Monday, May 23, 2011

How Do You Start Your Monday?


This is how this woman's Monday went.  

Got up 10 minutes late due to staying up and watching the last few minutes of the late news the night before.  Checked her Blackberry and saw she had 5 emails already, one of which was a customer saying that they are going to buy from another vendor.  She then put on casual clothes forgetting that she was going to be seeing an important client later in the day due to her frustration about losing her sale.  She skipped breakfast but grabbed a cup of coffee due to getting up late.  Got in her car and turned on the radio just in time to hear that the stock market was down, and that the unemployment rate had ticked up another point.  During the drive someone cut her off, which she responded in frustration by honking at the person.  3/4 of the way through her drive she remembered that she had the important client meeting that she was not dressed for.  She pulls into the parking lot of her office twenty minutes late, and someone is in her usual spot which means that she has to park in the back and take another 10 minutes to walk to the building.  She sits down at her desk and immediately starts answering the emails she has received which are now numbered in the thirties.  She gets a phone call from a colleague who asks her if she is coming to the meeting which she forgot about due to running late.  In the meeting she can't concentrate because she is thinking about the client she lost, the meeting she is not dressed for, and her stomach is starting to rumble due to not eating anything for breakfast.  The meeting finally ends and she has just enough time to run back home and get changed for her customer meeting.  She makes the meeting on time, but in a rush to get back home and change, forgot her questions she had prepared for the meeting.  The meeting goes ok but the customer says they don't have any money for new projects this year due to the economy.  She checks her calendar and sees her boss had scheduled a meeting this morning for later in the afternoon. She rushes back to the office late for the meeting.  The meeting with her boss was to discuss the client she lost this morning and what could have been done differently.  The meeting ends and she goes back to her desk exhausted and now has a headache because she has not eaten anything all day and still has a ton of emails to answer.  The day ends with her driving home and listening to the news that unemployment is still rising, and we might slip back into another recession.

For many people this is a typical Monday or some other day of the week.  Instead of planning our day the night before we let other things distract us from what is truly important in our lives.  A simple 20 minutes of preparation in the evening or in the morning can help to set up the type of day or even week we will have.  Here are some things I find helpful so all of my days start out right.  I say start out right because there will always be things thrown into our plans that make us have to adjust throughout the day, but starting our day can almost always be the same.

1.  When you first wake up stretch or do some type of exercise like jumping jacks, pushups, or simply running in place for a few minutes or more.  This will get your blood flowing and help to shake off the cobwebs an over night sleep brings.

2.  Shower, shave, comb, makeup, primp, and get fully dressed before coming out of your bedroom.  This will ensure that you will not have to do any of these things in your car which can make your drive feel stressful and rushed.

3.  Read something that is inspirational, or a book that is uplifting, or something new you are wanting to learn.  For me it is the Bible and prayer for my day.  This should not be the morning paper or the news headlines on the internet.  By reading something that is uplifting you get your mind in a condition of confidence to take on your day.

4.  Eat a good breakfast.  Remember when your mom told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day?  Well momma is always right and especially here.  Your body has been fasting for 6-8 hours or more while you have been sleeping and needs nutrition to help jump start your day.

5.  Sit down and go over your calendar for the day/week and make some goals on what you want to accomplish for the week (If it is Monday) or day.  This will help you get laser focused on what you need to accomplish and prepare you mentally for what is to come.

6.  Lastly, while driving to work listen to something that is uplifting or educational on your drive in.  The radio programs that are on in your car are not going to help you have any better of a day if you listen to them.  In the case of the woman above it made her feel stressed and demotivated.  There are tons of free podcasts, audio books, or sermons that will help you develop a great attitude going into work, and you might learn something on the way.

When you get to work you are now prepared to take on that customer email that says you lost the sale.


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