4 Tips for Beating Monday Morning Procrastination
Since Monday is known for being a day of playing catch-up, it has a bad rap for low productivity and excessive procrastination. If procrastination always seems to be at its worst on Mondays, the issue may be that you’re simply overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish before the day is done. Before you tackle another procrastination-prone day, be sure to review these four tips for beating Monday morning procrastination and meeting your goals.
Break down large tasks
If you’ve got a giant project waiting on you when you arrive on Monday morning, it’s likely that you’re procrastinating about getting started because you aren’t sure where to start. Don’t worry. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed because of the sheer size of a task.
To combat this common problem, look for ways to break down the task at hand. Instead of having to read a 300-page book, your goal is to read a single chapter. If you’ve got to pack up your office, your goal is packing the bookcases. While you’ll ultimately still need to complete the full task, your immediate goals that you tell yourself to complete are smaller and easier to manage. Instead of one insurmountable goal, you have several easy to accomplish goals.
Skim your email
Even if you’re not the sort of person to deal with work email over the weekend, every organization has that one person who does it all on Sunday night. If you regularly come in on Monday morning to an inbox overflowing with messages, you may put off going through them for hours. A better strategy is to skim your inbox as soon as you come in. Deal with the urgent and time-sensitive messages right away and flag the others to come back to once you’ve made headway on more important tasks.
Write a list
As silly as it may feel to write a list by hand of things you need to do in a day, there’s something strangely satisfying about getting to manually check each item off your list. In fact, scientists have discovered that your brain releases small amounts of endorphins whenever you complete a task, making it a little easier to start the next task.
As a bonus, keeping a visual reminder of what you need to accomplish on your desk can help you stay focused when your procrastination habits would have you do anything else instead.
Build in breaks
In addition to showing up when you’re feeling overwhelmed, procrastination can also appear whenever you’re bored or fatigued. While you may love the idea of forcing yourself to work for four solid hours on a task to complete it, your brain may not be on board with the plan. To keep yourself focused and productive, be sure to build in plenty of breaks to get up and stretch your legs.
Knowing that you have an upcoming break can also be a powerful motivator whenever procrastination brain is fighting for control. If you promise that you’ll take a break if you need one in, say, 20 minutes, it will be easier to start any project because anyone can focus on something for just 20 minutes. If you don’t feel that you need a break when the 20 minutes are up – which you likely won’t because you’ve built momentum – you can work through your break.
Just be sure to take a few minutes to rest every two hours. If you don’t, fatigue can make longer work sessions less productive.