What do you do with your Monday mornings?

So many people I know sit down at their desks and mess around for an hour or two – reading news or catching up on email. Others grab a cup of joe and jump right into the project they left on Friday.

If you’re in business for yourself, mornings are often crucial to your workday. A well-spent morning can often mean the difference between a productive workday and not.

But what about Mondays?

Over the years I’ve tried lots of ways to get the most out of Mondays. I’ve tried to do first things first or focused on getting done that one thing that’s most important. I’ve taken a relaxed approach to Monday and have jumped right into working. I’ve even used techniques like visualization or meditation to try to set the tone for my week.

Many of the things I tried were helpful. Sometimes I’d jump right into the most important project of the week and try to get as much done as I could. This would be great because it would set up the week for me to make lots of headway on a project.

But nothing I tried was really setting me up for success – either for Mondays or for my week. So I sat down one Monday morning and forgot about getting things done. Instead, I decided to focus on how I wanted my days and my weeks to look. How did I want to manage my client’s needs, their projects, their communications with my needs to continue to develop and grow my business?

I looked in many directions. What I realized was that I’m most effective when I’m clear about what I need to get done. I keep a pretty good log of where I am on each project and where my client’s are in their process so that’s seldom been a problem.

What was a problem was decerning when to do what.

So I decide that every Monday morning I would take the first 60-90 minutes of the day and lay out my week. I started by looking at deadlines and comparing the progress on each client’s work I was doing. Then I started placing what needed to get done for the week into which days I needed or wanted to accomplish the next pieces for my clients. Then I leave those project parts attached to those days – and move on (I organize the day for 15-30 minutes each morning).

After I have a rough roadmap of my week, I then turn to Monday in general. Monday’s I seldom schedule calls with clients. I use Mondays to do various task that are important to my business – like accounting. I also use Mondays to working directly on my own business – where my business is my client. While I do work on my business throughout the week, I often don’t have as much time to work in blocks as I make on Mondays. This way, I make time for my business to grow and develop.

So for me, Monday mornings are all about setting some organization for the week. This has been so effective for me that I’m wasting less time and getting more done each week – which means more client work getting done – which overall means generating more revenue.

So how do you make your Monday mornings most effective?

(note: image from Teo on Flickr)

Reader Interactions


  1. Easton Ellsworth says


    Dawud, this is a great reminder to me. I typically take an hour or two on Monday mornings to plan my work week and refresh my charted course. The last few weeks I’ve let the temptation to “just dive in” get to me.

    That’s really the big obstacle to doing this, I think – the urge to actually be “doing” instead of just “planning.” It’s only when we remember that planning IS a very important kind of doing that we can really harness its power.

    One thing that always helps me plan is to shut off as many distraction channels as possible. So I try to get up well before anyone else in the house (I work at home with small children in the mix) and take that quiet time to plan, without email, without the news on, without music playing, etc. Just me and my mind and a place to write my thoughts down.

    Thanks for helping me make sure this week will be more productive!

  2. Dawud Miracle says

    I take the dive-in approach sometimes too. It’s amazing how it seems that I’d get more done that way and don’t.

    And I, too, shut off a number of things while I’m working – Twitter, email, IM, etc – all get turned off when I need to be highly productive.

    Home Recording,
    Like the example. The difference, perceived or otherwise, for me is that I want to be completely out of my office on the weekends to spend time with my kids. I resist the often temptation to sit down and get something done while they’re, say, napping.

    Or did you mean something different?

    Me too. Any favorites for helping in that process?

    Sounds very similar to what I do. As I asked Jason, any favorite techniques?

  3. Home Recording says

    If you are really organized, everyday can be a week-end and every day can be productive.
    It is easy for someone like me to pontificate, but I find no difference except in the level of difficulty in the crossword puzzles during week ends!

  4. david finch says

    First thing I do on Monday mornings is lay out the blueprint for the week. Go over the things that need to be done and then the things I want to get done.

    Next, I break it down in down for Monday and then I dive in. Sometimes it goes quicker than others, but that’s the outline of most Monday mornings.

  5. Laureen says

    I am enjoying your blogs. Today you hit me right on the head…I was in a Monday Funk… A runaway morning leads to the same kind of afternoon.

