exercise. This is a difficult one to start but can be the single best thing for your body and mind for a solid, fast morning wakeup. I sometimes play racquetball at the south Y very early. When I’m done, I am ready to tackle anything. Even a brisk walk with the dogs gets my mind moving.
  3. Create a special Monday soundtrack. I always listen to NPR’s Morning Edition (news habits die hard). But I also blast the music sometimes. Singing out loud to a great song always puts me in a good mood.
  4. Attack your biggest project head-on. There’s a book titled, “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy that was a hit with some of the KY3 sales staff back in the day. There are some real nuggets in that book. It feels amazing to get that big project out of the way on Monday and makes your whole week a little easier.
  5. Go outside and just breathe. I learned a special form of meditation years ago when I attended a 10-day silent Buddhist meditation retreat. My Catholic family thought I fell off the deep end! The basis for the technique – we spent three very quiet days on this alone – was focused, intentional breathing. Yoga practitioners know what I’m talking about. Navy Seals use it to control extreme demands on their bodies and it works in the workplace, too.
  6. Touch grass. This may seem the silliest of all but the classic film, “Barefoot in the Park” may have been onto something back in 1967. Some doctors believe just walking barefoot in the grass or on the ground can expose your feet to electrons that can be beneficial to your body. It certainly is calming to walk barefoot in the grass. Smell the roses while you’re at it.

Happy Monday!

Joe Daues is CEO of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. He can be reached at joe@bcfo.org.

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