How to Work the Countdown to Monday Like a Boss
It’s Sunday, the day is fading away and it’s starting. The voice inside your head is starting to go over all of the things you must not forget tomorrow. It’s rehearsing the meetings, the phone calls, all of the important conversations that will likely occur before noon. It’s arranging in order how to tackle the day’s challenges so that all will be well. It’s ruining your evening and it’s making sure Monday is a dreaded disaster before it starts.
That end of the weekend voice is a liar. Uhm, no, it’s more like a parasite. It feeds off of you and trains you to believe that the conversations in your head are important, they matter, that they are necessary or you just won’t handle the next day well without it. For some, that voice starts way before the weekend is winding down. There are those that sadly have that push to prepare voice in their head every single evening.
I got news for you, it’s impacting your performance, it’s sabotaging your life, and it certainly isn’t helping you succeed.
You are relying too much on that coach in your head when you should be counting on you.
The first thing you need to do is acknowledge your limit. You cannot play out the next day in your head. Tomorrow is tomorrow and you are missing out on living the now. That also means you are missing out on what can be done today rather than thinking about it. Know your limits and accept them. If you aren’t at your desk then quit trying to live like you are in your head. If the meeting is at 10AM then quit trying to be in attendance 24 hours prior.
Limit, limit, limit, it will do you good to admit there is just so much you can do to prepare and living for tomorrow’s work day is not helping, it’s burning you out.
After acknowledging there is just so much you can do in the right now for tomorrow, start reacting to the voice in your head. Don’t let it go over the negative and play out scenarios in a preparation drill for all that could and might go wrong. Negative talks with yourself are damaging, so stop. If that voice starts up and the tone is negative, don’t let it continue. React, switch gears, and review what will definitely go right. No need to worry, you got this!
So, you’ve realized it won’t do you good to live in your head for tomorrow and you’re putting the brakes on any negative thoughts about how the day could go. Now is when you put yourself through a few steps to make sure you are really truly prepared for the next day.
Go ahead and give your schedule a quick glance. Hopefully you have it in hand or you can pull it up on your laptop or smartphone. If not, then jot down what keeps going through your head, stick the paper where you are sure to see it tomorrow and let it go. Let the review of your day confirm that you haven’t missed scheduling anything. Start a habit of reviewing your schedule before your leave work so that you don’t have any second thought as to how well you are prepared.
Don’t make a “to do list”. To do lists or task lists need to go into your schedule, somewhere. If it isn’t time to schedule them then they need to go into your master plan, for more about how to do that read this: Business Planning.
Oh, and don’t check your emails. That can wait until the morning. If you check business emails routinely then it’s like you’re allowing each and every one of those people to ring your front door bell. Quiet the voice telling you to check the emails, it can wait, it needs to wait.
Prepare all you can to make the morning go smoothly. Set out your clothes much like you did when you were young. Choose every last item and set them out, don’t just decide on them, set them out. Place everything you need to have with you as you walk out the door together in one place. Do the same for everyone in the family, and have them participate. It’s a habit that will serve you and them well each and every day.
Streamline everything for getting you out of the house smoothly and without stress. You know what tasks could be done now to make things easier, so do them.
The entire point of accepting the limits of what you can do tonight, doing what can be done, and giving yourself some time off before the next day without guilt and a push to over perform, is that you need to quiet the voice that makes you live under a cloud of doubts and set yourself up to succeed.
Rather than trying to second guess the expectations of tomorrow, set yourself up to succeed. If you do what can be done, when it can be done, and you offer yourself a relaxing reboot then you’re ready. There’s nothing more to be done than for you to live in the moment and live tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
Live like a well prepared athlete facing the defining challenge. The preparation is done way before the event. Then there is an allotted time allowed for the body to build up and the mind to relax. That way you can face the game having already won before the whistle is blown.
Use the countdown of hours before the next big day, especially after a weekend, work days off, or a vacation, to set yourself up to succeed. Accept your limits. Have confidence in what you did at work before you left to prepare for the first day back. Have confidence in your planning and have confidence in your ability to meet the challenges that will surely arise. Make the countdown work for you, don’t work for it, otherwise you’re missing out on the “off the job” time you so deserve.