    I am retreating to the gym for an hour to refresh and get the most out of the rest of the day. Because my problem is the same, exactly, What Now? I will know in an hour for sure.

    Thanks for reminding to find a way out instead of waste time.


  6. communicatrix says

    Good points, Dawud. And something Easton said really resonated:

    ‘That’s really the big obstacle to doing this, I think – the urge to actually be “doing” instead of just “planning.”’

    I remember my 8th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Kent, giving us a pop quiz early on in the year. It was one of those time-delimited dealios with a bazillion items and upfront instructions that read: “Read ALL questions before starting this test.”

    And of course, the very last “question” was “Put down your pencil; you’re done!” Which 99% of us didn’t get to, b/c at some point, we saw how long it was going to take to read all the questions, and realized we wouldn’t have time to take the test.

    33 years later, and I’m still taking that damned test. Thanks for the reminders, guys.

  7. Lin Burress says

    This is probably the first Monday in a long time where I have actually stuck to my plan. Monday’s is actually my day off, so it would be (and has been) very easy for me to be lazy and do much of nothing all day long.

    But since following along with Wendy Piersall’s Monday Motivation posts and now yours, I’m happy to say that my Monday tasks are mostly complete and I still have the rest of the day to do whatever I want. Like Twitter. 🙂

  8. Crystal Redhead-Gould says


    First of all let me say that I find your blog so very refreshing!

    I can identify with the Monday morning blues but I have taken some very important steps to get rid of it because unfortunately when I suffer my team’s productivity also suffer.

    Disclaimer I am not encouraging weekend work here but I do take a couple hours on Sunday evenings prioritize projects for my team.

    That way everyone knows what is expected for the week ahead. I try to get a big a picture a possible and do leave a little room for adjustments. I have found that too often little things crop up and distract from the ultimate goal so it is important for me to prioritize.

    But I digress.. Whereas on Sundays I plan the work for my team on Mondays I completely switch off from 10:00am to 5:00pm. This is when I spend time outlining future plans for my business, working out the smaller details for getting there and redefining my purpose if need be.

    I also do this for my clients. I like to also get a picture of their ultimate goal and try to work out the best way for getting there (it makes my life easier).

    So with all these very important things happening, it is essential (for me) to turn off emails, phones, IM and shut the door to my office.

    The short of it is that I now look forward to Mondays because at the end of the day (when I get back into the world) I feel like a artist that just created a masterpiece!

  9. Dawud Miracle says

    Happy to help. How’d the gym time go?

    Hey, I’m taking the test still too. It’s just I try to remember that I’m the proctor of my own exam. Does that change the perspective at all?

    And your suggestions are often really helpful. But how do you get off working weekends?

    Why do you think today was productive when other Mondays are not?

    One question, could you do your Sunday work in the last few hours of Friday? If not, what could you outsource so that you could get your team planning done M-F?

  10. Todd Jordan says


    Good little read.

    What do I do on Mondays? Today is typical. I put my lunch in the fridge, get the computer on, catch up on emails and voicemails, then poof, I dig in.

    By then hopefully the caffeine starts to kick in. About 45 mins. in I usually get me some breakfast, and continue working while I eat.

    Overall though what do I do? I pretty much pick up where I left off. I try to keep the flow from the previous week, and avoid stops for email and phone calls.

    I’m trying to improve my routine to work a solid two hours between breaks. I rarely plan days except at the beginning of a day to prioritize for the day.

  11. grace says

    I list down things I need to do on Friday – before I go home. In that way, when I sit on my desk, still half-asleep on Monday, I already know what I am going to tackle first.

    Great post. Stumbled.

  12. Nicole Price says

    When i was working in an office, i used to get to office early because i liked to get in an hour or two of work before everyone else arrived. I found that that time used to be my most productive time of day, because i was rested, alert, fresh, concentrated and quick at that time of the day.

  13. Yetti - Small Business Marketing says

    We don’t have to do planing only on Mondays.

    I suggest at the end of each day one can spend about 5 minutes writing a quick schedule of the next day. This accomplishes two primary goals for me.

    1. Because I did my plan for the next day I don’t sit there thinking about work for the rest of the day. I’m free from it.

    2. It allows me to stay on target and focused when the next day starts. I’m not wondering where to start. I can get right to business.

