You wake up Monday already feeling behind and overwhelmed. All the responsibility you set aside for a fun weekend -- relationships, job, finances, to-do list -- are back "on" today.
Your usual workweek busyness isn't working. And the struggle to "just get to Friday" drains your mental and physical energy.
Make a few simple tweaks to your routine that align with Third Metric ideals, and you'll go from tired and stuck to thriving and energized.
1. Find Relief in Systems for Routine Tasks
Lots of need-to's, must-do's and should's constantly swirl in our brains. You can have fewer items on your to-do list by setting-up systems to take care of them.
According to professional organizer Rachel Strisik Rosenthal, the paper influx in every household can become overwhelming in no time, but an incoming mail system is a quick and easy fix.
Strisik Rosenthal suggests that "simpler is better" when it comes to the system. She recommends you keep all paper in one place. Label four folders to sort the mail based on the action needed, such as 'Respond to Immediately' or 'To File.'
Every night, file your mail in the appropriate folder, even if it's unopened. And keep a recycle bin nearby, because 80% of the mail doesn't need to stay.
The thought of saving for the future can be a nagging presence -- you know you should be doing it. Financial planner Leah Manderson recommends not overthinking it by automating a small transfer to your savings account. $10 (or the cost a few trips to Starbucks) on a weekly basis is a good start.
"Every week is really nice because you can start out with a super small amount, and it adds up a ton over time," says Manderson. Plus, you'll have some savings available to catch you if you fall.
2. Design Your Schedule to Best Serve You
Having a schedule can be seen as boring, but it is also stress-relieving. Building in specific actions for the day frees up mental energy that is better spent for when the unplanned comes up.
Master life coach Susan Hyatt recommends starting by creating a morning ritual for yourself. "Folks who have a morning ritual tend to be 'more successful' because they are centered and grounded first thing in the morning, and that helps with clarity that can carry throughout the day," says Hyatt.
Finding clarity can come in the form of meditating, savoring a morning cup of tea or taking a quick self-assessment of how you are feeling when you wake. This conscious time to yourself gets you in touch with your thoughts and feelings first thing and sets the tone for the day.
Throughout the day, we all have our own rhythm and time when we do our best work -- our 'peak-performance zone.' Jennifer Racioppi, a women's health and success coach, suggests getting clear on when that time is. To help you figure out when those time blocks are, track your energy levels throughout the day for a week, and look to the past for clues.
Take that knowledge one step further and use it strategically. "Pay attention to when your peak times are and when your natural lows are and begin to schedule accordingly," notes Raccioppi.
During your "on" time, turn off Facebook, email, instant messaging and hold yourself accountable to do the most challenging tasks. Use the "low" for tasks that aren't super detail-oriented.
3. Make Self-Nurturing a Part of Your Day
With day-to-day busyness, making yourself a priority can easily fall by the wayside. Put attention, patience and love for yourself on your priority list.
Nutrition and wellness expert Linda Petursdottir advises that eating balanced meals is vital to avoiding energy slumps between meals. By eating a full and complete meal, you will feel more focused throughout your day. You'll be able to be more thoughtful and mindful with your actions, instead of operating in reactionary mode.
Adding some exercise to your healthy eating by moving your body three times a week, recommends Hyatt. When you consistently move your body, you begin to reach your flow -- stress goes down, answers begin to come. You don't need to join a gym or hire a personal trainer. Go for a 10-minute walk or try out that new Pilates app.
"The best way to change your state of mind is to change your state of body," agrees wellness coach and yoga instructor Rebecca Bly. Moving around is a great way to shake off the day and give yourself a new perspective.
Bly also suggests surrounding yourself with people who lift you up -- they have more of a positive effect on you than you realize. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so don't underestimate the effect that people near you have on your mood. Are these people energizing you or bringing you down? Be aware of those interactions and think about how they make you feel.
Try to schedule more time around people who energize you. If you notice a close friend is bringing you down consistently, step back and create a boundary that best serves your positive energy shift.
Certified life coach Janet Webber takes the self-awareness one step further. She suggests minimizing the inner voice that says you're not enough, which leads to over-performance and burnout because you are always trying to prove yourself. Instead, shift your focus to self-acceptance.
When you find yourself pulling away from self-acceptance, ask, "Who would I be if I wasn't judging myself?" and "How can I be even more loving to myself today?" Make a note of your responses and use them as a guidepost when you feel yourself moving away from self-love.
By continuously working towards the positive, these little shifts will begin to add up and improve your workweek.
Add one idea to your daily routine this week. The extra kindness you are showing yourself and your new actions will go far in helping you thrive Monday through Friday.
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