Here’s how you can make the most of every Monday morning

Weekend gone, are you dreading the onset of the work week? Make Monday morning blues a thing of the past by planning ahead and maximising your morning hours.
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Are your mornings rushed, manic, and mad?

Time management experts believe that making the most of the a.m. hours is essential to maintaining a stable schedule. Happy mornings also lead to happier and more productive days.

Philadelphia-based career expert and author of What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast Laura Vanderkam found the most successful people were those who devoted time in the morning to “things or people that they loved”.

Why mornings? Mornings are a great time to do things as human willpower and motivation are at their strongest. Most of us are mentally at our sharpest and less likely to be interrupted than later in the day. Dallas-based Peter Turla, a time management expert, believes that mornings work best for busy people as “the day is a blank slate then”.

“You can plan, control, and focus on things that are important to you. Later in the day, you may be forced to work on things as they come up,” he believes.

Plan things right. Most time management experts exhort planning for the next day before you turn in. Turla says: “This allows you to get off to an easier, swifter start the next morning since you've already figured out part of what needs to get done.” He advocates the 5P Programme – “Proper Planning Provides Peak Performance” - and suggests planning ahead to take advantage of mornings. Do what you want - it could be meditation three days a week, exercise twice a week, and a creative class twice a week.

Get an early start. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and wake up 15 minutes earlier for a few days. If your mornings are happy and productive, you've started your day on a happy note. It may seem tough, but after a couple of months, busy mornings will become part of a happy routine. Often, slow-start mornings may mean that you are not getting enough sleep.

“All happy and successful mornings have their foundation in a good night's sleep,” Turla adds. A positive start sets a positive tone for the day. Ensure a good morning routine for increased productivity.

Do what you want to do. Mornings are a great time to devote to things that are of utmost importance to you, be it exercise, hobbies, or family time. Vanderkam, in her book, writes that busy and productive people had figured out that if they wanted something, they had to make it first priority. Spend your precious mornings on self-enrichment (prayer, meditation, exercise), family time (breakfast, an art project with the kids), me time (painting, photography, scrapbooking, writing, reading), or professional growth (strategising, organising, update your knowledge or taking an online class).

Focus on what you want before the phones start ringing, emails start coming in, and the help knocks at your door. Keep in mind that you may have to rejig your routine to ensure that you meet success each and every morning.

Peggy Duncan, international personal productivity expert and author of the Time Management Memory Jogger, has the last word. “People are different and so are their needs. What works for one won't work for another. You have to first decide what you want to get done, when it needs to be done, and how all that fits into your schedule,” she writes.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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