  14. Dawud Miracle says

    Have you thought about putting off your voicemail/email until late in the morning? I started doing that a while ago and it’s changed my productivity because I don’t have anything more to cloud my mind in getting things done.

    Like your strategy. I think setting yourself up on Friday can be really helpful come Monday. And thanx for the Stumble.

    Sounds like a great use of time. How did everyone else in the office respond?

    Nice. Are you able to stay pretty much on your weekly tasks?

    Oh, certainly. I suggest starting with Monday to plan out your week. Then each morning looking at what needs to be done for the day and creating a bit of a plan to do so.

    Anything else you’d suggest to making the most of your workday?

  15. Chadwyck says

    Monday is a perfect plan-then-produce day for me. I outline all my projects so I don’t leave any of them out in the upcoming week. Also, since I try not to work on weekends, it’s good to refamiliarize myself with where I was.

    The programmer I work with has Mondays off, so I can’t get much technical stuff done, but on the other hand, Mondays are also so quiet that I can get a good head start on my projects.

  16. Home Recording says

    Yes and no. You need to be organized every day of the week. If on the weekends you wish to be 100% for that and the whole world should know that you are not available for anything else. If you are organized thus, you will spend quality time with them and get to get a lot done during the week end. My experience has been that my time is taken up by a lot of people who keep popping in and out without proper appointments. It took a great deal of effort and time to learn to say no without offending anyone. If your problem is also the same or something similar, that needs to be tackled first.

    Communicatrix, my comments to Dawud are as applicable to you. I had a Supervisor when I was just starting out, who kept hammering at me to “Plan your work and work you plan”. He was such an influence on me that I continue to do that even now!

  17. Safety Harbor says

    Mondays are always our busiest day for internet leads, so no matter what I plan, I never seem to finish it. My plan is to stay close by the computer so that I can capture them quickly.

  18. Dawud Miracle says

    Home Recording,
    It does take a good deal of effort to become organized. But once you have a system that works, things go much more smoothly. For me, it always comes down to what’s one thing I have to accomplish today.

    Sounds similar to me. I often take Mondays to work on my own business – rather than my client work.

    Safety Harbor,
    Any way you can be more streamlined in how you capture leads so you can create more time to get work done?

  19. GreatManagement says

    Brilliant post! Love it.

    I am going to use your idea of organising the week, on Monday mornings.

    I do remember doing such a thing on Sunday nights so I “didn’t waste time on Monday and I could dive straight in”. It did not last long!

    Thanks again.


  20. Cath Lawson says

    Hi Dawud – this is interesting. And organisation is definitely key. I personally need to do things the opposite way round and plan my mornings the evening before. Mind you – I’m not a naturally organised person.

    But whichever way you do it – organisation is definitely key. And Monday’s set the tone for the whole week don’t they.

  21. Dawud Miracle says

    That’s changed today, hasn’t it?

    So, as we move into Tuesday, how’d it go?

    It is. And I agree it’s about finding the way that works best for you. Any other things you do that are paramount in staying organized?

  22. GreatManagement says

    I was travelling this Monday on the train into London so it was a great opportunity to give it a go.

    I now have an organised week of what to do.

    It is now Wednesday and all is well so far but I do think I have been a bit optimistic in completing everything this week!


  23. Mari says

    What was a problem was descerning when to do what. Yeah, I’ve run into that myself. In fact, I sat down Saturday and made a list of everything I need to accomplish before the end of the month. It’s quite a list, as I’m sure you can imagine. What I did after that was create a time table of sorts – a rough schedule. I still need to refine it. But I think I’m on to something. I hope I am!!

  24. Mari says

    Just the other day I posted on my blog a list of the book reviews I need to finish / do and in the order I need them completed in. That went a long way. It encompasses this month, June, August, and October, if I’m remembering properly.

    But yes. You’re absolutely correct. I certainly need to get my priorities straight. First thing in the morning – after a long sleep. 🙂

  25. Jon-Paul McTavy says

    wow !!!what a Sounds similar to me. I often take Mondays to work on my own business – rather than my client work.And It is now Wednesday and all is well so far but I do think I have been a bit optimistic in completing everything this week!greets to you all babe!!!

  26. Absolute Acai says

    yes it is correct that Monday mornings are all about ambience some alignment for the week. This has been so able for me that crumbling beneath time and accepting added done anniversary week.

  27. Palmdale Homes says

    I have to agree. I love having my entire week planned out as well. It’s also great for the clients because they are the major part of planning and I know when I’m going to call them and what I need to get done for them in order to make them as happy as possible to work with me.

  28. luxury smyrna homes says

    Nice tips. Monday is probably the day that I work the most, simply because I want to start off the week right. Mostly how we start the week is how we end it. We want to set the tone for the entire week so we can be productive throughout.

  29. Robert@Free SEO Tools says

    In the past, I easily wasted 2-3 hours a day surfing the web, reading the news, watching some YouTube videos… A while ago, I made it a habit that I no longer do any of those things things before 4PM afternoon.

    In the evening I make a list of the tasks I want to do the following day and I always start my day with 1-2 simple tasks that don’t require too much concentration and effort. Then I follow through with all other tasks and around 4PM I take off ~45 minutes to surf the web, read the news, check out emails from friends…

  30. Software Development says

    Monday is the only day where people start to think and plan that what they will do all the week it’s include searching and implementing the thing which is good and start of work all along on the next day , Planning is necessary to start or continue the work till end.

  31. AndersChr says

    Thanks for a great post.

    My monday usually starts (like every other day) with a cop of coffee. Then I take a look at my weekly company strategy for my e-store and start to prepare some of these things. Typically graphic works etc. – I start out slow and usually work late in the evening, just to feel that it has been a long day of work and I have got something done.

  32. vps says

    Great Read! And honestly I really like the title of the post and how you connect it with the Monday morning?.. love it!

    Tips are quite helpful not only for Monday morning but for any day in general, the point that I really wanted to add is the word consistency? sometimes you start a good habit but quickly end up getting frustrated? Remember the key is consistency? the change will have an impact on your over all life but this is ok! And walking around with that and win is a great strategy.

  33. John Michael says

    Brilliant post! Love it.

    I am going to use your idea of organising the week, on Monday mornings.Monday is a perfect plan-then-produce day for me. I outline all my projects so I don?t leave any of them out in the upcoming week. Also, since I try not to work on weekends, it?s good to refamiliarize myself with where I was.

  34. Mike says

    Wow – thanks for the convicting article! I have a hard time on monday mornings – I always check my email and try to quickly get done stuff so that I can get started on my tasks, but I usually take half the day trying to just get through those emails. I’m going to try making a list first, and checking email will be on that list and I’ll try and keep from doing it until I get there!

  35. Elizabeth says

    As an organizer, my advice to my clients is to prepare a to do list for Monday on Friday, so that there it is waiting for them when they come to the office. Mondays are really just another day, it is the transition from the weekend back into the workday – if you begin the transition at home, in the car – preparing yourself, your mind and body for the change it is easier. When my children were little, I went back to work when my daughter was 3 and my son 8 months old. I transitioned from work to kids by listening to Seseme Street tapes in my car on the way to daycare.

  36. Stuart Barker says

    Great tips mate!

    One thing i always do is use a timer to make sure my productivity is 100%. i give myself a task and then 30-60 mins to do it. Set the timer then go. I rarely get distracted because i know im timing myself.

    P.S i dont think anyone likes Mondays!

  37. Mostafa says

    making plans for the week is something that I always tried but I never mastered, I think I am going to try your method, thank you for sharing

  38. web development services says

    Yes you are right that “So many people I know sit down at their desks and mess around for an hour or two ? reading news or catching up on email” some times i also do this job because it is also true that some times you don’t want to make yourself stress about work and you want to enjoy and refresh your mind.

  39. Mr. San Diego says

    Monday mornings are just hard, I almost feel like I need to plan out my Monday on the previous Friday. I normally start the day catching up on news but I do like your suggestion of dedicating time to plan the week out though. Thank you for sharing.

  40. Submiteaze says

    A long time ago I got into the habit of creating a list of tasks for the following day. So, for Mondays, I would create my task list on Sunday evening. Also, in the morning I always start with some “real” work and I do stuff like reading emails, cleaning up my desk… just before the lunch break.

  41. Sai Koundinya says

    I feel monday mornings are very bad, but when i come across such things, i feel delighted. I never felt that i could make such on a freaky monday. Anyways thanks for letting us know

  42. Lumbar Spine says

    During Sunday, I ready myself that Monday will be a busy day at work. I expect a lot of things to do, so I start my Monday morning with a positive attitude towards work and then the rest of the days just follow. 😀

  43. celeb now says

    Mondays are real bad sometimes to start work we look ways to dont realize that we in fact need to or must begining a new task.

  44. John says

    Making a list has such a profound psychological impact on me – if it’s on my list, it becomes so much more urgent and important for me, which of course forces me to get it done!

  45. Nikolay says

    Hi. That is pretty good man. But even if it is not Monday, people just need a schedule to follow. A person with certain goal that he really want, with schedule and with a way to monitor the success will never be lazy. It does not matter which day of the week it is. Just use the passion and your energy will never end.

  46. Debt Recovery Services says

    You are so right. Mondays should be given to planning the whole week. Sometimes it is such a difficult day especially when you had a great weekend. I normally will just check on the emails and catch up with whatever is on my desk. Nothing beats to organizing what to do for the rest of the week. Thanks for this tip.


  47. seobythesea says

    Just the other day I posted on my blog a list of the book reviews I need to finish / do and in the order I need them completed in. That went a long way. It encompasses this month, June, August, and October, if I?m remembering properly.

  48. Read The Review says

    I really enjoy your blog. Aside from the attractive page, the article that can be read into this page is impressing. I get some important topics in here which cannot be seen in any websites. Thanks for sharing this blog. I love it.

  49. Mal says

    As far as how I make sure my Monday’s are productive I spend a lot of time over the weekend mentally preparing myself for the week. Saturday I will relax and Sunday I will try to make sure I get enough enough rest and I try to pump myself up mentally for a new week come Monday.

    To me its all about mental preparation.

  50. Roxanne says

    Wonderful post. It is really a great advice for everybody. Some may hate it but taking this advice I think would be worth a try. Business are fast approaching and needs to get work things done on time and productivity is one important matter to it. Thanks for this one!

  51. Rory says

    Very insightful post. Have just come across your blog today and I love the style.

    I see my work as being free from the days of the week, a Monday might as well be a Wednesday for me. Instead I take each day as it comes and use the visualisation you mentioned as my strongest motivator.

    I tend to focus on my visualisations most during my morning routine of showering/shaving/eating breakfast etc. While i’m in transit to wherever I have to be for the day also. The key for me is to visualise that my work for the day has already been done and well, capturing that happy feeling helps set me up for the day.

  52. Cleo Shahateet says

    My problem is I work way too much.
    I start the week on Sunday night making the plans for the week and Monday is for SEO, calling people back and finish it with looking at and paying the bills. I just go 7 days a week until I burn out and then I take as much time as I need off.

  53. Gabrielle says

    Great idea! I do something similar. Every night before I go to sleep I write down my tasks for the next day on a whiteboard. Of course, I don’t use a regular, old-fashioned whiteboard but an app on my iPad. I find it much more motivating to write it down by hand with my finger as all other to-do lists in our lives are written with printed text. That way this particular list stands out.

  54. safiya says

    Thanks for your ideas, for mine monday is so irritating and i feel very bad, from now i feel so delightful…….so excited..

  55. Mae Maagad says

    Hi Dawud. Like you, Monday mornings are the time for me to check my week-long goals and organize my tasks. I also like to do the most important task first while my physical and mental energy is at its freshest.

  56. Zvi says

    Monday is busy morning for me. It?s like planning for whole week and executing many works. I would lo9ve to prefer your advice for productivity. I also hold small business firms and as usual I want to grow my productivity. Thanks for sharing valuable post.

  57. Elysse Parsons says

    Monday is a very important day for me. This is when I gather my thought, analyze the previous week and plan the coming days. I also make calls and update my calendar. Thanks for this great tips.

  58. David Lye says

    Monday mornings, for me are one of the most productive times of the week. Tend to find work/tasks build over the weekend so plenty to get stuck into first thing. The danger is putting off weekend stuff for Monday and then never getting round to it.

    No1 rule – knock off your weekend emails before getting into new stuff!

  59. Day Translations says

    Well, when i first read the post i thought why Monday? Why not Sunday, Sunday is always the start of the week. Then i realize Monday will always be the start of working days. I can hear a lot of people during a Sunday night outs saying “Monday is really destroying my mode tonight”, “Thinking that tomorrow is Monday makes me loose all my energy”. Peoples attitude during the first day of the working days will always affect the rest of the week. It is very important to be positive and be driven always.

  60. skad says

    really need to work independently and to follow the schedule strictly follow the plan. Then everything will be fine

  61. Ian @ GIK Media says

    Monday morning definitely a good time to plan and layout your week. One thing I’ve found is starting a little later and working on to 6pm or 7pm I get more from the day (this is not ideal for everyone I know some people have set working hours). I think its about knowing yourself.

  62. Free Android Games says

    Hi , It was really important for me. nice thoughts !! I am also a business student doing my BBA from Rajshahi University. In my point of view there must be different types of quality in product for the different classes of people, according to their ability to purchase. High Quality , Medium Quality and Low Quality. I am just a noob , dont mind if i write something wrong..

  63. Dim @ Net bussiness says

    You know that as you begin Monday so will finish and the week? 🙂 So do not overload since Monday, have a week to complete projects. Many job carries many responsibilities, everyone has their opinion on how, what and why to do it, but most people looking for the fastest way to do the job. Personnel Board – by MONDAY till the end of the week – slowly get the job done.


  64. Ashish Chandra says

    People usually are lazy on Mondays due to previous holiday on Sunday. It’s better to write down your schedule for Monday in a piece of paper before you go to sleep on the Sunday night.

  65. Maggie says

    We all don’t love Mondays but I think it’s all in our mind. Actually we should be able to work best on Mondays because we’ve had two days off.

  66. Sarif Brock says

    I have so many problems with Mondays. I usually range from being very productive to sitting down and not being able to work effectively. Thanks for the advice, I’ll be sure to utilize it after the weekend.

  67. Hiszpanska_Mucha says

    I always like to come to work before the others, especially on Mondays. I can quietly get ready for a new week. Right from the begining i am able to set off. Chatting to workmates about the weekend events right on Monday morning is pretty distracting, although i like it obviously.

  68. ayesha says

    Every business needs full attention and proper work.. It’s a slow process but it results remains constant for a long time. All tips are awesome thanks for advice.

  69. Meenakshi says

    I am also a business women, and i love to work with full dedication and full attention. It’s true hard work is the key of success.
    Anyways very nice and smart tips given by you.

  70. ????? ????? says

    Making a list has such a profound psychological impact on me ? if it?s on my list, it becomes so much more urgent and important for me, which of course forces me to get it done!

  71. Steve says

    It’s incredible that, no matter how we ‘technologize our day, we still have the same business p[roblems to look after. Monday Morning Blahs? Meeting time. If everyone has input, everyone feels a part of the team at their brightest mood of the week. With three companies to advance everyday, it helps us with communication, team building, and goal-setting. Honest!

  72. cyprus real estate says

    For me, it all depends on the time of the year. We work with many clients who come from the UK and during the summer we have viewings all week long from Monday through Sunday. In the winter we have much more time and Monday’s are usually for planning the whole week out and returning emails.

  73. Michal says

    Great tips. What I would add is to write down each morning (not only mondays) what exactly you need/ want to do this day and start getting these things off the list. Start with the thing that is the most important. Also, try to check emails not in the morning but at lunch or in the afternoon.

    P.S. Always thought monday is a bad dad for accounting because people aren’t in a good mood 😉

  74. meena says

    First of all let me say that i find your blog so very refreshing. I have also a business and i love to work with full dedication and full attention.Hard work is the key of success.

  75. Stefan Shields says

    I fail to make the most of most days, not just Monday mornings. This is a good, informative post though thanks for sharing this.


  1. […] Sibby Online wrote an interesting post today on Get The Most Out Of Your Monday MorningHere’s a quick excerpt What do you do with your Monday mornings? So many people I know sit down at their desks and mess around for an hour or two – reading news or catching up on email. Others grab a cup of joe and jump right into the project they left on Friday. If you’re in business for yourself, mornings are often crucial to your workday. A well-spent morning can often mean the difference between a productive workday and not. But what about Mondays? Over the years I’ve tried lots of ways to get the most out of […]

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